Mark Conner, chasing the sun in the Alps • September 17 - 19, 2011

Mark Conner arrived just as the final days of the summer season came suddenly to a close. Mark and Mark met in Zermatt and watched the arrival of the first nasty weather in some time. Though they had planned on three days of climbing, the middle day was simply too horrific for anything outdoors.

But they did manage a couple amusing days.

Other Trips with Mark Conner

Alps - September 2010
Alps - September 2009
Alps - June 2009
Alps - September 2008
Alps - September 2007
Alps - June 2007
Alps - July 2006

Return to all recent trips

Our original plan for our first day included the Breithorn Half Traverse. However, the evening before, the lift had been struck by lightening, and there was some doubt as to the opening hour the next day.

Changing plans, we zipped over the Saas Fee and climbed the icy North Buttress of the Allalinhorn. This is a fun ice climb starting with a few pitches of steeper ground before easing. Not long into our climb, however, the weather took a turn for the worse, and we finished our climb and descent in a snow storm. It was probably a good thing that the lift in Zermatt remained closed. The Breithorn would have been quite a challenge in the bad weather.


Day two was so terrible everywhere we didn't even go outside.

However, the weather changes slightly on day three, with cold winds shifting to the west and northwest. One of the joys of climbing near Chamonix is the ability to dash through the Mont Blanc tunnel into Italy. When the nasty weather comes from the north, often, if you go far enough, you can enjoy the rain shadow effect in sunny Italy.

Though the mountains remained in drizzle and snow showers, we were able to find warmth and sun on Lo Dzerby, a fun 9 or 10-pitch climb in Machaby.


Mark enjoying his sandwich, and freedom from rock shoes at the top of Lo Dzerby.


Up and down quickly, we had time for one more climb. Topo Pazzo is the classic 5c in the area. Three fun pitches on amazing rock.

Mouse over to see the line.