Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Toedi in one day - June 1, 2014

Last Sunday Thomas and I finished off the ski touring season with a bang and made the Toedi in one day (2900 vertical meters). After a very short night we started at two o'clock in the morning in Tierfehd at 800 m.

All packed up and ready to push and sometimes bike to Hintersand. photo by IridePow

After about 1.5 h we reached Hintersand (1300 m), where we left the bikes and hiked towards the snowline. photo by IridePow

After about 3 hours of warm up we reached the snow at an altitude of about 1750 m. Quick breakfast and changing on to the snow gear. photo by IridePow

Linking the snow patches in the Tentiwang. photo by IridePow

Finally on the Biferten glacier with a continuous, but still somewhat pumpy summer snow cover. photo by IridePow

Here we already passed the first serac zone and are looking at the second serac zone with the Schneerus (couloir) to the right. photo by IridePow

Thomas on his way through the second serac zone. photo by IridePow

Look back from the beginning of the second serac zone to the valley floor. photo by IridePow

Here we reached about 3100 m. photo by IridePow

Look back at the Bifertenstock photo by IridePow

Thomas passing some crevasses. photo by IridePow

After a bit more than 9 hours we reached the summit. Happy, but with somewhat tired legs. photo by IridePow

Chat on the summit with two other fellows, who climbed the West face. Otherwise we were all alone on this gorgeous Sunday. photo by IridePow

View from the summit over to the Clariden and the Schaerhorn. photo by IridePow

Perfect corn conditions photo by IridePow

photo by IridePow

Taking a break after the upper third. photo by IridePow

Navigating past some holes and cracks in the second serac zone. (Unfortunately my old camera shows some slight haze. Need an upgrade soon.) photo by IridePow

photo by IridePow

photo by IridePow

Opening it up again in on the velvet carpet all the way down to the glacier bottom. photo by IridePow

photo by IridePow

The snow in the Tentiwang was covered with debris and sometimes we had to carry the skis. photo by IridePow

Last turns of the 2013/2014 ski season. photo by IridePow

Packed up again and hiking out. photo by IridePow

Last look back to the Tentiwang. photo by IridePow

For me a somewhat mediocre season with only 11 ski tours comes to an end. At least there were a few very good ones mixed in, like the Surettahorn or the Gross Ruchen, and to top it all off this last one to the Toedi was definitely a memorable one!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Strahlhorn and Alphubel - May 4 and 5, 2014

Spent a nice weekend with Peter, Christoph and Andi in the high country of the Valais. After a not so easy as first thought stroll to the Britannia hut due to white out conditions on Saturday afternoon/evening, we were off to the Strahlhorn (4190 m) on Sunday morning.

On Monday we made our second 4000er for the (extended) weekend with the Alphubel (4206 m) and finished it off with a great long run down to Saas Fee.

Early Sunday morning start to the Strahlhorn photo by IridePow

Mathieu my co-worker was that night also at the Britannia hut and went on Sunday towards the Allalinpass and Rimpfischhorn photo by IridePow

We went our way to the left, the Strahlhorn photo by IridePow

Shortly after the Adlerpass the easy "Autobahn-stroll" was over and we had to make our way through a serac zone photo by IridePow

Christoph just below the summit. We were all feeling the thin air above 4000 m at this point. photo by IridePow

A bit windy and cold on the summit ridge photo by IridePow

photo by IridePow

However the great views over to the Monte Rosa massif made up for the somewhat breezy conditions photo by IridePow

The whole Strahlhorn crew photo by IridePow

Returning to the hut with a short hike back up photo by IridePow

Britannia hut photo by IridePow

Great morning light on Monday morning on our way to the Allalinpass and the Alphubel photo by IridePow

Panorama on the Allalinpass with the most prominent summits (Matterhorn, Dent Blanche, Zinalrothorn, Weisshorn) photo by IridePow

Peter and Andi making their way over to the traverse onto the Alphubel glacier photo by IridePow

Peter on the somewhat dicey traverse. Next time we will take the way below around the rock band. photo by IridePow

A group making their way from the Täsch hut towards the Rimpfischhorn photo by IridePow

Peter and Andi soaking in the views into the amphitheater of 4000er (and checking in with the loved ones via SMS) photo by IridePow

photo by IridePow

Who doesn't love life when you are in these surroundings? photo by IridePow

Making our way from the Alphubeljoch over to the Alphubel (Allalinhorn, Strahlhorn and Rimpfischhorn in the background) photo by IridePow

On the summit of the Alphubel (Täschhorn and Dom in the background). Once again that was some hard work in the thin air especially in the steep section just below the summit. photo by IridePow

However the views paid off (Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Dent Blanche the most prominent ones) photo by IridePow

Just about done skiing the steeper upper section in the serac zone photo by IridePow

Ready for a total downhill of 2400 m all the way down to Saas Fee. The upper part in some prime spring powder. Lower part then as expected in heavy, bottomless slush on the slopes of the closed ski area. photo by IridePow

photo by IridePow

Crossing over a snow bridge to make our way to the ski slopes photo by IridePow

Thanks to the whole crew for an awesome weekend!