Berner Oberland Glacier Trek with Craig and Michele Young/Grau and family July 19 - 25, 2020

 

Craig and Michele Young/Grau were in Switzerland (their second home) for the duration, so their planned glacier trek with Michele's brother and niece, Chris and Noëlle (also living in Europe), went off without a hitch. Guided by Kathy but Mark, being free, joined in as well for grins.

 

Other Trips with Craig and Michele

Silvretta ski tour, February 2020
Switzerland, July 2019
Switzerland, July 2018
Haute Route Glacier Trek 2018
Mont Blanc and Chamonix, August 2017
Dolomites, August 2016
Swiss alpine rock, June 2015
In the Bernina alps, July 2013
Calanques rock climbing, October 2012
Dolomites rock, July 2011
Chamonix, August 2010
Matterhorn and Friends, July 2005

 

Return to all recent trips

 

Off in the early morning from the road end in the Gasterntal, the weather promises to be fair and rather hot!

 

The first part of the trail leads through alpine meadows very congenial for happy cows. These two were good buds by the look of it.

 

Leaving the meadows behind, we climb into the mineral zone of the glacier moraines.

 

Up on the ice of the Kanderfirn glacier at last, it's bare ice for nearly the whole walk to the hut.

 

Our home for the first night: the friendly and cozy Mutthorn hut.

 

The following morning, another early start to surmount the Petersgrat in the cool of the morning hours. Just about to break out of the shadows here.

 

After a long, steep, knee and foot-punishing descent from the glacier, we are almost down to the Lötschental now..

 

Our second night's hut couldn't be more different than the first. A modern showcase of a mountain lodging, the Annen hut.

 

Cozy for a dorm room!

 

The next morning, we continued the pattern of early starts, this one largely because of rainstorms expected later in the day. Threatening weather beautifully mirrored in the little lake just above the hut.

 

Hardy wildflowers never cease to amaze at this elevation.

 

Heading once again into the glacier zone.

 

Good cramponning on the bare ice of the lower glacier.

 

Nearing the Hollandia hut, the Lötschental drops away behind us.

 

The next morning, day 4, the rain persisted for much of the morning. But nothing daunt and scarcely loathe, we persisted.

 

Soon enough, it was time for those endless ladders/stairs to the Konkordia hut! 476 steps and counting.

 

An engineering feat, for sure.

 

Hut comforts after lunch.

 

The next morning looks more promising. A magnificent view of the famous "Konkordiaplatz" where 4 glaciers join together in one massive sea of ice.

 

Leaving the hut, down those ladders again!.

 

After an uneventful hike over the Grünhornlucke, we clamber up to the Finsteraarhorn hut.

 

Proving the truism that it's always uphill to the hut. And on this trek, almost always a tricky entry!

 

Arriving at the Finsteraarhorn hut.

 

Day 6, yet another early start and yet again because of forecasted storms beginning early in the day.

 

But it's almost always worth it to get up early in the mountains, to be out in the rising light and the dissipating mists.

 

Turning the corner and starting uphill again toward the Oberaarjoch hut.

 

Looking back down the Galmigletscher to its confluence with the Fieschergletscher.

 

The bad weather did indeed arrive by the time we reached the hut, and continued most of the day and following night. We had hoped to do an early morning ascent of the Oberaarhorn before beginning our final hike out to the road. Given a forecast for quick improvement, we carried on with our plan despite rather copious amounts of new snow on the rocks..

 

The skies begin to clear, but a persistent ceiling lies just above us.

 

Into the fog we go, and on to the top!

 

No views on the summit, but we're still glad to be here.

 

Back down to the hut, the skies are clearing more now. If you look carefully, you can see the Matterhorn in the background, in the center right.

 

Leaving the hut, down more ladders!

 

And back down to the glacier, which recedes ever further below the hut with every passing year.

 

Starting our last glacier descent of the week.

 

Our destination is at the far end of that lake, the Oberaarsee.

 

Glacier toadstools!

 

Last legs.

 

A really nice treat at the restaurant at the end of the world. Presentation is everything!

 

Thanks to the crew! We made it! It's great meeting more of the Grau family. Thank you Chris and Noëlle for joining us, and I hope our paths cross again.


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