This was after my 1999 Trip to the Bernese Oberland where my climbing partner John bailed on me at the last minute as he and his wife Maria were not getting on so well - he bails on me just after he and I sent them off to a flight, packed up our car (after 1 week in Chamonix already) and were off to Switzerland. Needless to say I am there completely alone and he says - "here buddy, take the car, I'll pay for it - I better salvage my marriage" as he ran off with his pack to a British Air flight to London - I had a long lonely drive ahead of me. This is rather typical of our friendship and climbing relationship.
From John Lee:
I do not know whether to laugh or cry after reading this. This sounds like something you are glad that you did, but never again. I still wish I would have gone. In talking to Pat Littlejohn (ed - Leader of The International School of Mountaineering), this was his description of the itinerary.
Day 1- two hour hike up to the hut
Day 2- Climb the Monch-"easy climb, 3 hour up, warm up for the rest of the week." THAT IS VERBATUM
Day 3- A Jungfrau- A little harder
Day 4-6 Attempt the Eiger.
Oh well, now I am very fired up for climbing some more. You name the time or the place. Maria is now willing to give it a try. Lets plan something this fall and winter. How are the naked Sushi bars in Tokyo? I am sending the good pictures of you to your house. In addition, I also have some of your biners. I made it back to London in 10 hours! I averaged about 90. So that was fun.
Should we plan two weeks in the future for this type of event? I know it is a lot of time, but it might be a better overall use of our time.
Mark D. Hadland, Seattle
07/09/99 17:45 PDT
To: John A. Lee@Andersen Consulting
Subject: Re: buddy
I love you and hope all is well. The trip was great, tough as hell, but great. We had some old friends there, Mark Charleton from our first class was my dedicated guide - I say dedicated as I was in the worst shape in the group and the guides figured that he had better look out only for me, (all others had just completed the Technical Skills course and were adjusted to climbing and altitude, so I felt a definite disadvantage, but the guides and group were great. Another AC guy from London was there - Russel Smythe - working at SAP. Good guy, you should look him up.) Victor (ed - previous guide) was there and Kathy Murphy (ed - previous guide) was there only in Leysan taking others on a trek in the Alps. I barely slept or ate in 5 days, so now I am really thin and much more fit. The first day up to the hut was hell. Over 5 hours and a mix of steep hiking and climbing. This killed me and the following day I aborted the summit attempt of the Monch as the route selected was the most difficult and was over 10 hours long (this is the NW Nollin spur route in the Goedeke Book) , culminating in a 4 pitch 65 degree ice climb which I was not physically ready for. The trip down was long and I actually reached the other hut the same time as the rest of the climbers. The upside was that I took the Jungfraujoch train through the Eiger and Monch and onwards to the Monch hut. Day 2 was poor weather and a day of rest for all. Day 3, I was feeling better and Mark and I summitted the Jungfrau (young virgin - appropriate for my first 4000m peak). The next day Thursday I was too tired and not well rested, the weather was poor and I bailed early as I was having some problems with altitude and fatigue from lack of sleep - god I was tired the whole time. The group left the mountain as the weather was getting worse and there would be no further climbing. Overall it was great to be in the mountains - beautiful and get more experience, especially on the Jungfrau. I feel much more confidant, however really want to get into better shape. Had a great time with Mark, just the 2 of us and he is actually the guy who found that little hotel in Italy - he would be a great guy to hire for ice climbing as he is really easy going and one of the overall strongest climbers I have ever seen - loves Scotch - in fact he has taken up sea kayaking, oftern in the islands of Islay. Great pic. Can't wait to see them all.
Climbed the normal route with my climbing partner Helmut.
Great day in the mountains, finally steady summer weather, maybe even a bit too hot as the snow became quickly soft even avove the 4.000m. But we climbed a beautifull route and did do even the Monch later in the morning.
Climbed it during the Jungfrau and Monch Mountain Madness combo.
Superb weather and snow conditions, after several days of postponements by the guiding service due to a potentially threatening cornice directly above the trail on the Rottalhorn (it had snowed more than 1.5 meters high up on the Jungfrau in a couple of days). We were able to summit this very famous peak on the very last day of our Grindelwald stay.
We started at 3.30 AM from the Monchsjochhutte (in the company of my son Christoph and our local guide Martin) and were at the very windy top at 7.30 AM. We had awesome views from the top stretching all the way to Mt Blanc. Our descent from the Rottalsattel was by a more direct route to Jungfraufirn and thus avoided the ascent route taken via Kranzbergeck (we arrived at Jungfraujoch by 10 AM).
This summit was my 23rd peak above 4000 meters!
Wonderful climb with Georg. It was so great to climb the mountain from the Lauterbrunnen valley.
Went up the snow face to the saddle. Did have to climb around the large bergshrund through rocks and then return to the snow face. Also needed to chop through a small cornice at the top of the face to get to the saddle. Rest of route up the ridge was very straightforward and went quickly.
From Jungfraujoch station with ski on a very hot day. I suffered from a stomach infection that day, moved in slowmotion and could not avoid to leave some dirty brown marks at the saddle.
A very enjoyable climb in perfect weather. We also nipped over to the Wengen Jungfrau a wee excursion which was well worth it.
The final summit of our 24-day climbing trip in the Suisse Alps. Started together with the other parties around 04.30 at the Mönchsjochhütte and left everybody behind. Traversed left on the glacier underneath the Kranzberg. Good conditions at the Rottalsattel and reached the summit after 3 hours of climbing. No clouds and awesome views. Decended straight down from the Rottalsattel through the sérac, which required 1 small abseil. This is a quick way down, but not every year in condition.
fabulous mountain and very enjoyable route, also crossed to the Wengen Jungfrau but judging from the lack of footprints it seems we were alone in our interest of this summit
Windy, cold and snowy, winter condictin fro this summer 2009.
From the normal, the last part very windy and with unconsistent snow: a bit triccky
Valerio and Carlo
skiing down from sunshine through clouds, snowstorm, rain and right to the bus - unbelievable !
Fantastic Ski - Tour to Jungfrau 4158.
my picture are here: Link to Jungfrau 4158m
Very exhausting climb on a hot day. Good snow conditions but less wind and too much sunshine.
Climbed the normal route from the Monchjochshutte with two Swiss climbers I met there. Beautiful, clear morning with loads of fog and clouds starting around noon. Great Alpine +4000m peak
Climbed the normal route with plenty of others starting from the Mönchjochhütte. During the climb I was happy to get to chat and prattle with the fellow climbers especially in some of the bottlenecking sections of the route. I always enjoy getting to communicate with other climbers. It is especially easy in Switzerland where people are so friendly and most of them speak English fluently.
However, the climb was nice and summitting Jungfrau satisfied me greatly now that I had climbed five 4000-meter summits in three days. That called for a celebration so after returning to Grindelwald I purchased a bottle of Moët at the Coop.
A beautiful mounatin in a beautiful setting. Camped at the glacier below, it was quite cold! The normal route up to Jungfrau is not 'easy'. The crux of the climb is at the Rottal saddle, where we encountered bad ice (belay hardly possible) of 55-60 degr. Besides that, there is a hazardous traverse above this saddle along the ice slopes that come down from the summit. Belaying there is not a bad idea. See also: www.climbingtours.net
An early start from the Mönchjoch hut took us to the start of the climb. The weather was not promising; low clouds and snow in the air but no wind. We found a lot of crevasses at the bergschrund and had to cut steps in the ice for one hour further up. At high speed we went underneath the dangerous avalanche region at the Rottalsattel. It was hard work to get to the summit where the visibility was less than twenty meters. On the way down we decided for the direct route from Rottalsattel to Jungfraujoch. No other people could be seen on the mountain this day, (August 24, 1995).
Very nice climb, but we had to make way for all the other groups that day, due to the amount of fresh snow that had fallen. So it were almost winter conditions.