Instead of getting up at 3:30am Saturday morning, I jumped on the train to Interlaken Friday evening and booked into the local Youth hostel, wow have these changed since the 90,s. Tomorrows meeting, with the Mountain guide, was at 09:35am at the top station of the Jungfraujoch (3450m).
Todays goal was the Mount Mönch (Monk) at 4107m!
The 40min glacier walk was relative easy compared to what was to come, with the mountain in view, or looking over us, all the way to the first climb. In our roped up group of three, snowshoes were placed aside and our mountain guide for the day, Jean-Francois, lead the way. A small climb to start, and bit of scrambling and before you know it we were looking down on others yet to start. A little brake and crampons on, now it got steeper, through snow/ice slopes, snow bridges and a touch of 'easier' rock climbing we made our way up to the sub summit at 3882m.
Another little tee break before the we came upon the long, almost horizontal, Snow ridge. God did this look SCARY!! At the beginning walking on the left of the ridge we had the comfort of being able to place our ice pics in the snow for balance, but this soon disappeared as we were now walking on a snow ridge just 20-30cm wide, and hundreds of meters down both left & right of us.
'Hey guys stop there...' says Jean-Francois, '...a great place for a photo', I thought the guy was nuts, but the photo is great.
Step by step, looking ONLY at where I was placing my crampon boots one at a time, the ridge seemed to go on for ever. Finally the summit was there, we had made it! Congratulations where passed around, photos taken to remember this amazing trip, and a bite of an energy bar was had.
What I forgot to mention about our little group with Jean-Francois leading us up, was Karl in the middle and myself bring up the rear.... on the way up, but on the way down, I was now at the front! Meaning, I was leading the snow ridge back down, this was even scarer than on the way up!
The lack of fitness told on the steep journey down, with my quads burning for 2/3 of the way, but we were all got safely down and a well earned beer at the station before heading down.
A big Thank you to Jean-Francois and https://www.bergundtal.ch for an amazing experience.
(Zoom in on some of the photos to see how really small we humans are!)
A spontaneous decision to take Friday afternoon off, why? The skies where blue, the forecast of a clear night, and the chance to sleep out under the stars one more time before winter kicks in.
So I packed up, new Bivi to try out, and headed down to the local train station. Luckily we have a great outdoor shop next to the station so I popped in to get a packet of dinner and breakfast, Reindeer stew for dinner and Porridge with figs and blueberries for breakfast, we are set!
Being late in the day to get up high enough to where I planned to sleep the night and before the sun sets, I cheated and got the mountain train up to Pilatus. Here I would have a 30 min walk and down 200m to my planned night spot. Thinking this was to easy, I took a quick tour to the top of Tomlinshorn 2125m, so at least I got an hours walking in before getting dinner on the go.
I think the pictures below speak for themselves, a great evening, not to cold, a load of stars, a bright moon, breakfast on a peak, an adventurous 5hr hike, with plenty to see and admire along the way.
Sometimes being spontaneous pays off!
Chris, Sarah, Roy and Annika blogging around to keep in touch with family and friends all around.
All Family Mates Outdoors Rugby