Thursday, 3 September 2015


21-29 August 2015

I teamed up with Gerry for this years Alps fix.

We both wanted to climb Alpin-durst (14 pitches 4c) on the Jagihorn. We both wanted to climb Castor and Pollux, the Eiger, the Matterhorn, Lyskamm, the Frendo; the list is endless… so, within 10 hours of leaving Edinburgh we were swinging leads on the grippy gneiss high above Sass Grund sucking in thin air on a bright sunny day and making plans for the coming week.

The Swiss meteo was showing a 1.5 day blip with heavy weather up high so we relocated to the valley for some sport climbing and Ferrata at Belvedere then onto the Grand Hotel Kurhaus in the Arolla valley to pack for a couple nights at Klein Matterhorn. We arrived in Zermatt in good time and headed up to the Hut for stunning 360 views.

First up each day we had the plateau and journey to our mountains in complete solitude. Castor and Pollux were in great conditions with firm and squeaky snow and on both occasions we had the summits to ourselves.

High altitude sleeps over we headed to the valley to mainline on some oxygen and then some multi pitch climbing in the sun at Pierr du Moelle.

Thanks to Gerry for the great photographs (I dropped my camera down Alpindurst) and for his encyclopaedic memory for mountain shapes and names...a great trip.

Alpin-Durst               © Gerry McGarry

                                                                        © Gerry McGarry
Jagihorn summit 
Ferrata Belvedere                    © Mark McGinnes
Breithorn with Pollux and Castor behind              © Mark McGinnes
 Tying alpine butterflies at 5am                               © Gerry McGarry
Fixed ropes on Pollux                                            © Gerry McGarry
Gerry on the Pollux summit ridge                        © Mark McGinnes
Summit ridge Castor                   © Gerry McGarry
 Castor summit ridge                                             © Mark McGinnes
Summit selfie
 Looking across to Lyskamm                                  © Mark McGinnes
Limestone multi-pitch climbing                             © Mark McGinnes
                                                                                © Mark McGinnes

Gerry continues his Alps trip this week with Carol...

                                                                                  © Gerry McGarry
Mmmm, now where is this ?