Oberland Odyssey – Day 5

Day 5 would prove to be the sunniest day of our trip and ‘perhaps’ (that’s Yorkshire for ‘definitely’) the scariest from my point of view…

From the Finsteraarhorn hut we walked directly across the Fiesch glacier to the Grünhornlücke col.  After a short descent we turned right (north) to ascend the Grünegghorn (@3,860m or 12,665ft).  All seemed quite straightforward as we approached what I though was the summit, as there were already 2 people standing there.  But then I looked ahead and saw Hannah, our guide, obviously preparing to go along what looked like a knife edge (to me anyway) – AND it was covered in snow!  (See pic 11).  Are these people completely crazy I thought to myself!

However, both Des and Aiden, who were in front of me, seemed quite relaxed, so I prepared myself for what turned out to be an amazing experience.   We climbed Alpine style, with everyone moving together.  Hannah was placing slings (short loops of rope) over the jagged edges of rock, which our connecting rope ran through, or we hooked our rope over suitable sturdy rocks in case one of us fell to the side.  At one point I placed my ice axe into the snow (long end downwards, like a walking stick to steady my progress) and when I removed it I could see daylight below!  Phew, that was a relief/scary, I can tell you!

After the obligatory photos, (you may have seen the one which Des took of me before somewhere on this website), we descended back to the Konkordia hut for a well earned beer! 

Take a good look at picture 17 of the Aletsch glacier.  Tomorrow I’ll show you a close up picture of said glacier. 😊

9 thoughts on “Oberland Odyssey – Day 5

  1. Seeing the daylight after removing your ice pick?? I’d have had to have several beers when I returned to the hut! LOL These are fabulous views, Mike, and I know the experience was amazing for you. Are those trails in photos 17 and 18 or breaks/crevices in the ice?

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    • Don’t worry, I did have plenty of beers afterwards! Bizarrely the Konkordia hut has no running water to speak of, but it does have draught beer! (👍🍺 😁) Re the pictures: In 16 we are actually on a glacier there but the sort of tail end of it, which gets covered in stones and rocks – so it looks just like ‘normal’ ground. The dark lines in 17 & 18 are where the glaciers coming in, push up those rocks as they join as it were. There’s a similar explanation and closer photo on Day 6. Make no mistake though that glacier is HUGE. Maybe not as big as some in Alaska, but the largest or longest in the Alps.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Hanna, that’s very kind of you. (Though you are a few days late as my birthday was last Monday, 13th). As you can imagine, with the lockdown, we didn’t do much to celebrate. We should have been Jetting to Corsica, but that was cancelled unfortunately. Though the mountains of Switzerland are not a bad alternative. 😊

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