Easy way up, scenic way down
Mark and Keith enjoying the scenery during the ascentMark
, his son Keith and me where somewhat acclimatized, but we needed more thin air before we would be ready for the hardest part of our plan. As our next goal, we settled on the Allalinhorn (4027m). It's one of the easiest 4000-ers in the Alps when climbed by the normal route. The start is at Mittel Allalin (3457m), at the mountain station of the Metro Alpin cable car. From there it's not even 600 m up over a glacier that's never steep. The route is soloed fairly often, but since there are some crevasses, roping up is the prudent thing to do.
Actually, Mark had indeed soloed this exact route already. However, Keith and I hadn't climbed Allalinhorn at all, and to make things a whole lot more interesting, and partly a new experience for Mark, we decided to descend by the Hohlaubgrat instead. And now I can say that the normal way up is indeed very easy (though the scenery still makes it worth while), but the Hohlaubgrat is a much, much better experience. As it happens, we were the only group that descended it that day, while several groups climbed it. Apparently the traverse was more commonly done the other way than we did it. However, I wouldn't know any good reason for not doing it our way.
Soon, Mark will post a full trip report of our time in the Alps this year. Until then, with this album you can enjoy some of my pictures from one glorious day in the Alps.
Panoramic view of the Hohlaubgrat. The Allalinhorn summit is on the right. We've just come down that magnificent ridge, and are standing on the Hohlaub Glacier. The snow cover is deceptive; there are plenty of crevasses. Not much lower there was no more snow covering the ice, and then we could see them...
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