Thursday, September 26, 2019

"Une Sortie Scolaire."

 Rocio Mountain Guide & Teacher prepares the top rope for the" ice climbing" session.
There are several schools based around the Lac Leman Arc which follow the British Independent Senior School system. [Public School] They all have tremendous outdoor programs for their children.  So much so that they employ Mountain Guides to run incredible mountain adventures.

Along with  four other Mountain Guides;  two Swiss Guides Bertrand and Christian  and my friend and fellow British Mountain Guide Jonny Baird  I was employed by L'Ecole Beau Soleil  to climb the Wildstrubel Mountain in the Bernese Oberland.  We also had in overall charge of us all Rocio Siemens who  is a Mountain Guide and teacher permanently employed by the school . Between us we were responsible for 18 children all roughly 16 and 17 years old.

We drove around to Leukerbad and took the cable car.  From there we walked in to the Lammeren Hutte.  In the afternoon we checked all the equipment and the children got the chance to test their crampons on the specially erected "ice climbing"  poles.

The next morning breakfast was at 6.00am.  The issue was that the weather was not being co- operative and it was evident that plan A - The Wildstrubel was no longer a sensible option.  We changed plan and made the Steghorn our objective.  Everyone set off at about 7.30 am and progress was steady.  Even when we got to the exposed scrambling where we split into climbing teams every thing passed off smoothly.
rocky scramble on the Steghorn.
The weather was quite windy. We all stopped for a bite to eat huddled behind a rock.  Next we moved onto the glacier and put on our crampons.  I suppose inevitably not everyone continued to be happy.  One of the group was struggling and so it was decided that they should descend with me. So we returned down the mountain  while the rest of the team climbed the Steghorn. After which everyone was reunited at the Hutte and after some food we all returned to the cable car station and descended back to the valley.

Screen shot of the map of the area . Red lines are ski touring routes.

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