Andy Latham, climbing with Kathy • September 6-9, 2012

After three years away, Andy Latham was back in the Alps to climb with Kathy. There are very few 4000m peaks he has not yet done, and those there are were put rather out of condition by a recent very cold snowstorm. So we spent our time on a thorough introduction (or re-introduction) to leading on rock. We started out in Chamonix, and our trip culminated in a fairly "alpine" rock ascent of the Wiwannihorn, in Switzerland.


Other Trips with Andy

Alps August 2009
Alps August 2008
Alps August 2007
Mt. Kenya January 2007
Alps August 2006
Alps August 2005
Nepal Autumn 2004
Swiss Alps 2004
Cho Oyu 2001
And many more that did not get chronicled!

Return to all recent trips

Andy leading the first pitch of Mani Puliti, in the Aiguilles Rouges.


We started out with some review at the Gaillands cliff, just outside of Chamonix.

Andy leading up a second pitch...

The rappel is all set up.

Views from the cliffs across to Mont Blanc in the autumn haze.

The next day it was on to a longer climb in the Aiguilles Rouges. Looking down at another climbing team, from high on Mani Puliti.

Andy topping out on the second-to-last pitch. The Aiguille Verte and Les Drus, Aiguille d'Argentière and Aiguille de Chardonnet in the background.

The view over to climbers descending the Aiguille de l'Index, with Mont Blanc behind.

For our last project we decided to leave town and go up to the Wiwanni hut, a lesser known but beautifully situated Swiss hut in a sun-soaked rock climbers playground. Kathy's "cheat sheet" from the Swiss guidebook "Plaisir West" in the Filidor series. We climbed route 10, "Gemstritt".

The Wiwannihorn, with the hut (looking tiny!) to its right.

Arriving at the hut in the late afternoon, we find a little bit of heaven. Climbers relaxing after their labors and enjoying the last warmth of the September sunshine.

Capturing the impressive panorama of peaks across the upper Rhone valley.

The Wiwanni hut is a cozy, friendly little place. Getting ready for dinner in the new annex dining area.

They even have their own local label wine! Notice the English inscription: "Makes people talk". Hmmmm.... maybe our secret services could take this hint...

We got an early start the next morning. Climbers take time to enjoy the sunrise views of the Weismiess.

Andy takes the lead on Gemstritt.

Topping out on the route, you can appreciate the setting. In the distance, from right to left, are the Weisshorn, the Breitorn and other peaks at the head of the Mattertal, and the Mischabel peaks separating the Saastal and Mattertal valleys.

On the summit of the Wiwannihorn, the views are down the upper Rhone valley toward Martigny.

A view into the Swiss "back of beyond": On the left, the Bietschorn, on the right, Nesthorn. In between, yet another Breithorn! Behind these peaks lies the Aletsch Glacier region and the Bernese Oberland peaks.

Back at the hut, a well-earned beer to fortify us for the trip home.

So long for now, Wiwanni!