Marilyn Geninatti • August 14-18, 2006

Marilyn "M.G." Geninatti came over from Paradise Valley, AZ for an introduction to the Alps with Kathy. Unfortunately she also got a good introduction to alpine weather! Our plan, much altered in the end, was to spend 5 days in the Engadine, taking in various summits including Piz Bernina. Alas, it was not to be... but we still had fun.

Other Recent Trips

Getting a somewhat late start on our first day, we went up to the very comfortable Diavolezza hut. It was already snowing heavily when we arrived, but after a couple of cups of tea, it cleared off enough for us to head up the "via ferrata" on the nearby Piz Trovat.


The next day was beautiful, and we headed up to the Marco e Rosa hut via the Piz Palu. Here we get a great view of Piz Bernina. We had originally hoped to do the Biancograt (right hand skyline), but new snow and a bad forecast made that seem like a losing proposition.


Nearing the summit of Piz Palu in deep snow.


The lower and mid glacier was quite busted up this year, but there was still a good track through the icefall...


... with the helpful addition of an "artificial aid"!


A gorgeous early morning on the glacier.


Rime and icicle formations on an exposed crevasse wall caught my eye.


M.G. takes in the views to the northwest, from the summit.


Looking back down to the lower glacier and the Diavolezza hut, the weather is flawless.


M.G. negotiating a tricky icefall section as we near the Marco e Rosa hut.


A pair of Scottish climbers at the hut, display one of their "ten essentials"


The following morning the weather could only be described as execrable (i.e. really crappy!). But fun in a sick sort of way, once we gave up on our glasses, which immediately became coated in a freezing film. The tiny graupel pellets flying horizontally at about 40 miles per hour were hard on the eyeballs, but good for the skin, sort of like a therapeutic epidermal scrub. Aside from that, it was really a great day! At any rate M.G. appears to think so here.


Needless to say, we had decided to bail on our original plan to climb Piz Bernina. Now our goal became to get back to Pontresina as quickly as we could, and consider other options from there. Our descent to the south (into Italy) took us down several hundred feet of steep ice-encrusted rock with cables, chains and metal rungs thankfully making this a feasible option in any conditions.


Drying out at Campo Moro with some friendly British fellow refugees, we await a taxi back to Pontresina.


From Pontresina, we headed up the next day to a hut at Albigna, in the hopes that occasional lulls between the squalls would allow us some rock climbing. Here we are approaching the hut, admiring the miles and miles of beautiful granite, and praying for sunshine!


Our prayers were not answered, as you can see! Still, it is a beautiful area, and well worth another visit.


Flowers along the trail to the hut...


The following morning the rain was more torrential than ever! After stalling for as long as we could, we finally headed back toward town. Then... blue! A lull? Or a "sucker hole"?


We at least had time for a couple of pitches on our way back to town.


Of course, this just made us want more to come back another time.

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