Wilfried and I climbed Mont Maudit via the normal route from Refuge Cosmiques. We encountered perfect weather and great conditions even though it was already end of August, pretty late in the season for a fairly dry summer.
On Saturday we drove from Zurich to Chamonix, took the Aiguille du Midi gondola up and hiked the short hike to the Refuge Cosmiques which took us perhaps half an hour..
The Eiger is a mythical and famous mountain and I had wanted to climb it for a very long time. So I was glad when finally, in summer of 2013, the opportunity arose and Dan Protz and I could make use of a favorable weather forecast and good conditions to climb it via Mittellegi ridge (Mittellegigrat).
The Dufourspitze (4634 m) is the highest mountain in Switzerland. The mountain is situated in the Wallis region in the south of the country. The summit is very close (a few hundred meters) from the Italian border. Dufourspitze is part of the large Monte Rosa massif and near a number of famous 4000m peaks like the Matterhorn (4478 m), Lyskamm (4527 m), Dent Blanche (4356 m), Zinalrothorn (4221 m), or the Weisshorn (4506 m).
In October and November of 2011 I spent 4 weeks trekking and climbing in the Everest region of Nepal. The trek involved climbing Mera Peak, Island Peak/Imjatse, and crossing a high alpine pass, Amphulapcha pass.
Peter and I went to Switzerland to climb in the Wallis region of the Western Alps for a week. We had spent a few days in the Saas valley and had climbed Weissmies (4023 m) via the normal route and Lagginhorn (4010 m) via the South ridge. We were throwing around ideas as to what to climb next. Possible candidates where Dom or Lenzspitze. But since neither of us had climbed the famous Matterhorn (4478 m) and since the weather forecast for the next couple of days called for sunny, stable weather we talked about it. Well, the Matterhorn is quite the mountain but it is also said to be overcrowded with people. Route finding up the Hörnli ridge is difficult and there are frequent accidents. But then again, sooner or later one has to climb it...
After our failed attempt to climb Chopicalqui due to me being sick, we had just four more days in the Cordillera Blanca before heading south for Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and the Amazon jungle. We wanted to climb (successfully!) one more peak and picked Yanapaccha (5460 m/17913 ft) in the Llanganuco valley. The mountain can be climbed in just two days from Huaraz even though it is more difficult than its neighbor Nevado Pisco that we had climbed a couple weeks earlier.
When I met Jim in Huaraz on Monday after climbing Tocllaraju he had fully recovered from his cold and was eager to head out again. We decided on Chopicalqui (6354 m) in the Llanganuco valley as our next adventure.
We headed out on Wednesday morning. Incidentally, three other climbers had the same destination and so we hooked up together. The other climbers were James, an Australian living in Colorado, Axel from Freiburg in Germany — both whom we had met in the Pisco base camp — and Moritz, a friend of Axel.
After meeting up in Lima, Jim and I had travelled north to Huaraz in the center of the Cordillera Blanca where we stayed for two days in order to organize our gear, buy supplies, and figure out how to get to Nevado Pisco, which was to be our acclimatization climb.
We left Huaraz on Sunday by collectivo to get to Yunday from where we took a taxi that brought us to Cebollapampa, our first camp at the end of the Llanganuco valley. The taxi ride was quite memorable. With 3 people in the front, 5 people in the back, and a box of live chicken in the trunk the Toyota Corolla wasn´t crowded by Peruvian standards, however, by our standards it certainly was.
In the fall of 2007 I spent 3.5 weeks trekking in Nepal. We did the famous Annapurna circumvention but added a twist by including the rarely traveled short cut that passes by Tilicho Peak and Tilicho Lake, supposedly the highest lake on earth (at an elevation of 4949 m). We also climbed one of Nepal's trekking peaks, Chulu Far East (6059 m/19878 ft).
This was my second time climbing in the Mont Blanc region. Two years ago Claus-Dieter and I had climbed Mont Blanc and vowed to come back. Since both of us didn't really have time to do a lot of planning beforehand, we arrived with a pretty lose schedule and just some ideas. This fact, combined with the rather interesting weather during our stay, made for a much different outing. At the end, we had spend nearly two days trapped in a hut on the mountain because an August blizzard was preventing the gondolas down to Chamonix from running. We had also made a questionable decision to change huts during a pretty bad morning thunderstorm.
Claus-Dieter and I climbed Ortler (3905 m, 12811 ft), the highest peak in Southern Tyrol (Italy), via the famous Hintergrat ridge. The Hintergrat is a fairly exposed ridge that ascends the mountain from the east. It is a very scenic and popular route that is a bit more difficult than the normal route. I had been itchy to climb it since I returned to Europe and when the weather forecast looked good and the Hintergrat hut had opened for the season Claus-Dieter and I gave it a go.
The Jubiläumsgrat ("Jubigrat") is the ridge that connects the Zugspitze (2962 m), Germany's highest mountain, with the Alpspitze (2620 m). Being one of the famous ridges in the Eastern Alps, it is often climbed during summer and -- less frequently -- in winter. The route had been on my tick list since I moved to Munich 2 years ago.
As weather and avalanche conditions are critical, I was monitoring the mountain weather forecast during the last few weeks looking for a good weather window. That window came this past weekend with a stable forecast until Sunday afternoon and a low avalanche level.
Michael and I left Munich at 6am on Saturday morning for Garmisch-Partenkirchen. We were aiming for the 7:30 gondola from Eibsee to the top of the Zugspitze.
Michael and I wanted to do one last alpine climb for the season. For the northern Alps the weather forecast wasn't great, but for the southern Alps it was much better. So the initial idea was to climb the Campanile Basso in the Brenta group of the Italian Dolomites. But since it was already late October, gondolas had stopped running and the huts had shut down for the season leaving us worried about logistics, long approaches, and about being able to get enough drinking water. So instead Michael suggested the Langkofel group with short approaches and long and interesting alpine climbs.
After climbing in the southern Monte Rosa with the traverse of Lyskamm as the highlight, we still had a few more days before we needed to head back to Munich. A few options where discussed, among them Rochefort ridge traverse with Dent du Geant in the Mont Blanc region. However, for this a rope team of three is not ideal. So Rainer suggested to climb Barre des Ecrins in the Dauphine region in southern France instead. Barre des Ecrins (4101 m) is the southern most 4000m peak in the Alps. After some discussions we had a plan: We would climb to Refuge des Ecrins on the first day, summit and hike out on the second day, and drive back to Munich on the third day.
Our plan was to climb Mont Blanc via the Italian Route from Courmayeur. This route, also known as the "Pope Route" because it was first climbed (in descent) by a party that included the men who later became Pope Pious XI, is the normal route from Italy. It is a bit harder but considerably less crowded than the normal route from the French side that starts at the Refuge de l'Aiguille du Gouter. Since we wanted to do a traverse of the mountain we had considered several possible ascend routes. An obvious choice would have been to descend via the popular Gouter route.
Claus-Dieter, Rainer, and I went climbing for 2,5 days in the Ortler-Cevedale group of the Italian Alps.
We had tried to do the Mittenwalder Klettersteig (Via ferrata) a few weeks ago, but back then too much powder snow was covering the route and we didn't get very far. Last weekend, however, the route was melted out more and Claus-Dieter and I gave it another try. We had also heard that some guys had done it a week earlier and therefore we knew that it was doable.
Having spent many years of climbing in the Pacific Northwest, I had actually never climbed in the Alps. So after relocating to Europe in August of this past summer there was a window of opportunity because my new job wouldn't start until later. Since I didn't know any climbers over there I browsed the local climbing boards. There I met Claus-Dieter from Munich and Christoph from Cologne and we decided to climb the Großglockner (3798 m / 12460 ft), which is Austria's highest mountain and the highest peak in the Eastern Alps. This trip that we did in early September was my first climb in the Alps.
Dustin Shigeno, Kira Misura, Jeff Crowe, Gary Yngve, and I spent 3 days on Mount Rainier and summited on Saturday via the Kautz Glacier route. Dustin and I had climbed Mount Rainier via the Emmons Glacier route in the previous year.
We drove down to Paradise Thursday morning, arriving there at 9.30am. After talking to the rangers and signing in we sorted our gear and were on our way by 10:30am to walk up to near Panorama Point. From there we dropped down to the Nisqually Glacier where we roped up and crossed the glacier. There where only a few hair thin crevasses open and crossing the glacier was straightforward. We then ascended the prominent chute (the "Fan") on the other side. For this we had unroped to reduce party inflicted rock fall danger. On top of the chute we roped up again and continued up the ridge to the foot of the Wilson Glacier and on north along a ridge line.
We left Seattle at 8am Saturday morning for the drive to Leavenworth. We had to stop about 1.5 miles short of the Mount Stuart trail head due to snow cover. Started hiking at 11.45am. The weather was great, sunny and warm. Since the trail was mostly covered with snow I used snowshoes right from the beginning. Jim made it without for a while; he put his on later. We met about 3 parties coming out. Some had climbed Colchuck, others had hiked in earlier that day and found the snow too slushy for a ascend that late in the day. There was also some talk about an avalanche the night before down Asgard Pass. Everybody assured us that the frozen Colchuck Lake can be crossed - no problem.
Last Saturday Jim and I climbed Mount Adams via the South Spur. As this is a nontechnical climb we left rope and climbing gear at home and---traveling light---did it in one day rather than the usual two days.
Both of us had tried Adams before but had to turn around for various reasons. When I did it two years ago with a friend from Germany it was a disaster. Not knowing what an alpine start is we weren't going until 8am. Since we had neither ice axe nor crampons we were forced to scramble on scree up the ridge west of the snowfield which was painfully slow.
Mount Rainier (4392 m/14411 ft) is the largest of the five stratovolcanoes and the highest peak in Washington State.
The Emmons Glacier on its east side is the largest glacier on Mount Rainier featuring the second most popular route up the peak.
Dustin and I climbed this route in two days during a stretch of beautiful, sunny weather.
Originally we were supposed to be three people but ended up as two in the last minute. We left Seattle around 10am Saturday morning and made it to Mount Rainier NP in about 2 hours. Due to some delay (a fallen tree had blocked the road and gotten the rangers all excited) in getting the permits (a hefty $30 for each) we didn't start hiking from White River Campground until 2.30pm. The Glacier Basin trail is very pleasant and goes trough some old growth forest. From Glacier Basin we ascended the Inter Glacier, passed Camp Curtis, and dropped onto the Emmons Glacier to get to Camp Schurman by 8.30pm.