Don, Jon and Ben Winter's Glacier Trek • July 6-12, 2013

Don Winter and his sons Ben and Jon, joined Kathy in early July for a private glacier trek between Chamonix and Zermatt.

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Here are the lads, starting out on day 1 from near the Col de Balme, above the village of Le Tour. Mont Blanc, the Drus, and the Aiguille Verte are in the background. It's a beautiful day to hit the trail!


I (Kathy) didn't get many shots on this very long first day, but Don managed to get this just as we crossed into Switzerland over the Col Supérieure du Tour, en route to the Orny hut. Great conditions on the Trient glacier!


The Orny hut in the early morning light, day 2, looking back up at the way we came in the previous evening.


And this is looking in the opposite direction, that which we have ahead of us. The Grand Combin is that large peak in the center background.


Descending the moraine below the Orny hut, still visible behind us.


This day's descent is harder than normal, due to the fact that the La Breya chairlift is out of commission for the season to repair some fire damage. So we began our day with a hot, steep, and stoney 4000 feet of descending to the water intake at Saleina. We are most of the way down now, and into some lovely meadows with wildflowers galore.


We headed next to Arolla, for a bit of a "break" from hut living, and did a side trip up to check out the Vignettes hut for lunch. A bit cloudy, and we did get rained on, but it was worth it! What a place.


The interior of the hut; this is the drying area in the entryway. Fine views from here too!


From Arolla we headed next up to that other crown jewel of the Swiss Alpine Club hut system, the Bertol. The boys pause on the way up. Over Jon's blue-and-white checked left shoulder would be the Vignettes hut, if our eyes were good enough to make it out.


Mont Collon, from the Plans de Bertol. Another group arriving from the glacier.


This venerable old man of the mountains calmly watched us pass by below his lofty perch.


Nearing the ladders up to the hut, it's back into the snow.


"What, me worry?" We're almost to the hut now!


The reward for our efforts, the lovely Bertol hut, almost all to ourselves!


The evening view from the hut's terrace, after most of the afternoon clouds have cleared out.


And likewise, nearly the same view the following morning. Another gorgeous day!


Looking back up at the hut from the glacier, we are off to climb the Tête Blanche.


Nearing our summit, the cloud build-up kindly holds off for us to get our views and photos in. The Matterhorn is just getting engulfed on the far left, the Dent d'Hérens still clear in the center of this shot.


But the Matterhorn peaks out for our Tête Blanche summit shot!


Heading back down to the valley in the early summer heat.


We finished out the week with a climb of the Breithorn, from Zermatt. Here we are about halfway up the climb.


Our high point! It was a beautiful and fun week in the mountains, thanks to the Winter familiy for spending it with me!


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