Germaine & Tom Dougherty, Alps Alpine Climbing • September 16-18, 2004

Tom and Germaine Dougherty of Austin, Texas joined up with Kathy for some climbing in the Zermatt and Saas Fee area in mid September.

Other Recent Trips

Their original objective, the Matterhorn, thwarted us cruelly with a heavy snowstorm putting it out of condition just as they arrived! We found solace in other worthwhile climbs in the area, the Weissmies and Breithorn Half Traverse.


Our first climb, the west face of the Weissmies, winds through the central icefall area from left to right, improbable as that appears in this photo!


Here we are drafting another party through the most broken section of icefall…


And emerging out the top into lovely morning sunshine.


The terrain is steep in places but generally straightforward.


Approaching the summit slopes.


Great views on a clear day. Here we look across the Saas valley to the Mischabel group separating the Saas valley from the Mattertal (Zermatt’s valley). From left to right are the Alphubel, Täschhorn, Dom, Lenzspitze, and Nadelhorn. The white pyramid on the far right is the Weisshorn, actually more distant across the Mattertal behind.


A gorgeous summit day! In the background the Bernese Oberland looks close enough to touch. Above Germaine’s head is the Jungfrau, between her and her father is the Aletschhorn with the Mönch just peaking out to its right and the Eiger looking rather small beside it. Over Tom’s left shoulder are the Ochs and Gross Fiescherhorn, below which famous Aletsch glacier is seen snaking down toward the upper Rhone valley. The furthest peak on the right is the Finsteraarhorn.


Starting back down again always feels a little sad on a day like this…


The next day Kathy and Germaine had a warmer day on the Breithorn Half Traverse. Germaine here enjoying the exposure.


Sitting on top of the world?


The route follows a very narrow ridge high above the Stockhorn Glacier. In the background again are the Mischabel peaks, here seen from the south. Right to left are the Strahlhorn, Rimpfischhorn, Allalinhorn (Weissmies seen behind, across the Saas valley), then the Alphubel, Täschhorn and Dom.


Germaine, a professional equestrian, wasn't that impressed with the “à cheval” section! Though the air below it did get her attention.


While Kathy and Germaine were on the Breithorn, Mark and Tom wandered over to the base of Pollux, on a pleasant glacier walk. You can see the rocky ridge of the Breithorn above on the right.

All images, layout and text ©2004 Cosley & Houston Alpine Guides, All Rights Reserved