Saturday, August 14, 2010
I enjoyed a very sociable week working with two of my best friends and fellow Mountain Guides Jonathan Preston and Alan Kimber. Alan is the longest serving British Mountain Guide with over 40 years experience. We were joined by James Thacker who was working along side us as an Aspirant Guide.
Our clients were all from Northen Irealand and were super keen and great company.
This is what happened.
We all met in Grindlewald and took the train up to the Jungfraujoch. We then headed down the glacier to the Konkordia Hut in the blazing sun.
It is the only Hut I have been to where there is a bar on the terrace and it was already doing a brisk trade and then we arrived and it went into over drive.
The next day we headed over the col to the Finsteraarhorn Hut and climbed a rocky ridge as by way of some training to prepare everyone for the big challange of the next day.
We arrived at the Hut which despite not having a bar on the terrace was sensational.
3.30 wake up is never easy but the prize for the day was the Finsteraarhorn- One of the finest mountains in the Alps.
We reached the top in just over 5 hours which was quite good considering the final ridge was icy and we wore crampons all the way.
That was the last day of good weather and like so often in this game we had to change our plan. Now the plan was to get out and back to the valley. The Finsteraarhorn hut is one of the remotest in Europe.
This proved to be a very big day with lots of twists and turns.
We headed out of the Hut in a brief rest bite in the storm and headed for the Oberaarjoch. It was not long before we were getting wet. We stopped at the Hut of the same name and refuelled on Rosti. We then headed down the glacier on the far side where rain became torrential and the glacier just went on and on and on.
We passed along the side of the Oberaarsee Lake finally arriving at the Cafe where we had booked a taxi back to Grindlewald.
But only if it were that simple! The road was closed because a bridge had been washed away!
The solution was to take a taxi as far as the landslide- then walk across the landslide before meeting another taxi. Again this part of the trip was not without incident as one of our group was attacked by a cow and we had visions of him being pushed into the swollen river and never being scene again.