"Boy's Trip" to the Alps: Haute Route Glacier Trek • July 25 - 31, 2016

Childhood chums (mostly) from England (and various parts) got together to do a Haute Route Glacier trek with Kathy this July. A tough, scrappy and irreverent bunch, it was a fun time for all (or at least for Kathy).

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The Cast and Crew, from left to right: Jeremy, Michael, Laurence, Alex and David.


The weather got us off to a great start on day 1, and pretty much held the pattern all week! Leaving the Chamonix valley far behind and far below, en route to the Tour glacier.


The first day being a real endurance and altitude test, by the time we reached the Swiss border and our high point of the day, we were feeling pretty beat. This looks like a serious meeting of minds, perhaps even a mutiny in the making? But no, we carried on...


A couple of hours later, the Orny hut was a welcome sight.


The view from the hut at sunset wasn't half bad either.


I got practically no shots from the following very long day to the Chanrion hut, but I did manage to pull my camera out for the beers and the foot relief.


The following day's varied route starts out in high meadows scenically straddling a ridge crest.


But also involved some steep snow climbing among other challenges.


The view from the other end of the rope! Michael Murgraff photo.


A rare pause on this rather long and involved day's trek.


Cresting the second of three high passes.


Again no photos of the sunny terrace at the Dix hut, which we did thoroughly enjoy, but of the busy preparations in the dark of early morning, yes!


Once out the door, we are feeling inspired!


Gearing up for the steep ladders on the Pas du Chêvre en route to the Vignettes hut.


The pause that refreshes: David brews up his specialty cardamom coffee for an al fresco pick-me-up. Michael Murgraff photo.


Again no photos from the hut, but the next morning dawned beautiful and clear, if with some fairly painful sun cups in the snow!


At the Col de l'Evêque: not sure what's going on here, but it looks dangerous! Michael Murgraff photo.


Again skipping ahead to the end of this very long and varied day, we have more ladders to the famous Bertol hut on its ridiculous perch.


The views from said perch being worth the effort of course! The Matterhorn in a nest of clouds at sunset.


A more close up and personal portrait of the famous peak. Michael Murgraff photo.


A look down at the tangle of steps and ladders that we will descend in the morning.


The blur of motion expresses the urgency we felt to get away once we did get down those ladders. Not much space to work in here, and plenty of people on our tail!


Once underway, a final shot back to that birds nest of a hut.


Dawn colors coming up as we start our last, and arguably biggest day.


A couple of hours of easy glacier tromping got us to our high point, the Tête Blanche. From here, looking back toward Mont Blanc (just over David's left shoulder)...


And ahead to the Matterhorn (also over David's left shoulder!).


This gesture of youthful exhuberance looks like it could end in tears! But no, totally under control. Michael Murgraff photo.


A little further down we have the engaging down-scrambling on the Stockji...


Some of it roped and semi-technical.


A bit of a surprise at teh base of the moraine, which is eroding so quickly that the in-situ technical solutions are barely adequate. But nothing we can't solve with a bit of extra rope.


Once safely past this point, it's mostly boulder battling from now on.


Too engaged in getting up the steep and loose moraine to stop for photos, we finally topped out onto the safety and comfort of the meadows near the Schönbiel hut.


The relief is palpable. Our descent is all (or nearly all) visible behind us.


The last steps to the hut!


The next morning weather finally came in. We got an early start and enjoyed the last low slanting rays of sunshine before a soggy morning got underway.


Not far to go now to Zermatt!


Tired but happy campers. Michael Murgraff photo.


It's good-bye for now, but here's hoping we meet again one day on the trail. Thank you to "the guys"!

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