For the last two weeks of August, Monica G. and Jody R. joined Mountain Madness on climbs in France and Switzerland. Mont Blanc was one of the options but we switched to other goals due to rock fall hazards on the Gouter Couloir.
The Alps are with so many objectives that it is easy to change your itinerary. So, we instead climbed the Cochon on the Clocher de Planpraz, a beautiful spire on the Aiguilles Rouges. Then the Petite Aiguille Verte and finally the Aiguille du Tour. Three rocky peaks in the French alps, all of them classics of the massif.
The climbs in the French Alps prepared the team for the second part part of the trip: the Matterhorn. On the 25th we traveled from Chamonix to Zermatt. Unfortunately, a recent storm had just dropped lots of snow on the mountain. We considered other options, but the summit of the Matterhorn was the goal, along with the experience of being there. With the conditions in mind, we went to the Hörnli hut, set on giving it our best, but knowing we might need to turn around due to conditions.
Indeed, the snow conditions were not favorable. With the possibility of a tricky, snow and ice-covered descent causing concern, we decided to go back to the Hörnli hut. Since it was still early in the day, we crossed over to the Breithorn and climbed this peak, a great consolation prize! The Alps are always so great because of the diverse climbs to be done in maybe not the best conditions, which proved to be the case for us- a happy finish to the trip and a lofty summit!
~ MM Guide Joshua Jarrin
(All photos by Joshua Jarrin)