Today has been splendid in the high Alps. We started last Sunday in rain, thunder storms and high winds. The first night was spent at the comfortable Gandegg Hut, which is accessed from cable cars, departing from Zermatt.
Today at the Gandegg Hut
This hut provides a good base for acclimatisation and snow skills revision at the start of the ‘Spaghetti’ Route. On Monday we spent a full day in ‘white-out’ conditions, along with thirty other optimistic alpinists, traversing to the Ayas Hut.
Fortunately Tuesday dawned clear and cold, if rather windy. This strong wind was to stay with us until today. Never powerful enough to be really dangerous, the conditions did combine to prevent some groups from traversing Lyskamm yesterday. Our route took us to the Quintino Sella Hut via the summit of Castor.
Ferrino Tents are tested here, out side of the hut and guests are offered the chance to spend a night outside in one of the tents.
Quintino Sella Hut with Lyskamm on the skyline
The older hut on the adjacent site with Castor beyond.
The Quintino Sella Hut is a very useful base if accessed from the south via Stafel above Gresonney off of the Aosta valley. Cable cars on either side of the head of the valley can be used to approach either Quintino Sella – Mantova – Gnifetti – Margherita Huts and plenty of 4000 metre summits. Many climbers from the Italian side do traverse over to the main summit of Monte Rosa and return from this side.
The south ridge towards the Quintino Sella Hut is well equipped.
Three hours from the top of the cable car should arrive at the hut.
The approach walk is very scenic and the lower slopes are cloaked in plenty of fine alpine flowers.
All of the splendid alpine flowers pictured below were found on a rocky, south facing section of ridge, at around 2500 metres. I don’t profess to be any sort of expert, so please let me know if my assessment of genus or species is incorrect.
Alpine Forget me Not
Looks like Glacier Crowfoot
Possibly Round-Leaved Pennycress
f=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silene_acaulis” target=”blank”>Moss Campion
Matterhorn, south side from Cervina on 10th July. With some of the party feeling the altitude, I descended into the Aosta valley and using bus, train and taxi accessed Cervina easily, by leaving the Quintino Sella Hut around 0830. The remainder of the party continued with Bruce Goodlad
Bruce and I were working together on this trip, and the next six images were taken by Bruce with his Canon Powershot G9 digital. Thanks Bruce.
Approaching the summit of Castor
Looking back towards the Breithorn and Pollux from the south-west slopes of Castor. A good route, as it stays in the shade for sometime. Fitter ropes will also ascend Pollux before going over Castor.
Looking back towards the East Ridge of Lyskamm.
Looking back towards the Passo Naso descent slopes. leading to the Gnifetti Hut.
Descending from Parrotspitze towards the final ascent to the Margherita Hut.
A view down the Grenz Glacier, towards Zermatt. A wonderful high alpine basin.
Weisshorn East Ridge on 11th July.
Ober Gabelhorn to Weisshorn on 11th July.
Taschhorn and Dom on 11th July.
Lots of snow on the Matterhorn on 11th July. Not many people on the mountain due to the amount of snow. During our stay in Zermatt we used the Hotel Tannenhof They have a very clean, tidy and friendly service. Alpinists can leave gear securely whilst away on multi-day trips. If you use Taxi Schaller for getting from Tasch to Zermatt, be sure to mention you will be staying at this hotel, as discounts and transfers in Zermatt are readily available.