Larry True and Fre Bosman • July 14 - 17, 2009

As he has done for several years now, Larry True came over from Seattle, WA to climb with Kathy (after a week spent hiking in France with wife Linda). And Larry's friend Fre Bosman currently of Lausanne, Switzerland, joined us for the trip as he too has done on several occasions.

Other Trips with Larry and Fre

Alps - July 2008
Alps - July 2007
Alps - July 2006
Alps - September 2005

Return to all recent trips

We decided to make a Bernese Oberland mini-expedition of it, accessing the Konkordia Hut from the south. Here Fre (on the left) and Larry pause for crampons and clothing adjustments as we start up the massive Aletsch Glacier.


Nearing the hut at last, the distance we've travelled is impressive to the eye. This glacier is truly reminiscent of Alaska.


A group approaches the hundreds of feet of metal stairway built to allow access to the Konkordia hut. This stairway system grows downward by several meters annually as the ice continues to recede and thin.


Looking back up the stairway. The Swiss are so accommodating! Without this kind of engineering and investment in infrastructure, alpine mountaineering would be quite a different kind of venture.


The following day we moved over to the Finsteraarhorn hut, in an impressive setting of its own. Relaxing after a climb, folks enjoy the sunshine of the late afternoon.


The next morning its our turn, and we head up the Finsteraarhorn itself. Here we leave the rock approach and set foot on the upper glacier slopes.


Meanwhile the light comes up on the (from right to left) Wyssnollen, Fiescher Gabelhorn, Schönbühlhorn, and Gross Wannenhorn.


Lack of freezing temperatures led to soft and sloppy snow at this elevation. The Fiesch glacier descends away below us.


High on the route, the temperatures are more conducive to secure cramponning, if also less comfortable. A slightly busy crossing on the ridge crest.


The Finsteraar Glacier flows away to the northeast.


On the summit of the Finsteraarhorn, just the latest in a many-years-long list of peaks shared by these old friends. In the background, the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau (almost out of sight on the far left).


Heading back down, the Schreckhorn in the back right.


The following days forecast called for intense thunderstorm weather, so we decided to beat a hasty retreat down the Fiesch glacier rather than repeat the route we had taken in via the Aletsch glacier. Here we are about a third of the way down this route, and about to leave the snow behind.


This route is a bit tortuous, especially finding a reasonable exit from the snow to the bordering rock slabs.


Having negotiated the steep slabs with their paint markings, cairns, and the odd ladder, we re-gain the lower "dry" glacier just as visibility closes in.


Saying good-bye to the Finsteraarhorn before the clouds shut it in.

After-word and disclosure: unfortunately this trip ended in injury to Larry when he fell while exiting from the Fiesch glacier. He is recovering satisfactorily and we hope to see him back in the outdoors soon.