Elizabeth Moceri • July 25 - August 7, 2005

Elizabeth Moceri has done a lot of skiing a climbing with us over the years, but this was the first time she joined us in the Alps in summer. She met up with Kathy in Saas Fee, for the start of a good, long—not to mention rather strenuous, despite our dubbing it the "Princess Tour"!!—vacation.

Other Recent Trips

Our arrival in Saas Fee coincided with the "yodeling festival". A giant neighborly party, it featured traditional instruments (such as the huge alpine horns seen here), vocals, accordion etc., all with a rather rock-ish electronic background bass and percussion! The talented ladies displaying their old-time skill with the spinning wheels completed the rather incongruous picture.


The first objective was Allalinhorn, a 4000 meter peak just above the town. The weather wasn't ideal, but a brisk wind kept the clouds moving along, tearing them apart from time to time for a momentary bit of sunshine and views.


The absence of visibility didn't detract however from the joy of the first summit. The absence of crowds was a plus!


One of the greatest pleasures of climbing in the Alps is the contrast between the wild mountain environment and the comforts of town, in this case, just a telepherique ride away. Down from the Allalinhorn by "tea-time", we enjoyed a cappuccino after lunch.


The next day's weather was equally mixed. We climbed the Allalinhorn via the "Fee Kopf", a very exposed rock spine linking Alphubel with the Allalinhorn. Mo is seen here scrambling along the crest.


This time the clouds parted for a bit of blue on the summit. Mo takes a moment from her busy day to photograph a German party sharing our summit sunshine.


The next day was warm and sunny; we decided to enjoy it in the lower regions. We checked out the "Gorge Adventure" playground built by the local guides, who clearly invested a great deal of money, energy and expertise in it. After negotiating the several long zip-lines crisscrossing the river, a giant Tarzan swing, hanging bridges, and thrills that go on and on, we were impressed with the Saas guides' fanciful (slightly sadistic at times) imaginations, not to mention guts!


Next we moved on to the Almageller hut, below the Dri Hörnli, seen here in the background. This long ridge of excellent rock is host to dozens of quality rock routes. Our objective was the original line, following the skyline from left to right.


Mo helps tidy up during a respite along the crest of the ridge. In the background, from left to right, are the Strahlhorn, the Rimpfischhorn, the Allalinhorn, and Alphubel.


Getting down just before what looked to become a giant thunderstorm, we took our time with the flowers before heading back down to Saas Almagell.


Hiking down in the downpour, we were glad a dry room and hot shower awaited us. The day turned dark and we thought we were in for a day or two of rain, but it cleared gloriously before nightfall.


After a truly luxurious spa day in Leukerbad (unfortunately no photos survived!), we moved on to Zermatt for the "Spaghetti Traverse". Day one took in the Breithorn. From the high glacier col of the Breithorn Pass, the (right to left) Weisshorn, Zinal rothorn and Obergabelhorn peak out above the clouds.


Descending along the Breithorn ridge. In the background on the left, various peaks of the Monte Rosa appear.


After a night in the "Guide d'Ayas" hut, the next day the weather continued to be gorgeous, though freezing cold. We traversed over the summit of Castor to the Sella hut.


However, here a sudden change in the weather caught us up. With considerable new snow creating temporary but significant avalanche hazard on our proposed route and any possible return route over Castor, we thought it best to return to Zermatt via the south, into Italy. We descended snow-covered cables and pathways from snow into rain, then back to Zermatt via car, taxi, bus, and train! A long day.


The following day continuing to be cold and squally, we took time to enjoy the lovely walk above Zermatt to the Trift Hotel. The flowers were exceptional in the Alps this year, prolific and varied. Several Edelweiss sightings in different locations were an unusual treat. A huge variety of alpine flowers grow along the path to Trift.


The lunch was worth the walk! The Trift hotel's apple cake (sorry, not shown!) is justifiably famous.


We finished up our two weeks in the Chamonix area, where we found a bit more sunshine at last. Mo is moving up toward the final moves on the Arête des Cosmiques.


Rock climbing in the hot sunshine in Italy finished off the trip. Nearing the top of the first pitch of "Bucce d'Arancia" in Machaby.


We had time for a truly Italian "slow food" lunch of typical, locally made meats, cheeses and pickles, in the nearby Albergo and restaurant catering to climbers and Sunday day-trippers. Yummmmm!

All images, layout and text ©2005 Cosley & Houston Alpine Guides, All Rights Reserved