In 2012, Mark Hallam and I met up to roam the Western Alps
. Despite the weather, we managed to do some nice climbs, but not quite the ones we had hoped for. And so, in 2013, we decided to have another go.
Early this summer there was still an exceptional amount of old snow in the mountains. The disadvantage of that was that we would have to be ready to find snow much lower than usual - usually as far down as 2500m, and even lower in sheltered valleys and on north-facing slopes. But on the other hand, the crevasse risk would be much lower, since most of them would still be filled up completely.
With that in the back of our head, we made our plans - and, as usual, when confronted with the actual conditions and the weather forecast, we had to change them. However, apart from the occasional thunderstorm at the end of the day, the weather was amazing and conditions were mostly fine. In less than two weeks, we ended up bagging some 15 summits - granted, there were some quite insignificant ones, but if a summit has a name on the map, I usually count it. Among the easiest ones were the likes of Cima Brioschi, Torre di Castelfranco and Balmenhorn. But on the other end of the scale, we also had the Dufourspitze and the traverse of Mont Blanc on our wish list.
To find out how we fared with that, you'll have to read the full trip report
, written by Mark. For now, here is a selection of my photos.
Annotated panorama from the Dufourspitze to the west