David Dougherty & Matt Ryan in the Berner Oberland • July 27 - 29, 2009

For several years now, Dave Dougherty has been coming to the Alps to travel, enjoy the mountains and also to climb. This year he was joined by his friend and colleague, Matt Ryan. He, Matt and Mark spent a busy three days in the Berner Oberland. The original plan had included the Mönch and Jungfrau to start, and then Dave and Mark were to try the Eiger. But an sudden, violent storm added yet more snow to the already dusted Eiger, and put the peak out of reasonable condition for several days.

In the end, the threesome climbed the Mönch, the Walcherhorn (the day after the storm) and finished on the Jungfrau in perfect weather.

Other Recent Trips

Our day 1, as we step out of the tunnel of the Jungfraujoch station. The SE Ridge, and the normal route, of the Mönch forms the right-hand skyline.


Another party tackles the first little rock step on the route.


Moving right along, looking up at the last few meters of the climb. Almost to the top now.


Et voilà! The Wetterhorn is the impressive peak on the left.


Looking down the SE Ridge with the Finsteraarhorn in the background.


Another party on the last part of the descent. The Jungfrau looms behind.


The following night the weather rapidly deteriorated. Wind, and lots of it, an exciting thunder and lightening session and even a moderate amount of new snow seemed to conspire to prevent us from sleeping. At our scheduled breakfast wake-up of 3:30 am, the hut keepers informed us that breakfast would postponed until 6:00 (and then some). Oh well, the Jungfrau would have to wait.


A relaxed breakfast. It seems that nobody was in much of a hurry to get outside.


An early morning view of the little shack next to the hut. Clearing weather, but strong and cold winds, with a skiff of new snow.


Looking for something more reasonable in the less-than-ideal conditions, we chose the Walcherhorn, a 3692-meter summit on the big ridge leading up to the Gross Fiescherhorn. In this photo it is the peak on the right. Behind on the left is the Lauteraarhorn.

Another group can be seen punching in the trail to the peak.


The view of the Gross Grünhorn on the way to the Walcherhorn.


Looking back towards the Mönch.


Matt hams it up on the summit of the Walcherhorn.


Another party descends the Walcherhorn.


Looking towards the Eiger from the summit.


And towards the Jungfrau. Mont Blanc can be seen far behind just poking out from the shoulder of the Jungfrau.


The following morning was beautiful, and we set out towards the Jungfrau. Starting at 4 am, we were quite a ways up by the time the sunrise started glowing in the east.


Looking up at sunrise. Fortunately, we had well-frozen snow. These dreadful looking tracks were put in the previous day.


The last few meters to the 3885-meter Rottalsattel. The Jungfrau's summit still lies another 270 meters above.


Looking back down on climbers lower in the route, from the Rottalsattel.


And on the summit.


Another party descends ahead of us.


Dave and Matt descending an easier section to the next belay stanchion.


Back down on the lower glacier, Matt has time to eat his sandwich, which appears to have been left too long in the bottom of his pack.


And a final view of the Jungfrau from the safety and warmth of the Jungfraujoch station.