Jane Diemont climbing in the Zermatt area • July 18 - 22, 2018

Jane Diemont, from "Down Under", joined Mark for 5 days of climbing in the Zermatt area. Our original plan was to complete the infamous "Spaghetti Tour", a roller-coaster alpine ride largely on the Italian side of the Monte Rosa Massif (hence the name).

We had a good start, but the forecast was dubious. Not wanting to get stuck on the "wrong" side of the border (it is remarkably complex and difficult to escape from this part of Italy back to Zermatt) we elected to traverse back to the north early, and spend the remainder of our days on other Zermatt-side climbs.

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Day One. Gorgeous weather and conditions on the summit of the Breithorn. Behind is the Matterhorn, in all its pointy glory.


Traversing between the Central and West summits of the Breithorn.


After the Breithorn, we carried on and climbed Pollux.


A panoramic view from the summit of Pollux.


Our home for the night, the Guide d'Ayas hut.


An ominous but beautiful sunrise greets us on Day Two. We start up towards the traverse of Castor.


Another team climbing up towards Castor.


On the slopes of Castor. Pollux is the first peak on the right, and the long ridge of the Breithorn, just left of center.


We were in and out of cloud as we approach the summit of Castor.


On the descent. There were several excellent ridge crests.


We arrived early to the Sella hut, our planned stopping spot for the night. After checking and rechecking the weather forecast, and calling a few huts, we decided that it was better to put ourselves in a position from which we could return to Zermatt the following day.

So with this goal in mind, we descended to the Mezzalama hut for the night, adding some 5+ hours of hiking to our day.


Though some of the trail was certainly 'interesting" (see the photo above) other parts were idyllic and pastoral.


Ibex playing on the hike up to the Mezzalama hut.


Finally, late in the afternoon, we arrive. Other than the half dozen or more ibex idling away the hours in front of the hut, we and the two hut keepers were the only large mammals there.

We had very pleasant and quiet night, much needed after our long day.


On the front "porch" of the Mezzalama hut.


The following day, we scramble back up to the level of the Guide d'Ayas hut, then continue across the glacial plateau to the Klein Matterhorn, and our ride down to Zermatt.


Traversing below the Roccia Nera.


Another large team heading to point unknown.


We take a short side trip to the Schwarztor.


Looking back across the glacier. Castor is the peak on the right, and Pollux is ever-so-slightly right of center.


And the next day, as per forecast, it did rain.


Nothing better to do on a marginal-weather day, than the "Gorge Adventure".


Thistles on the hike back to Zermatt.


Great weather again on our last day. We head over to the Saas valley with the Allalinhorn as our objective.


We were in and out of cloud for much of the day. But the weather remained kind.


Climbing up the pass between the Allalinhorn and the Feechopf.


Looking over towards the Rimpfischhorn.


Almost to the summit.


A busy place, this summit.


Thanks, Jane for a great week!

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