Saturday, May 18, 2013

Being in the right place at right time is key to making most of weather windows.

May is the time when the weather settles down after the normally unsettled weather of the equinox. This wasn't the case this May and we have had no periods of settled weather.
So when James Vernon joined me for a weeks ski touring the weather forecast was looking distinctly mixed.
What we decided to do was head round to Grindelwald and take the mountain train to the Jungfraujoch. When we exited from the tunnel the weather was misty and windy and so we headed up to the Monchsjochhutte 3627m which is about 45 minutes skin, still never easy with no acclimatisation.
Despite the Hut being run by a world class Git we had a pleasant evening meeting some very interesting fellow ski tourers from the Valais.
The next morning the weather was fantastic and we were in exactly the right place to take advantage of it. We made a wonderful traverse over the Louroitor col at 3676m before skiing down the wide open slopes of the Kranzberg glacier to join the Aletschfirn glacier. From here we stuck on the skins and climbed up to the very welcoming Hollandiahutte 3164m.
Unfortuanetly Tuesday had been the only really good day and while Wednesday morning threatened to be okay it was in fact very windy and so we decided to ski down the long beautiful , wild valley to Fafleralp where the snow finally ran out and we walked down the road to Blatten where we jumped on the Post Bus.
On our final day we revived James's rock climbing career after a 20 year break. To me he never seemed as if he'd been away.

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