To round off a very full three week climbing trip back in August 1993, my friends and I decided to squeeze in another 4000er by quickly nipping up the Bishorn. The Tracuit Hut was fully booked, so resulting in us having a most pleasurable and memorable trip on a simple peak. We would climb it at night.
The four of us decided to bring up food and a light tent which we pitched some distance below the hut. Arriving mid-afternoon, we managed a meal and an hour or so of sleep before gearing up and heading upwards to the hut. Arriving sometime around 9pm, we marched determinedly past the few climbers who were outside enjoying the late evening air and who looked incredulous that we mad English should be considering climbing at this time of day. But what a time of day it was!
The warm sun was setting in a clear sky. Despite our best efforts we couldn't quite keep pace with the lengthening shadows as the sun began to set. Tantalisingly, the sunlit snow was always some 500 metres ahead of us. Instead of climbing upwards in the last rays of sunshine, as we had hoped, we were soon cramponing on rapidly freezing ice.
As darkness fell, the skies filled with stars. The milky way shone out with a radiance we so rarely see outside of the mountain ranges. But then we saw other stars - shooting stars. Not one, not two, but over the course of our climb many, many dozens. It was mid August - the Tracuit Hut we later discovered was extra full with people who had come to watch the Perseid meteor show, about which we had known absolutely nothing until that night, but which had been forecast to be extra special that year. Luckily the glacier was smooth and simple to move across as I think I spent more time with my headtorch pointing skyward than I did checking the route ahead.
We arrived on the summit, cold but exhilarated around 1.30am, having seen more meteors than most people ever see in a lifetime. The bitter cold soon drove us back down from the summit, down the dark glacier, down past the hut with its sleeping, snoring occupants, and finally back to our little tent at three or four in the morning, I no longer remember.
But I do remember turning back for one final look at the silhouette of the hut against the starry sky. Just at the moment one final meteor streaked majestically across the sky, breaking into two with a burst of brilliant white, as if in some final farewell.
Our party included young Simon, a strong 15 year old who was clearly much at home in the mountains, as were his parents, Steve and Pam. This was our final climb together. I returned to England the following day whilst they remained in Switzerland for another week of climbing.
I never saw them all together again. Steve was killed the following summer on Mont Blanc, and young Simon who was with him at the time has not surprisingly ever climbed again. As the years go by, Pam's and my dream of climbing all the alpine 4000m peaks looks unlikely ever to be achieved. We may have done most of Europe’s highest summits, but our simple mistake was to leave the hardest to the end, and so too late. But that sweet, magical night on the Bishorn showed that even the easiest of alpine peaks is capable of leaving the most enduring of memories.
Approached via the Turtmann valley to the Tracuit hut in 2 days. Summit day was perfect - clear skies and nice views. The upper slopes were quite icy. Very long and nice descent from the summit back to Zinal. It was possible to ski all the way down to the last parking area (near camping) in Zinal.
with storm and snow - but fun.
Successful climb from the Tracuit Hut, with two other partners. Windy but clear conditions. Surprisingly, there were many -and big- crevasses on the glacier, just in the neigbourhood of the hut (just stepping into it and there were the big abbys into the ice). Somehow tricky walk through this part. Many people.
Climbed again with two partners. We were using a short window of good weather among periods of clouds, rain, snow. Still a beautiful day in the mountains! We were the first of the hut to reach the summit, partly opennig the track in deep snow! Great!!
a crowded but fun climb.
Succesfully climbed, see also: http://www.hikr.org/tour/post7922.html
Summited with 9 Dutch kids, while leading a climbing course
After a lot of snowfall the previous 2 days we ascended to Tracuit after the wait in Zinal because the next day the prediction was good. In a long route with snow from 2500m without views of the signals in many points with fog, snowfall,... we reached the cabane de Tracuit after more than 5 hours and we've very tired. We were lucky at night with a beautiful sunset in the refuge. The next day was perfect, one of the best days in panorama in my visits to Alps. To some of my friends it was their first 4000m and I was very happy to help them to make real their dream. A day to remember long time with the impressive vision of a long panorama.
It's not a very important peak, the route is easy,... but the effort is long and the reward is wonderfull. It's a very advisable peak to know the Alps. I love this small peak.
a long but great day was climbing Bishorn from turtmann hut. We reached the summit ato 3pm or so, all alone as last group, while the mountain was crowded the whole morning. Perfect day until evening with great views
Beautiful tour to the Bishorn 4153m
photos are here: Bishorn 4153m
Just an easy stroll to what I thought was just a high point on the ridge connecting it to the Weisshorn. Still a pleasant day and beautiful view.
Wonderful weather a great climbing with my friend Carlo
We came from Turtmanntal which is a nice alternative to the boring Zinal-ascent. We started from the well kept Turtmannhütte and went down passing by Cab. de Tracuit and further down into Zinaltal.
Nice views on the summit on a cold but clear day.
Climbed this the day after the Bruneckhorn-northface. A lot of new snow. We took a line left of the big serracs, where in normal conditions you find mostly rocks. Not really a classic.
Nice hike up from the Cabane de Tracuit.
Ascending to Cabane de Tracuit in a snow storm. Next day great weather and a beautiful sight from the top to Weisshorn.
Simple walk up (lot of crevasses, though)...magnificent view on Weisshorn from the summit - very impressive!
Took my friend on a trip to his first 4000 meter peak.
Monday 19.Complitely alone along the route.
Wonderful weather and views! Couldn't have been much better!
Definetly worth the long hike up and down!