David Dougherty, Swiss Alpine Climbing • July 10 to 16, 2005

David Dougherty hails from North Wales. He came to the Zermatt area for a week of climbing with Mark, and designs on the Matterhorn. we started with the "Spaghetti Tour" so named for the Italian huts it visits, did a bit of rock on the Riffelhorn, and made an attempt on the Matterhorn. Unfortunately, the weather on our summit morning was poor and we were forced to turn around only about 30 minutes into the climb. David plans to try again next year.

Other Recent Trips

This photo was actually taken on day two as we climbed Polux. The "Spaghetti Tour" starts from the Klein Matterhorn, reached easily by cable car, then continues first to the Ayas hut, then the Sella hut, and finally the Margherita hut before descending back into Zermatt. A number of summits can be tagged on the way.


This is actually our first day. Misty weather (we spent much of the time in a white out) prevented us from climbing the Breithorn, our hoped-for summit of the day. But we did make it to the Ayas hut, which is arguably more important.


Our original plan had us climbing over Castor the second day. However, much recent snow and winds from the NE loaded the slopes of Castor and gave concerns about avalanches. So instead, we climbed Pollux, on the left in this photo, then descended into the valley, reaching our next hut, the Sella, by climbing up to it. These climbers in this photo are trying to decide if they will go up Castor. In the end, none did.


Looking down on climbers from Pollux.


The "chain pitch" on Pollux.


And the final summit ridge of Pollux


This is the Ayas hut. We passed by here again as we descended into the valley and climbed back up to the Sella.


Just below the Sella hut the "trail" follows a spectacular sharp ridge.


The Sella hut with Castor behind.


The following day we traversed the Liskamm Nose, en route to the Margherita hut. Here, we are descending off the east, less steep, side of the Nose.


Looking back towards the Liskamm on our way to the Margherita hut.


The Margherita hut on the Swiss-Italian border. This hut is the highest in the Alps, sitting on the summit of the Signalkuppe at 4559 meters (14,954 feet).


Sunrise from the Margherita hut .Looking towards the Zumsteinspitze, the Dufourspitze and the Nordend.


The dining area of the hut.


The following morning we climbed the Zumsteinspitze, the 5th highest peak in the Alps, before descending to Zermatt. Here, the morning sun just catches the summits of the Breithorn and the Matterhorn.


Dave on the summit of the Zumsteinspitze.


Looking out my hotel window in Zermatt.


The following day we did a short rock climb on the Riffelhorn. The Gornergrat train, with its great views, is a popular spot for groups of Japanese tourists.


The Matterhorn reflected in the Riffelsee.


Dave climbing on the Eck route on the Riffelhorn. This is very good training for climbing in big mountain boots.


An ibex, also known more locally as steinbock. The Obergabelhorn and Wellenkuppe in the background.


After our rock climb, we returned to Zermatt, and the following day headed up to the Matterhorn. The route looks to be in good condition, but we heard later that this day was very cold with high winds.


Dave at the Hörnli hut. The looming presence of the peak is hard to ignore.


The sky became veiled in the afternoon and the forecast was not so good.


And about 30 minutes into the climb, rock getting increasingly slippery in the light rain, we pulled the plug.


With the remains of the day, we joined our friends C.J. and Mike for a trip down the Gorner Gorge.


Steel ladders and cables in the Gorge.


A "zip-line" or three...


...and a bit of wildlife viewing salvaged the day.

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