Berner Oberland Glacier Trek • July 19-25, 2017

Kathy was joined on her Berner Oberland glacier trek this year by Rob Elliot, Laura Tenner, and Kathy Howard, all of whom had climbed or trekked with Kathy (Cosley) before, but not with each other.

Return to all recent trips


We all met up in Grindelwald, at the Hotel Post Hardermannli. This photo actually was taken at the end of the trip, as evidenced by Kathy's wet puppy look (foreshadowing alert)! But is one of the few of all of us together.


Our first sunset was a beautiful but ominous sight, as a violent thunderstorm moved on and away.


Day one of the trek, took us high up the Gasteretal. Rob stops to smell (and photograph) the flowers.


Our first hut, the friendly and cozy Mutthorn hut, is undergoing some important improvements (WC moving indoors!!!). I suggested Rob put the cute little backhoe in his pocket to take home, but he clearly thought it a bit too bulky.


More thunderstorms overnight, and the rain was slow to clear in the morning. We started up over the Petersgrat in gathering cloud.


By the time we descended into the Lötschental, we were in rain and thick mists.


But an hour later, who would have guessed this could be the same day??? Leaving Fafleralp to head higher for the night.


A gorgeous afternoon for our hike up to the Anen hut.


At the Anen hut, a very interesting building.


And an extremely comfy one too!


Rob and Kathy had to explore the nearby Via Ferrata put in place by the hutkeeper.


The next morning, sadly, we had to part ways with Kathy H., whose foot has decided not to cooperate (for the moment) with her active lifestyle. It was painful to see her leave, but she vowed to catch up with us in Grindelwald. The rest of us headed up to the Hollandia hut.


Dry glacier ice slopes reached a fairly steep angle!


The ice gave way to snow covered glacier just barely below the hut.


Another group approaches the hut from the opposite direction, coming up the Aletsch glacier from the Konkordia hut.


At the hut, the obligatory daily rösti! Yum.


Warm ambience at the hut.


Yet more overnight rain was clearing as we left in the very early morning.


The sun was soon back and in full force.


We stopped to take in the dramatic sight of one of the several "moulins", or holes where the swirling melt water finds a weakness in the ice and drills its way to the bedrock below.


At the end of our day's journey, the inevitable (and famous) fire escape stairs to the Konkordia hut.


Somebody's idea of a joke (got a chuckle out of Kathy) halfway up the ladders.


The reward!


Oh, and another reward!


Leaving the hut the next morning, the weather is changing yet again.


We make our way up over the Grünhornlücke.


Of course no Swiss hut (at least in this part of Switzerland) is easy or straightforward of access! Chains and scrambling are needed to get up to the Finsteraarhorn hut.


Another fine afternoon, and in contrast to the busy Konkordia, we had this hut nearly all to ourselves.


Alas, the next day the weather turned truly rotten. We left the hut in light rain.


The weather didn't really spoil the drama of the landscape however, au contraire.


We were fairly wet and tired by the time we reached the Oberaarjoch hut on its crazy cliffside perch.


A bit crowded in the sleeping quarters, but dry and warm.


Our last day dawned with the promise of drama! A howling wind and heavy snow had transformed the world overnight.


Leaving the hut via the avalanche shed, happy to have it there.


The wind was strongest right here, for our unforgettable moments on the access ladder. Fortunately our descent of the Oberaar glacier took us down the lee side of the pass so we were soon out of the wind.


Safely down a short gully protected with a hand line, we're ready to begin our descent of the Oberaar glacier. Snow and rain, mists and murk made the going slow and painstaking, and Kathy got few photos of the rest of the descent, but to be honest there wasn't much to see!


Finally off the glacier! The rain doesn't bother us much at this point, as we have a warm dry restaurant to retreat to in a little over an hour's walk.


Relaxing enough to enjoy the flowers near the end of the trail.


At the Berghaus Oberaar, no one seems surprised or upset by our drenched gear!


Right on time, Sue shows up to get us back to Meiringen and the train.


Nice to get out of the rain and see the waterfalls from inside a dry warm vehicle!


And we're back where we started! Quite a voyage, thank you all for joining me and I hope we see each other again soon.

Your Comments - more info
comments powered by Disqus