Jim and Kathleen Soukup with Mark and Mike Powers • July 27 - August 1, 2017

Kathleen and Jim Soukup, from New Hampshire, joined Mark and fellow guide Mike Powers, for 6 days in late July. Our original plan included the Mönch, Jungfrau, Wetterhorn and Eiger. But a very dubious weather forecast required some significant alteration.

For more adventures with Kathleen and Jim, see some photos from last summer's climbing in the Chamonix area.

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With poor weather in the forecast, we decided to make getting to the Mönchsjoch hut the priority. With a morning at our disposal, we did a bit of rock climbing at the Gletscherschlucht, near Grindelwald.


That afternoon we put on our best grimace and headed up to the Mönchsjoch hut.


The wind howled all night long. And in the morning it continued as we ventured onto the lower slopes of the SE Ridge of the Mönch.


But it was not to be. Fear of getting blown off the ridge sent us back to the valley.


With the afternoon still available, we sashayed over to the Rotstock via feratta.


Cloud came and went, lending an eerie feel to the route.


But near the top of the climb, we break free of the mists.


Jim and Kathleen show some exuberance on the top of the Rotstock.


Back in Grindelwald for the night. The sun slices though the cloud on the North Face of the Eiger.


With a better forecast, we decide to return for a one-day climb of the Mönch. Here's Mike and Jim on the SE Ridge.


Even warm enough for glove-free climbing.


We are still on our way to the summit, but Mike and Jim have to reverse course to allow for descending oncoming parties to pass.


Another team heads down. Finsteraarhorn behind.


On the summit of the Mönch.


More exuberance.


Mike points to the one that got away. Still looks a bit snowy on the Eiger.


And back down the SE Ridge.


With continued unstable weather forecast for the Bernese Oberland, we decided to decamp for Zermatt, where the forecast was slightly better.

After a drive and hotel check-in, we still had time to do the Gorner Gorge Adventure.


An early via feratta section of the route.


Mike traverses the first of 3 Tyrolean Traverses.


Kathleen walks the plank(s).


Amazing architecture.


The final part of the route follows the nearly 100-year old walkway.


Jim, hanging out.


The forecast was better for the next day, our 5th. So we aimed for the Half Traverse of the Breithorn.


Things look somewhat doubtful as we exited the cable car at Klein Matterhorn, with very strong winds. But there was considerable improvement once on the route.


Mike and Jim late on the route.


The middle summit shows it typical cornices.


Now on the highest west summit, we look back to the east.


And, once again, the summit dance.


With one more day, and very high winds forecast for upper elevations, we opt for some fun rock climbing on the Riffelhorn.


Mike on the last few moves of the route Kante.


What, no handstands?


Mike and Jim rig for the rappel descent.

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