Throwing caution to the wind we went as high as possible today (to Mittel Allalin) on the one and only fully dry day so far. Clouds still obscured some of the many summits but it was worth the trip and I said my annual ‘Hello’ to the Allalinhorn – a peak I have climbed eight times by three different routes over many years.
I risk repeating myself here, so for those not familiar with previous posts about this mountain do take a look at ‘The Allalinhorn revisited’ with images of my last climb up it in 2013. And that post also contains a link to a previous ascent in 2012.
I’m not going to bore you with the same old images either. Today I’m showing you just two. Whenever I’m close to a major peak my eye searches for climbers – sometimes I see them, and sometimes I see merely the evidence of their passage.
The first image is the ‘evidence’. Spot the zigzag route to the col, and note the superficial trickle of loose snow that has recently covered a lower section of the route shown in this image. This route is an early part of the left-hand skyline ridge route up the mountain known as the Hohlaubgrat (and readily visible in images in the previous posts referred to above).
The second image shows climbers descending the normal route on the right side of the summit. The route now skirts above a very obvious ice wall seen right of centre. The descent route last year traversed below this cliff – a decidedly uncomfortable section of the climb which I photographed last year. Clearly part of that ice wall has collapsed as seemed inevitable. Snow mountains are never the same from one year to the next.
(In case you’re wondering, the fuzzyness in the top right section of this image is due to low-lying cloud – the clouds were never far away today).
Both images will enlarge for a higher quality picture. Just click on an image.