2 Weeks Private Guiding

A quick report from this years’ annual alpine climbing trip with David; as usual, the plan was to climb some more 4000m peaks on ‘the list’ as well as enjoying some new alpine rock climbing venues…

Meeting in Chamonix, we started with an acclimatisation route in the Aiguilles Rouges, before heading across to Italy and the Valpelline to make the long walk up to the Aosta Hut in order to attempt the Dent D’Herens.

Dent D’Herens

Having tried the peak the year before and backed off due to poor conditions, we were keen for the rematch and arrived at the hut for the customary welcome Genepi. Luckily everything went well this year and we topped out after 6 hours of effort, before an equally long descent back to the hut for another night – and more Genepi – from the guardian.

This is one of the most remote valleys in the Alps and although it’s a long walk, it’s all the better for it – with a real sense of wildness that you just don’t get in more popular areas.

On the West Ridge of Dent D’Herens

We walked out next day, enjoying the flowers and scenery of the lovely Valpelline, then back to Cham for a quick day of ice climbing (as the freezing level had dropped temporarily!) and finally a day on the Aiguille du Peigne to finish off our first week.

A spot of ice climbing on the Aiguille du Toule
Climbing Lepidopteres on the Peigne Slabs
Final pitches of the Papillon Arete

For week 2 our principal objective was to make an ascent of Liskamm – so we headed up to the Gnifetti Hut and sat out a day of bad weather when 30cm of snow fell, before climbing Ludwigshohe and Pyramide Vincente, then finally bagged the precipitous East Ridge of Liskamm, with it’s knife edge snow crests.

The view east from Ludwigshohe
Climber on Corno Nero
Liskamm from the East
David on the Cresta Sella
Tiptoeing along Cresta Sella, the East Ridge of Liskamm

Days out like this are always serious, requiring no mistakes and absolute concentration, so we were ready for a final alpine rock route somewhere a little more chilled and chose the excellent Wiwanni Hut above Visp in Switzerland – to climb the Classic Steinadler Route as a great finale to fun and productive 2 weeks climbing.

Sheep near the Wiwanni Hut
The classic Steinadler Route on Wiwannihorn
That’ll be an Alp then! – early morning above the Rhone Valley