Berner Oberland Ski Tour • May 1-6, 2005

These are photos from our last trip of the season, a 6-day Berner Oberland tour. for this adventure we were joined by a gang o' four, all doctors, Clay Wertheimer, Ralph Haller, and Cris Wilhelm from the Pacific Northwest, and Joe Castorina from Maine, and also by Langley Muir from Ottawa, and Haute Route Veteran, Rick Winfield lately of South Lake Tahoe.

We had quite a mix of weather, starting good, then not so good, good again and finishing in a true blizzard. But such are the ways of the mountains. Even the bad weather was fun, in a sick sort of way.

Other Recent Trips

The first day of the tour starts with a ride up the Jungfraujoch railway. This photo was taken from the train as it climbs up above the Lauterbrunnen valley. The Jungfrau is up and left and the Grosshorn, Breithorn and Tschingelhorn at the head of the valley.

Normally I try to refrain from shooting photos from moving vehicles, but this was simply too pretty to resist.


Skiing up over the Louwitor a high pass just south of the Jungfrau. Cris, Ralph and Clay lead the pack.


Skiing down on the south side of the Louwitor, heading for the Grosser Aletschfirn below. We'll turn right and ski up to the Hollandia hut, out of sight up-glacier.


Heading up to the Hollandia hut, under the impressive ice cliffs on the north side of the Aletschhorn.


The Hollandia hut.


Langley, Rick, Ralph and Clay amuse themselves in the Hollandia hut.


The following morning dawned clear, and we set our sights on the Äbeni Flue, a high peak just north of the hut. A view looking back at the hut as we start up.


Looking east, toward Konkordiaplatz


Skiing up towards the Äbeni Flue, visible in the background.


The summit of the Äbeni Flue.


Starting the descent with the Aletschhorn behind.


We carried on to the Konkordia hut, and had, of course to celebrate. Here we see the world through a schnapps glass. Left to right are Joe, Cris, Kathy (visible only through the glass), Ralph, Rick and Clay.


I have no photos from the following day, as the weather was really pretty poor. But we had an uneventful traverse from the Konkordia hut to the Finsteraarhorn hut, seen here. This hut has been recently remodeled, and it is exceptionally comfortable now. 8 thumbs, way up.


The following morning, under clearing skies, we began a climb of the Hinter Fiescherhorn, one of the local 4000 meter peaks. In this photo the sun lights up the Gross Wannenhorn.


The Hinter Fiescherhorn hides in the cloud behind.


We get up close and personal to some big ice towers as we gain the upper shelf of the glacier.


Looking back down the Fiescher Glacier and the Wannenhorn.


Here, we have gained the upper glacial plateau and are looking back at the Finsteraarhorn.


The last few feet of steepness on the Hinter Fiescherhorn, climbed on foot in crampons.


Clay and Ralph on the summit.


And Kathy, Rick and Joe.


The fog creeps up the valley as we descend the Fiescher Glacier.


Back early, Clay, Langley, Kathy and Mark go for a bit of a tour above the hut.


The next day we skied from the finsteraarhorn hut t the Oberaarjoch hut. The weather was cloudy and the light flat, so we opted not to do an ascent of the Wannenhorn (a big objective on any day, but carried on straight to the hut.

The approach to the hut includes, ladders, chains and some drifted snow.


And the last day out from the hut was in quite nasty weather. Here we are putting on skis just below the hut.


We chose a descent to Grimsel as the best option given the weather.


From the pass, we followed the road down and north passing through a tunnel or two, but mostly just gliding on skis.


And finally we reach a point where a taxi can pick us up for the quick ride down to Meiringen, then on train to Interlaken, not far away.

All images, layout and text ©2005 Cosley & Houston Alpine Guides, All Rights Reserved