Andy Latham, climbing with Kathy • August 18-22, 2015

Andy Latham was back in the Alps climbing with Kathy again this year. They visited a couple of new areas (to them) in Switzerland, and a familiar classic in Chamonix. The heatwave of the summer of 2015 was definitely over, and the weather mixed, but there was some good climbing nevertheless.


Other Trips with Andy

Bernese Oberland Glacier Trek 2014
Chamonix to Zermatt Glacier Trek 2013
Alps September 2012
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

Heading up to the Tierbergli Hut, we hope to climb the Gwachtenhorn, a mostly glacier climb. But things are not looking that auspicious...


The Tierbergli hut, undergoing some renovation, on its perch above the glacier.


By dinner time the rain was already turning to snow.


The view from our dormitory window the following morning, was not encouraging. The combination of a significant amount of new snow and very poor visibility convinced us not to venture out onto an unknown, untracked and crevassed glacier.


A large Dutch military group prepares to head out for some training exercises, while we rope up for the slippery trek back down the steep and exposed track.


Back at the car, we found a warm place for a cup of coffee, while others practiced crevasse extrication techniques under the shelter of the eaves next door.


The next morning dawned clear and sunny. We headed up the tram to the Stockhorn, for a quick climb in the morning before heading in to our next hut, the Lobhörner hut. The tram passes over idyllic Swiss farmlands, perfectly groomed!


The beginning of our climb, the sign says "Caution, sheep! Keep your dog on a leash!" Andy is happy to comply.


The airy character of this nice, scenic climb, is helpful for getting our climbing legs warmed up and our psyches re-accustomed to being up in the sky.


Meadowy interludes along the ridge are full of edelweiss!


The climb ends comfortably at a scenic high point above the cable car station.


After a short drive to Isenfluh, we ride a tiny cable car to the idyllic mountain restaurant at Sulwald.


About an hour's walk through shady woods brings us to a small, real working farm on the "Alp". Pigs and dairy cows are kept here.


The farmhouse, and next to it the base of a utility cable car, used for bringing milk down from the dairy barn high above, to be made into cheese here. This cheese, along with fresh milk and butter, are sold here, and also bought and used by the nearby Lobhörner hut, and once a year the cheese is helicoptered down to the valley to be sold more widely there. Fascinating to see how the old ways continue, aided by modern technology but essentially unchanged from traditional practices.


Trophy bells proudly displayed on the farmhouse walls.


At last we reached the charming little Lobhörner hut, perched on a steep hillside across from Wengen, and the Eiger/Mönch/Jungfrau trio.


The hut is tiny, but welcoming and immaculately clean. We are shown to our attic dormitory. We feel like Heidi! Well, Kathy does.


We are met at the door by Irene Tamang, with a treat and a drink. A lovely welcome.


The terrace, and Irene and Talak's herb garden for the kitchen.


The bathrooms, while outdoors, have a phenomenal view (the signs say "Eiger view" and "Jungfrau view" and are also immaculately clean and snug.


And this is the sparkliest outdoor washroom I've ever been "in".


The next morning is looking promising for our climb. The Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau behind Andy catching the first rays.


This outrageous looking formation, the Lobhörner, is our climb for the day.


But first we have to take a few parting shots of the hut catching the morning light. Irene comes out to document the beautiful sunrise.


After about an hour's walking, we get a view from above, of what must surely be one of the world's most scenic milking barns!


The famous trio once again, from left to right, Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau. This was the clearest they showed themselves all day, as mid level clouds played the dance of the seven veils.


At last we are getting close to our climbing objective, which looks ever more improbable.


Once under way, it still looks intimidating, but the climbing is good and the situations dramatic.


The route wanders up hill and and down dale among several towers.


Near the top at last! The large lake in the left background is the Brienzersee (near Interlaken).


Andy sets up for the first of a few airy rappels to get down off this thing.


The last one is juuuuuust a weeeeeee bit more than 25 meters! The ropes make it, but with not a whole lot to spare.


With just one day left, we returned to Chamonix, where we had a fine (if chilly!) day in the Aiguilles Rouges, climbing Mani Puliti. Andy on the steep crux pitch.


And the obligatory shot from the niche below the final pitch!


Looking across the way, it's a busy day on the Aiguille de l'Index!


Andy has to move on to other travels, but hopefully this is just "au revoir" to the Alps.