Debbie Marks & Suzanne Hiramatsu — Vallée Blanche.
July 1, 2017

The summer's trips
Rachel and Ethan, Allalinhorn
Kathy's Woolly Tour
Russ and Matthew, Chamonix
Suzanne and Debbie, Chamonix

John and Jack MacWilliams — Cosmiques Arête
July 4, 2017

John and Jack, Chamonix
Gini, Tina and Gary, Chamonix

Akbar Kahn — Petite Aiguille Verte.
July 8, 2017

Akbar Khan, Chamonix
Joe Cain, Chamonix to Zermatt

Norm Numerof — Mönch SW Ridge.
July 15, 2017

Norm Numerof, Switz and Cham
Berner Oberland Glacier Trek
Tate, Mila, Susan and Jeffery

Laura, Rob, and Kathy — Berner Oberland Trek.
July 24, 2017

Kathleen and Jim, Switzerland
Giovanna and Bob, HR
David and Joseph, Switzerland
Michele and Craig, Chamonix

Andreas Lindström — Petit Flambeau
August 16, 2017

Grant Carnie, 3 more 4000ers
Andreas Lindström, Chamonix
Mike Duker, Cosmiques
Andy Latham, Snowdonia

Mark Barnard — Aiguille d'Entrèves
August 22, 2017

Mark Banard, Chamonix
John Cobb, Zinal Rothorn, plus
Grant Carnie, Mount Kenya
Leiberman, Van Cotts, TMB

Speaking of you...
We like to mention folks by name and feature them personally as much as possible. However we also wish to respect everyone's privacy, so if you have done a trip with us and would prefer we not share the particulars in our e-newsletter, we perfectly understand. Please let us know!

Mike Duker — Cosmiques Arête
September 11, 2016

Winter is coming!

Of course we COULDN'T write our autumn newsletter until the snowflakes began to fly. It's a rainy day for once in Chamonix, after a warm and summer-like October, so it's time for us sit ourselves down and get back in touch with reports of the past year's trips, and plans for next.

As some of you may know, it was a hot, dry summer here in the Alps. The weather was great! But the glacier conditions deteriorated earlier than usual, and for much of the latter part of the summer, many normally mellow routes were either more technical than usual, with bare ice replacing snow slopes, or off limits due to increased rockfall hazard. Nevertheless we managed to do a lot of really good climbs, treks and routes, by taking advantage of the great weather, and focussing on the many objectives that were in good condition.

Kathy's summer began with her first Woolly Tour in the Dauphiné and Drôme Provençal. Joined by Deb Lee, her sister-in-law Pamela, and friend Robin Halliday, they all had a blast learning new craft skills and experiencing the spectacle of French alpine sheepy culture, past and present.

Moving the sheep up to pasture — Die (the town's name). June 24, 2017

Meanwhile, Deb's and Pamela's sweeties Russ and Matthew, kicked off the alpine climbing season with Mark around Chamonix.

Matthew Root and Russ Lee — Cosmiques Arête. June 27, 2017

Then it was off to the races! So many trips and climbs, we can't fit in all the photos of course. For that, as always visit our Recent Trips pages. But for a few highlights, read on!

Early season rock: Gini, her husband Gary, and friend Tina climbed with Kathy and Mark (tag teaming!) in and around Chamonix.

Gini Kramer — Cocher-Cochon, Chamonix. July 12, 2017

Mark spent a fair bit of time in the Pennine Alps around Zermatt this year. Here, John Cobb ambles up the beautiful slabs of the Wellenkuppe.

John Cobb — Wellenkuppe. August 30, 2017

Kathy enjoyed mostly perfect weather on her glacier treks. Below, Joe Cain checks out the dramatic crevasses on the Stockji Glacier.

Joe Cain — Chamonix to Zermatt Glacier Trek. July 15, 2017

Later on, Laura and Rob joined Kathy on a Berner Oberland trek, which had mostly good weather but ended in a downpour!
Laura, Tenner and Rob Elliot — Berner Oberland Trek. July 22, 2017

Mark got to climb with the entire Sall family: Susan (mom), Jeffrey (dad) and two daughters Tate and Mila, in Chamonix.

Clan Sall — Glacier du Tour. July 23, 2017

Kathleen and Jim Soukup joined Mark and Mike Powers on a wander through the Swiss Alps, high times indeed.

Kathleen and Jim Soukup — airborne on the Rotstock. July 28, 2017

Then it was Kathy's last glacier trek of the season with Bob and Giovanna, from Chamonix to Zermatt. Again, getting repetitive here, phenomenal weather!

Bob and Giovanna — Haute Route Glacier Trek. August 1, 2017

David Dougherty was back to climb with Mark again, getting a lot done including a day or two with friend Joseph.

David and Joseph on the Allalinhorn. August 7, 2017

Michele and Craig had a "grudge match" with Mont Blanc, and, along with Kathy, they got lucky this time! What a climb, and especially great conditions given this season's heat wave.

Michele and Craig, Mont Blanc. August 13, 2017

Grant was out to climb with Mark once more, and picked off a gem in the Obergabelhorn, as well as the Barre des Ecrins. The pair would later travel to Kenya with designs on Mount Kenya (logically enough).

Grant Carnie — summit of the Obergabelhorn. August 17, 2017

Kathy and Andy were back in the UK, to check out scrambles in North Wales.

Andy Latham — Wales. August 23, 2017

Finally, to finish up her season, Kathy was joined by 4 friends for a late autumn Tour du Mont Blanc. Mark showed up at key moments to support us as well!

Jamie, David, Mark, Kathy, Laurie and Andrea, TMB. September 29, 2017
Coming up!
2017-18 Winter

We have an extensive line-up of ski tours planned again for this Winter. Check out the offerings below, and look on our booking levels page for space availability.

We'll get rolling in early February, with a return to the Val Maira, a real favorite of ours. As usual, we'll stay in a beautiful Pensione high in an alpine valley, and make forays up the many surrounding peaks and sparsely forested ridges wherever the best snow beckons. The dates for this trip, are February 5 to 9.

Valle Maira, Italy.

After a couple of weeks of private trips, we plan a return to the Silvretta region straddling the Austrian/Swiss border. We consider this a great introduction for those new to the "hut to hut" lifestyle of the European Alps, as the accommodations are quite comfy with hot showers and generous breakfasts, and the hut to hut col crossings, while glaciated and challenging, are not terribly long. We love this region for its many big descents off easy peaks and passes, and great choice of aspect and steepness. Trip dates: February 24 to March 1.

Mont Blanc from the Tête de Muet.

We have two Ortler trips planned this season. Another great favorite for challenging ski ascents/descents from comfortable huts, famous for their Italian hospitality. Sunshine is also usually in good supply! Trip dates are respectively: March 3-9, and 19-25.

Our "backyard". Glacier du Tour Noir.

The Albula region of southeastern Switzerland is on our calendar again this year. We love this unique part of Switzerland, with its "exotic" Ladin culture and sunny (normally!) weather. The skiing is exceptional too, wandering from valley to valley over high ridges and through sparse forests. This trip runs March 11 to 17.

Ils Chalchogns, near the Heidelberger hut. Silvretta.

Branching out a bit, we finally are heading to Norway! We'll stay at the lodge of our friend Seth Hobby in Lofoten, and enjoy high times in and amongst the fjords. Trip dates: April 3-8.

After Norway we'll be back in the Alps for another hit, the classic Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route via Verbier. This is the journey of a lifetime for experienced skiers and back country tourers looking for a fulfilling challenge in one of the most rugged and beautiful mountain environments on earth. Trip dates are April 14-21.

Finally, we will close our season with a 6 day tour in the Bernese Oberland. Always an adventure, this tour takes us through the vast hinterlands of the Jungfrau region and its seas of ice and snow. Peak ascents and remote settings are the high points of this tour. Trip dates are April 25-30.

Skinning up towards the Äbeni Flue, Berner Oberland Tour.
Ski Tours for 2018

Val Maira - Italy, February 5—9. See pics from our 2017 trip
Silvretta - Switzerland, March 24—April 1
Ortler - Italy, March 3—9
Albula - Switzerland, March 11—17
Ortler - Italy, March 19—25
Lofoten - Norway, April 3—8
Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route, April 14—21
Berner Oberland, April 25—30
Private trip dates. If you have a group of friends, or simply want a smaller team, we may be able to make space for a private trip. Any of the dates above can be switched to a private trip, as long as we have no current sign-ups for them. If you would like to discuss a private trip, be in touch, we’d love to hear your ideas.

2018 Summer offerings

Mark will be available as always for alpine ascents, rock climbing, and ice climbing this summer. Please check with him by email, and/or refer to our Booking Levels page to see what dates he has left.

Kathy will again run her glacier treks this summer, including the Chamonix to Zermatt Glacier Trek July 15 - 21. Do be in touch soon to join her on one of these classic high mountain routes! She is also available for custom, private treks and/or climbs, in late July and much of August.


You might want to keep an eagle eye on our Recent Trips pages for a new personal project of ours. We're doing something different this Fall, extending our usual rock climbing road trip with a sailing course! It's something we've always wanted to do but never made time for. Well, guess what, time's a sailin' on without us! So we thought it was time we give it a try. We'll be sure to take lots of purdy pitchers to post, and let you know how we get on with that. Speaking of which, we'd better get packing!

As always, we look forward to hearing from you, and hope you'll be able to join us on an adventure in 2018. Meanwhile, happy times, happy holidays, happy Winter to you all.

Keep in touch!

Please let us know soon if you would like to join us on any of our ski tours, we would love to have you join us.

Have a great Autumn and Holiday season, and please be in touch!

Kathy and Mark

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Cosley & Houston Alpine Guides | 151 Route de Lausenaz | 74310 Les Houches | France