Sunday, September 10, 2023

A suggestion for Mellow Alpine Mountaineering

If you are looking for all the componenets of an alpine climbing experinece, yet without the really long approaches and knackering descents, then look no further than the climbs above the Cabane Moiry.  It is situated at the end of the long Zinal valley above the quintissential alpine village of Grimentz.

Reuben and I left the car at the high car park above the Lac de Moiry. When you start walking you are already at an altitude 2342meters.  The hut walk takes an easy hour and half.  It is at 2826meters.

The hut is very popular with walkers, especially American walkers who all seem to be in possesion of an american guide book.  This guide book tells them that they are on the famous Haute Route.  I have never had the heart to tell them that the guide book is wrong.  

The hut is very comfortable, with running water, showers and draft beer.  The dormitories are small with just 4 beds.

The next morning Reuben and I were the only climbers to leave the hut.  We started walking around 7.00am.  Our goal was the south ridge of the Pigne de la Le.  This is an easy scramble up a rocky ridge. [Easy as long as you stay on the route!]. It leads to a the summit in about two hours.  

The view from the top is simply marvellous.  Everywhere you look you are treated to a view of the Swiss mighty 4000er peaks - The Weisshorn, the ZinalRotehorn the OberGabelhorn the Dent Blanche the Dent d'Herens and of course the Matterhorn.  Plus the Grand Cornier which just misses the 4000meter mark.

The Matterhorn with the Grand Cournier to its right.

We stopped on the top for about half an hour soaking up our surroundings and the solitude.  Eventually we were joined by a couple who had left from their camp a van thus skipping the hut.

The descent was straight forward then slightly less so when we hit the glacier, because it was devoid of snow, meaning it was hard grey ice. Yet we were still back at the hut just before mid day.  

We decided to spend the night in the old part of Grimnetz at the delightful Hotel du Moiry where we had an excellent beef fondue on the hotel  veranda.

The next morning we returned to the Lac du Moiry where we climbed the Via Ferrata de Moiry.

Reuben on the steep lower section

Lac de Moiry.

So if you want to keep mountaineering into your mid seventies and beyond this type of trip is perfect!

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