Emery Dameron • September 5 - 11, 2005

Emery Dameron and his wife Martha, San Franciscan's, took a couple weeks this summer for European travels, and, in Emery's case, a bit of alpinism as well. On this outing, we started in the Chamonix area, but poor weather to the south of the Alps had us scurrying to the north, to Grindelwald to be precise. We finished with a bit of climbing in the Zermatt area, where Emery rejoined Martha, who had been enjoying Paris.

Other Recent Trips

For our first day in the Mont Blanc Massif, we had great weather. We made an ascent of the Aiguille du Peigne, a fine rock peak in the Chamonix Aiguilles.


The normal route on the Peigne is a great spiral around the peak. Here we area traversing hard right across the south side of the summit structure. In the notch below we left heavy shoes and other items not needed for the last few pitches of harder climbing.


Emery moves easily up the one of the crux pitches of the route, where steep face climbing leads to a very airy crest.


But the fine weather was short-lived and the following days found us wandering around in the mists. On this particular day we climbed the Chèré Couloir, in this image above and left of Emery. This is a fun ice route with about 4 pitches of steep ice to perhaps 80° degrees.

Though the weather and views were not ideal, it proved to be a great day for this route, as there were few other climbers about and the cold wind and cloud kept everything well frozen in place.


Arriving at the top of the last pitch.


With poor weather in Italy, and precipitation up and down the Franco-Italian border, we decided that the only place we were to find clear skies was as far north as possible. We chose the Wetterhorn, just above Grindelwald, as our next objective. In this photo we are hiking into the Gleckstein hut, the normal starting point for this climb. The Mittellegi Ridge on the Eiger behind looks pretty snowy.


On the hike into the hut. This is a spectacular walk.


The Gleckstein hut. This is a great hut with a very nice guardian, great food, fantastic views and even showers (for an additional 5 francs, easily worth it!).


Looking down towards Grindelwald from the Gleckstein hut. A bronze rooster stands guard.


The dining and kitchen area of the hut.


Looking up at the Wetterhorn from a point about an hour's walk above the hut. the route crosses the small glacier in the foreground, gains a faint rock spur on the right and climbs up to the saddle on the skyline, just to the right of the photo center. From there it crosses on the other side of the ridge (barely) and climbs up to the summit on the left.


Here, we have gained the crest of the ridge, and are following to the summit. The Schreckhorn behind.


Looking up towards the summit from about the same point as the previous photo.


Another party arrives at the summit, where we are standing. The Schreckhorn and Lauteraarhorn are on the left, with the various Fiescherhorn peaks on the right.


A brief pause on the descent.


The following day we were to travel to Zermatt. We decided to do a rock climb on the way at Hintisberg, a large limestone cliff not far from Grindelwald.


Emery does a traverse on the first of about six pitches on "Schöne Aussichten".


And for our last day in Zermatt, we took the Gornergrat train up the Riffelhorn, and did a fun route called Kante. The views from the climb are amazing with the entire Monte Rosa chain just over your shoulder.


Climbing the fine outside corner of "Kante" with the Gorner Glacier far below.

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