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Alpine Climbing & Skiing: Frost Guiding Blog

Alpine Climbs Guided in 2015

~ Saturday 19th September 2015

Frost in the garden and fresh snow in the hills, worn-out boots and tired legs - sure signs of autumn and the end of the summer season here in the Alps. Time to look back and reflect on an exceptional alpine summer...

Big thanks to everyone who's made it such a good season - clients, guides, Judith (and Mike!) Claudia at the Mélezes and everyone else who's helped. Hope to see you all again next year!

Dent Blanche

From memory, I've guided these alpine routes this summer...plus a few rock climbing days and some via ferrata.

Arolla

- Courone de Bréona traverse x3

- Dent Blanche South ridge x2

- Aiguille de la Tsa x2

- La Luette

- Eveque traverse x2

- Pigne d'Arolla traverse x2

- Pigne-Mont Blanc de Cheilon traverse x3

- Mont Blanc de Cheilon normal route x2

Moiry

- Pointe de Mourti - Dent des Rosses traverse x4!

Grand Mountet

- Besso-Blanc de Moming traverse

- Mammouth traverse

Zermatt

- Matterhorn Hornli ridge x2

- Monte Rosa West Ridge

- Taschorn South ridge

Saastal

- Dri Hornli

- Weissmies traverse

- Portjengrat

Others...

- Balmhorn

- Aiguille du Tour

- Aiguille d'Argentiere Whymper route

- Mont Dolent normal route from Fiorio bivvy

- Perrons traverse x2

- Wiwannihorn Ostgrat and Steinadler

Plus a long list of routes climbed by other Frost Guiding teams...

Weisshorn East ridge, Obergabelhorn Arbengrat, Eiger Mittelegi x3, Alphubel Rotgrat, Tsalion West Ridge, Douves Blanches, Salbit South Ridge, Finsteraarhorn, Monch, Jungfrau, Breithorn, Pollux, Castor, Lyskamm, Nordend, Mt Vélan Hannibal ridge, Mont Blanc, Stockhorn South Ridge, Bietschorn, and I'm sure I've forgotten a few...

Aiguille de la Tsa

Alpine Progression / last week of the season

~ Saturday 19th September 2015

As summer turns into autumn we rounded off the summer season yesterday with the "Ostgrat" on the Wiwannihorn. It's been a varied week for the Progression course with plenty of weather, starting at the Moiry hut with another traverse of the Pointe de Mourti-Dent des Rosses.

Dent des Rosses

Summit of the Dent des Rosses

We traversed the Couronne de Bréona on Tuesday, going South to North for a change, and with an eagle for company!

Crux crack of the Couronne de Bréona

Thursday gave us just enough time to do the Evolene via ferrata in the dry before walking up to the Wiwanni hut in the (damp) afternoon.

Evolene via ferrata

The forecast was good for Friday and it looked promising at first, but never really cleared. We raced up the Ostgrat, and finished the abseils as the first snowflakes of the best ski season in 50 years began to fall...

Wiwannihorn Ostgrat

Climbing the Monte Rosa

~ Friday 11th September 2015

Success climbing the Monte Rosa yesterday! It was fifth time lucky for me after 4 previous attempts were frustrated by weather or illness or snow...but well worth waiting for, with guides and clients equally excited to reach the top.

Climb Monte Rosa British Mountain Guide

It's a long way to climb from the Monte Rosa hut, and as the guardian insisted on a 2am breakfast the early hours of the morning are spent in a confusing jumble of rocks behind the hut. Soon, the glacier provides more excitement as you navigate a complex field of crevasses on the lower glacier, all still in the dark.

Matterhorn from Monte Rosa British mountain guide

Sunrise brought some spectacular views, but not much relief from the biting cold - a rare thing this summer!

British Mountain Guide climbing Monte Rosa

The summit ridge starts with an airy snow ridge, followed by exciting rocky climbing in spectacular positions. This is the highest rock in Switzerland!

Climbing west ridge of Monte Rosa with British Mountain Guides

As everything else starts to look small, the summit arrives - a fine perch and at last some shelter from the cold on a sunny ledge in Italy!

Mountain Guides on Monte Rosa summit

Summit of the Monte Rosa!

At the Silbersattel, just below the fixed ropes on the descent.

...and back down the lower glacier with fine views of Liskamm

Return through the crevasses on the lower glacier

Pigne d'Arolla Traverse

~ Tuesday 8th September 2015

We seemed to be the only people on the Dix side of the Pigne d'Arolla this morning, the second day of having the mountain to ourselves. A dry winter followed by a long, hot summer has taken its toll on the Pigne d'Arolla, and the Dix side is currently spectacularly crevassed. Luckily the late season snow is freezing hard overnight and the bridges seem to be solid, but some sections need good balance and a careful approach! The views from the summit made it all worthwhile!

Pigne d'Arolla from the Dix hut. An intricate track weaves through the crevasses.

Don't fall to the right...

Careful footwork needed!

Fine views to the Matterhorn and Dent d'Hérens

Emerging into the sun above the worst crevasses at the Mur de la Serpentine

Climbing Mont Blanc de Cheilon

~ Tuesday 8th September 2015

Perfect weather yesterday to climb Mont Blanc de Cheilon, and there was no-one else on the mountain - fantastic. The normal route is is slightly delicate condition with some careful cramponning needed on steep snow above the rock ridge, but the rock is all dry and the "winter" descent is in good condition, and is easier than descending the normal route.

Mont Blanc de Cheilon Guided climb

Climbing Mont Blanc de Cheilon British Mountain Guide

British Mountain Guide Mont Blanc de Cheilon

Success Climbing the Matterhorn, Eiger and Taschhorn!

~ Tuesday 1st September 2015

Although the main summer season has finished and we've closed up the big chalet, we still had teams at the top of the Matterhorn, Eiger and Taschhorn yesterday. A good start to the autumn!

No pics yet from the Eiger or Matterhorn, but here are a few of the Taschhorn. The 9th or 10th highest peak in the Alps (depending on which list you read) the Taschhorn together with it's neighbour the Dom form the highpoint of the Mischabel range. The approach is a challenge in itself - 1650m of unrelenting uphill from Tasch.

First sight of the Mischabel Bivvy hut

The Mischabel bivvy is a lovely spot, sitting in the col at 3800m with stunning views.

Cosy Inside the Mischabel Bivvy Hut

With all the walking done on the approach, the route starts right from the door and follows the ridgeline for over 1km. Never difficult, but sustained and exposed, and with a bit of dubious rock!

Dawn over the Lagginhorn and Weissmies

Climbing the Taschhorn with Frost Guiding

Climbers on Taschhorn British Mountain Guide

Taschhorn guided climbing

Downclimbing the lower part of the ridge

mountaineering courses with British mountain guides

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