Berner Oberland ski tour • April 11 - 16, 2017


On this 6-day tour of the Berner Oberland we were joined by several of our friends from previous trips, as you can tell from the list below. New Englanders, Amy Caddell, and George and Diane Ciavola, Nancy and Jeff Ray, and Fred Larke, all Coloradans, and Alex Zenoviev, living in Holland. And new to us this year, Aviette Musin, from New Zealand.

With Kathy still taking a break after doing the same to a rib, fellow guide Steve Hartland and Mark were "Los Jefes". Steve is a friend and colleague, originally from North Wales, but now living in Chamonix.

With no new snow in the Berner for a couple weeks, we expected firm conditions. And, for the most part, that's what we found. But there was occasional sun softening, and even some 20 cm of new snow on our last day.


Other Trips with Amy

Albula - March 2016
Silvretta - February 2016
Ortler - March 2012
Haute Route- April 2011

Other Trips with George and Diane

Haute Route - April 2015
Ortler - March 2009

Other trips with Nancy and Jeff

Alps summer climbing - September 2016
Haute Route Plateau ski tour - April 2016
Gran Paradiso ski tour - April 2016
Haute Route summer trek - July 2014
Albula - March 2014
Chamonix to Zermatt, April 2003


Other Trips with Fred

Vanoise - March 2015
Ortler - March 2015
Albula - March 2014
Cham & Zermatt, April 2013
Berner Oberland, May 2012
Queyras - February 2011
Chamonix to Zermatt - April 2010
Chamonix to Zermatt - April 2009
Stubai - March 2008
Silvretta - March 2008
Berner Oberland - May 2007
Ortler - April 2006
Chamonix to Zermatt - April 2005

Other Trips with Alex

Ortler - March 2016
Haute Route - April 2015

Return to all recent trips


Assembling in the Interlaken West rail station on our way up to the Jungfraujoch. Left to right, we have Amy, Jeff and Nancy, Fred, Diane (almost hidden behind Steve) Steve, George and Alex. Aviette managed to escape the intrusion of the camera.


Though Interlaken was very cloudy, by the time we reached the Jungfraujoch we had climbed above the ceiling. Alex takes the photo of Diane and George.


Day 1, skinning up to the Louwitor. The Mönch behind.


Another team at the Louwitor, dwarfed by the Dreieckhorn behind.


Ready to ski down from the Louwitor.


After a great descent, with considerable sun-ripened corn, we put back on the skins and continue up to the Hollandia hut.


The view down the Lötschental at sunset.


And again just before sunrise, as the moon sinks to the west.


The next morning, the team is almost ready for our ski up the Äbeni Flue


Starting up on the Äbeni Flue.


Summit photos.


George enjoying the descent.


And the long glide down to Konkordiaplatz.


With the thinning glacier, there are now some 430 steps to get up to the Konkordia hut.


Moon set from the Konkordia hut.


The following day was quite windy, with clouds pouring in over the north side of the mountains.


The team starts out from the Konkordia hut.


After the stairs, we step into our skis for the skin up to the Grünhornlücke.


"Claw" clouds indicating high winds over Fiescher Gabelhorn and the Schönbülhorn


With gas still in the tank, we skin up the Wyssnollen.


The next morning is beautiful. We decide to try for the Grosses Wannenhorn, the left-most big peak.


Crunchy conditions as we glide down glacier to the start of the climb.


The view from 3600 meters, the "shoulder". We decide to call this our summit as skiing conditions don't look good up higher.


Steve leads us down the glacier.


The snow even began to soften. Good skiing.


It goes on and on.


The following day we need to get to the Oberaarjoch hut. But with a more or less clear morning we decide to take a side trip: skin up (and ski down) the Chamonixspitze, a 3730 meter point on the Fieschergrat.


Cloud chases us up the valley.


But as we climb above it, it remains below.


But now, as we get higher on the route, cloud starts to pour over the ridge from the NE side.


And finally we are engulfed. With very poor visibility, we call a halt some 70 meter shy of the summit.


We ski down a few hundred meters before dropping once again below the cloud deck.


Continuing our skin up to the Oberaarjoch hut.


It is snowing heavily as we arrive at the ski depot.


Overnight, there was considerable new snow. Steve clears the track of all the drifting snow.


Back down the ladder to the ski depot in a blizzard.


All dressed up.


But with slight improving weather we had a great powder run down the Oberaar Glacier.


Now on skins we ski along the Oberaarsee to the dam at its end.


One short section of ski portage, and we are on the dam.


The skin continues another 5 or so kilometers to the Grimsel Pass.


Truly bad weather at the pass. We continued down the road to past the Räterichsbodensee all the way down to about 1500 meters where the snow runs out and we were finally met by our taxi.

A rather tough day to finish a great tour. Thank you all.

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