Alpine Climbing & Skiing: Frost Guiding Blog

Autumn in the Swiss Alps

~ Thursday 17th December 2020

The blog has been a bit neglected recently, so here's a quick catch-up of the Autumn in Switzerland.

Way back at the end of the summer season we climbed the Dent Blanche, which is still one of my favourite mountains!

After a busy summer of Alpine climbing it's nice to try different ways to enjoy the mountains! There's a lot of good mountain biking in the Valais.

Different sort of bike...4 days on small roads and dirt tracks linking the St Bernard pass to Finale Liguria. This is the Via del Sale, part of the huge network of military roads along the French/Italian border.

Autumn often brings cooler, stable weather. Perfect for walking.

Meanwhile even in November it's warm enough in the sun to climb.

Helping out at La Nouva mountain restaurant - the pre-season work that goes into getting ready for the ski season. Before the snow arrives you up with supplies, which is much cheaper than using helicopters.

Finally, it started snowing and autumn turns into winter. Time to find skis for the first turns of the season.

Climbing the Eiger

~ Saturday 22nd August 2020

The Eiger. The name means "Ogre" in German and it has a a fearsome reputation - the brilliant book "the White Spider" probably put more people off alpinism than any other!

Climbing the Mittellegi ridge is more technical than the Matterhorn Hornli or Italian routes. The hardest parts have fixed rope, but there's still lots of climbing on flat or slopey limestone holds needing good balance and confident footwork, and some very narrow, exposed snow ridges. It starts literally as you step off the hut terrace - the lights of Grindelwald shining over 2000m below you - and is sustained all the way to the Sudliches Eigerjoch around 8 hours later.

Alpine Climbing in the Swiss Valais

~ Saturday 15th August 2020

A few more pictures from the last few weeks. Ridges, rock climbing and snowy glaciers...

Weisshorn

~ Saturday 15th August 2020

The Weisshorn - just over 4500m high, and reputedly one of the more serious 4000m peaks in the Alps. No lifts or trains for help either - the ascent is all on foot, 3100m from the carpark in Randa to the summit. Complex route-finding, loose rock, BIG exposure and a serious snow finish make it a classic Alpine experience! After all that we reached the summit in thick cloud so there was no view!

Summer update 2

~ Saturday 11th July 2020

A few pictures from last week - more great weather and 2 of the finest ridges in the Alps.

Summer Update

~ Saturday 11th July 2020

A long overdue update - after the long, lockdown lay-off it's been a hectic start to the summer with no time for blogging...so here's a quick catch-up of the first 3 weeks. Excellent weather, good conditions once the snow settled, and some great mountains!

Ice Climbing "Introduction" week

~ Sunday 26th January 2020

I have to point out that this wasn't an average Intro week! Andy and Chris had a lot of experience (Alpine Intro, rock climbing, Scottish winter, ski touring, Alpine 4000m peaks...) so we/I went for the accelerated-learning syllabus! Still we did do some easy stuff...

The excellent ice boulder at the Hotel de la Tsa turned out to be perfect for training, so we quickly moved on to this...

And we found time for some proper technical instruction. Making belays, placing screws, rope management, Abalokov threads, etc. There's a lot to learn!

Then had a learning-to-lead "race".

Multi pitch ice at the Arolla tunnels

The Arolla mountain classic, Cascade des Ignes. A great day out with good climbing and a snowshoe approach, all in a spectacular setting at 2500m.

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