Alpine Climbing & Skiing: Frost Guiding Blog

Eiger Mittelegi Ridge

~ Saturday 27th August 2016

It's been a busy week, starting with the Dent Blanche South Ridge, Petite Dent de Veisivi, and a day rock climbing.

I finished the week with the Performance Alpinism team on the Eiger Mittelegi ridge - a very fine way to spend Friday! A route with such history and reputation brings a risk of anti-climax - especially if you've waited years to climb it! - but the Eiger didn't disappoint. It's a stunning climb, sensationally exposed, and although there are a lot of fixed ropes you still have to climb some technical ground with the void of the North face below your feet!

The hut approach is a climb in itself with a surreal start out of a small tunnel from the Eismeer station before a couple of proper pitches off the glacier lead to some unlikely terrain up to the hut.

In the dark you can't see the drop down the NE face, but you can "feel" it! The climbing starts straight from the hut, with a couple of short pitches before the first fixed rope.

We reached the main fixed ropes around sunrise, but the ropes are on the NE face here so can stay icy underfoot. It's not that easy, and would be desperate without the rope!

There are a lot of fixed ropes on the Mittelegi, but also some real climbing, all in sensational positions!

At the end of the difficulties the ridge gets less steep, and snowy, so crampons on for the exposed ridge to the summit.

Standing on the Eiger summit is a big moment in most climbers' lives (certainly in mine!) It's a fine summit, with the history and iconic status of the peak adding to the emotion.

Getting to the top is of course only half-way - or less. The South ridge descent is long and quite technical. Down-climbing and a few abseils lead to the North Eigerjoch, where the linking ridge must be traversed to reach the South Eigerjoch and easy ground at last. A hot glacier trek leads quickly to the culture shock of the Jungfraujoch complex - part station, part Bond-villain base, part shopping centre - it's all very strange!

2017 Dates and Prices Now Available!

~ Thursday 18th August 2016

It's still peak summer season in 2016 of course, but we've just posted prices for next year and we're already taking bookings for summer and winter trips. The full summer dates will be available later today...

Sadly, the current weakness of Sterling has forced us to make some significant price increases. The Frost guiding "ethos" is based on providing maximum value (and maximum climbing!) for our clients - continuing the tradition established by Moran Mountaineering, we aim to help you get the most out of your time in the Alps. We will be using the same friendly chalet accommodation and the same team of enthusiastic guides, providing a very adaptable course programme so you can make the best use of time, weather and energy!

We have kept the cost of our ever-popular Intro and Progression courses as low as possible, with some small changes to the programme - these courses will be run locally when possible, minimising costs. If you've already climbed in Evolene and Arolla, perhaps on a previous Progression week, we've added a Progression "Plus" course with a bigger travel budget allowing more choices.

We look forward to seeing you here next year!

Alpine Progression Week

~ Saturday 13th August 2016

Another excellent "Alpine Progression" week, with 4 fit clients pushing the limits of their experience and certainly making a lot of "progress"! This course aims to be as flexible as possible, allowing people with previous UK, Alpine or Himalayan experience to develop skills. Great fun, lots of instruction and some fine mountain routes climbed. We started with the normal route on Mont Blanc de Cheilon - one of the best PD routes around.

The normal route went very smoothly, so after a brief summit discussion we continued on along the "reverse traverse". Usually climbed in the other direction, going the wrong way means down-climbing some tricky sections - an essential alpine skill!

The next day brought mixed weather and tired legs - but a very useful rock climbing session down the valley at Bramois. Climbing technique, multi-pitch climbing and abseiling, and the importance of not dropping things off the belay...

Legs refreshed, we tackled the long walk-in to the Grands Mountets hut, which surely enjoys the finest imaginable setting for a hut in the heart of the high mountains!

The hut is surrounded by great climbing. We chose the Besso-Blanc de Moming traverse, starting up fine red rock on the Besso SW ridge...

...and continuing along the joining ridge through a complex world of pinnacles to the Blanc de Moming summit.

There's no glacier at all on this route, so you have time to admire the view before descending!

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