Jay Riley's Scrambles Amongst the Alps • August 27 - September 1, 2007

Jay Riley from Portsmouth, NH came back to climb with Kathy, roughly timing his trip to coincide with part of his friends Marilyn Geninatti and Tom Johnson's climbing stint with Mark (so some of our climbs were done together). Kathy and Jay started out in Grindelwald, but once again, as is so often the case, their carefully selected dates for the Mitteleggi Ridge found it buried in snow and the hut closed (slackers!). Fortunately they looked around and saw this really cool looking peak nearby, the Wetterhorn.

Other Recent Trips


The hut for the Wetterhorn, the Gleckstein hut, is beautifully located on a promontory overlooking Grindelwald. It's also beautifully appointed with fine hand-crafted and carved wood furnishings. The walk is beautiful and exciting, the welcome warm and friendly, the food great, beds comfy and there are even showers! In short, it's worth a visit whether you're planning on climbing or not.


The weather however was less welcoming. Several parties sumitted in a fog the day we reached the hut; they all went down however and we were the only party climbing the next morning. It wasn't supposed to rain or thunder or lightning until noon the next day, what did they know that we didn't know? Well, it did in fact begin to spritz rain before first light the next morning. But the moistening was intermittent and insubstantial, so we kept going. Here's Jay high on the "Wilsgrat" just after dawn.


Shortly after 6am a loud thunderclap and heavy hailstorm brought us back to reality, and we turned our attention to getting down without mishap. Here's Jay just before the big white mothballs began to hail down.


Back at the hut; actually a really heavy rain set in as we prepared to descend. Oh well.


We joined forces with Mark and Marilyn at this point, and drove back to Chamonix where the same storm was dumping a lot of snow up high. We tok advantage of the "Scottish conditions" to have an adventurous and solitary experience on the Petite Aiguille Verte. Kathy reels in a big fish....


And it's a fine day on the hill.


No one's having any fun in this fog! Marilyn, Mark and Jay on the summit (or so we told them, who would know?).


Again en masse, we turned our attention to the Tour Ronde as the weather cleared out.


It doesn't get much better than this. The temperatures were still pretty cold in the shade, but the wind was moderate and the new snow lovely.


Our route is the SE Ridge of the Tour Ronde. Getting an early start from the Torino hut, we're well on our way by the time the sun starts to get warm.


Moving onto the shady side, Kathy shoots back at her belayer from the "crux".


On the summit, Jay pays his respects to the lady of the tower and surveys the amazing views.


On Jay's last day, he paired up with Mark to climb the Rochefort Arête. Another clear day, complete with gorgeous sunrise.


They were at the Salle à Manger by "Second Breakfast" time.


A cold and breezy day, but great snow conditions prevailed on the ridge.


Jay celebrates on the top of the Aiguille de Rochefort. Next he's off on a sabbatical States' side, but we hope to see him again soon in the mountains.

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