we did Tödi up and down on normal route - impressive route, nice climb and some nasty crevasses
With Sadness I am reminded of Marco- it was an honour to climb with him and I am glad we got to share many good times as friends before his young death.
Fantastic Tour to Tödi 3614m.
my picture are here: Link to Tödi 3614m
July 4th 1993: From Punteglias hut via Porta da Gliems:
This was a very long day! We did the route on purpose early in the summer season in order to find the bergschrund at the Porta covered with snow.
April 3rd 2005: From Fridolins hut normal ski route:
best conditions: clear sky, cold night, enough snow that ski could be used from the beginning of the ascent to the hut and in the two serac zones of Bifertenfirn glacier. Of course the hut was crowded on a Saturday evening, but everything worked well.
The guide book indicated, that the ascent towards Fridolinhuette frequently is 'underestimated'. Off course, we would not make the same mistake.
When I reserved our beds, the warden was still reached by her home phone number in the valley. Because she said, she would be present in the hut for the weekend, I assumed, that she would climb ahead of us. Thus, in my imagination, tracks of her skis in the snow should be present and easy to follow.
Little did I realize, that there are helicopters as well!
When we arrived at the parking lot, the snow looked very untouched. This had been a winter with unusual high snow loads and avalanches more powerful than average. No tracks, hmm. The first bridge was destroyed, but easily circumvented. We went up. No tracks in the forest. No tracks above the forest. Instead, indication of unusual powerful avalanches, that even had rolled up opposite slopes and destroyed very old trees at the lower level of these forests.
New avalanches would go down all the time, but these were far away and did not bother us. Then we had to cross and later go up (hopefully) discharged lanes of avalanches. We were pretty confident, that the snow of the last days was already included in those lanes.
Then there were 300m of altitude through forest. No avalanche danger at all. But this was the heaviest snow I ever encountered in ski alpinism.
Before, my partner and I used to be very proud and polite. 'May I take the lead' was very common. 'I think, it is your time to lead now' was unheard of. Now, the proposal 'It is your turn now!' became dominant.
This was the most strainful ski ascent I ever did! Typically, the ski was 50 cm below the surface, loaded with wet snow exactly this 50 cm high. I would hardly notice, if the ski was caught under roots, because the resistance for the next step would be identical. It was becoming clear very soon, that we would never reach the safety of the hut, considering our speed. Our only hope was, that the next slope of only slightly different exposition would have more firm snow.
Luckily, this wish became real. And, as soon as we looked back, we even saw some other ski alpinists, following our tracks. Not a single word had to be passed between us for the decision, to rest as long, until these newcomers would pass and provide convenient tracks for us. With the last rays of sun we reached the hut.
When I used the word 'leading', the warden was rather puzzled. Those guys arriving last – in his opinion – hardly can have lead anything.
We were both totally exhausted. Strange enough, within a single night (including a meal and some drinks) we recovered totally, and climbed Toedi the next day without problems. Everything was negotiable by skis!