Monday, September 07, 2020

Climbing Around Grimentz

 Parts of the the Zinal valley look like the Zermatt valley 200/300 years ago.  It is quaint and exactly how you might imagine a Swiss Valley to be like.

I met Mark Daniels in the 'chocolate box' setting fo Grimentz which was utterly beautiful. I had not climbed Mark for over ten years.  The last time we had been together we had climbed Mt Blanc. We were now here  to climb what ever the conditions allowed us to.  We had no fixed agenda.

On our 1st day together we choose to climb the short but very  spectacular  via Ferratta at the head of the Moiry Dam.  This was also a good opportunity to gain some acclimatisation and stretch the limbs.

The  exit from the Via feratta

On our second day we explored the  rock climbing on the local crags before walking up to the Moiry Refuge. This being 2020 and Covid Time, we were only eight in the Refuge. Wonderful for us but perhaps not great for the Guardians income stream. 

In the  morning we awoke to thick mist.  The sort of mist that is in fact almost rain.  We ate breakfast at 5.00am and the ventured out in the mirk.  Progress was slow because it was difficult to find the way -yet we did find the way although it was far from straight forward.  due too the thick mist I was reluctant to start trying to navigate across the crevasse ridden glacier.  We had a "council of war"  chose to change our objective and  to be relatively conservative and headed up to the north ridge of the Pigne de la Lé 3395m.  

This proved to be a good choice because we burst out of the cloud to be treated to spectacular views in all directions.  All in the same panorama you can see the big 4000meter peaks of the Valais, including the Weisshorn and the Matterhorn.

In fact the view from the summit must be one of the contenders for the best view in the Swiss Alps.  Added to which we had the whole place to ourselves. We saw no one all until we arrived back at the Refuge.  


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