Susan, Roy and Drew in the Alps • July 3-5, 2007

Susan Lowery, who has had several adventures with us, on ski and foot, planned a varied alpine vacation this year. She started with some rather grueling bike riding/racing in the absurdly hilly Maratona dles Dolomites (we're talking 4190m (13,743 feet up and the same down) over 138 kilometers, in as few hours as one can muster.

Then to relax, the plan was to meet husband Roy and son Drew in the Saint Moritz, say a brief hello, and go on to climb the Piz Bernina, among other peaks. But the weather had other ideas about the climbing part and we were forced to alter our plans a bit. Originally we had hoped for an ascent of the classic Biancograt on Piz Bernina. But the inclement weather suggested the normal route was perhaps a better idea. In the end, the cold, cloud, snow and wind prevented even this.

Other Recent Trips


Here is a view of Piz Palu from the morning of our first day, as we cross the Morteratsch Glacier heading towards the Marco e Rosa hut. The winds aloft are strong, but at least there is some blue sky.


Susan climbing on the Fortezza, a rocky ridge crest giving access to the Bellavista Terraces and the hut. New snow made the climbing a bit more fun and interesting.


Above the Fortezza the clouds build. This was the last photo I shot before being engulfed in cloud and punishing pellets of wind-blow snow and ice.

Following faint tracks, we crossed the Bellavista Terraces. Eventually, however, the tracks disappeared as more snow and wind covered them. With crevasses an ever-present hazard, no discernable track, and visibility limited to about 50 feet, we eventually decided to retreat to the Diavolezza hut, our starting point that day. Even though we were probably less than an hour from the Marco e Rosa hut, getting there seemed too risky.

So about 4 hours later, we finally arrived back at Diavolezza, in time for a late supper, a shower and well-deserved sleep.


The dining room of the Diavolezza "hut" the following morning. Even though we arrived for breakfast at a leisurely 7:30 in the morning, most of the climbers in the hut came down from their rooms even later. The weather continues cloudy, snowy and windy.


A break in the cloud just after breakfast. But the forecast remained poor and heading back up would have been a fool's errand.


We spent the remainder of the day hiking down the Morteratsch Glacier, past the Boval hut and into the forest. In this photo we are looking up towards the Bellavista Terraces, which form an unlikely looking shelf just under the summits.


Lower on the walk out from the Boval hut. The high peaks remain in the storm.


And into Saint Moritz for dinner.


We thought we would try a bit of rock climbing the following day in Albigna area. Here, Roy, Drew and Susan hike across the dam on the way to the hut. The weather was still very cold, however, and coffee and strudel at the hut seemed more attractive than freezing rock, at least until the day warmed up a bit.


In the end Roy and Mark went climbing on the 5-pitch slab shown here. Susan went for a scramble 'way up somewhere, and Drew, who had broken his arm a week earlier and was cast-bound, stayed in the hut relaxing and reading.


Roy about halfway up "Wassersinfonie" a fun 5b bolted, 5-pitch route just below the Albigna hut.


The Albigna hut. This would be a great place to base yourself for several days rock climbing on beautiful alpine granite.


Someone's climbing boots at the Albigna hut.


Roy and Drew in the tiny Albigna cable car.

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