The winter of 2014 wasn't a very good one for ice climbing in the Alps. In the first week of March, Jan and I tried our luck in the Arolla valley since it is one of the highest places in the Alps with frozen waterfalls in winter. We enjoyed a few days of ice climbing, but then a high pressure system put an end to that, as the relatively high temperatures made the ice unsafe to climb. However, the stable weather meant we could still have fun in the mountains, and so we switched to plan B, which was to climb the high peaks around Arolla. After studying the map and making enquiries, we settled on Pigne d'Arolla as our first objective.
The scenery was fantastic, and the slopes proved to be gentle. Since weren't acclimatized very well yet, it was a tiring business to get up the mountain. I was glad we were taking two days, and happy to be in the mountains. I didn't care that we were slow. The winter room in the refuge turned out to be recently renewed and could almost be described as luxurious - for a mountain refuge that is. And it had big panoramic windows through which we could watch the sun go down.
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