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Climbing the Dent Blanche Regular Route South Ridge

Climbing Dent Blanche

Climbers prefer either a beautiful line or an inspiring overall objective. You don’t always get both. In the case of the 4357 meter Dent Blanche, you get a perfect combination of a classic ridge climb on a stunning big mountain, with solid rock. As far as moderate classic routes on the 4000 meter peaks of the Swiss Alps go, this is one of the best. Together with my great friend, and mountain guide extraordinaire, Simon Duverney, we …

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The Balfrin Traverse, a Perfect Introduction to the Alps

This route doesn’t seem to have an official name, but we’ve long called it the Balfrin Traverse. It was recommended to us way back in 2003 by the guiding couple extraordinaire, Cosley Houston. It is the perfect Alps alpine traverse introduction combining different skills for going into the big mountains, but without difficulty, technical skills, or many objective hazards. It is simply a long(ish) high tour requiring endurance and glacier travel. The beauty of it is also …

Climbing the Oberaarhorn

climbing the Oberaarhorn

As part of our Way Up project in the summer of 2016, we climbed the central Swiss Alps Oberaarhorn, 3630 meters, from the Oberaarsee near Grimsel Pass. This is an absolute classic easy alpine summit, with great views of the Berner Oberland’s highest peak, the Finsteraarhorn, a hut for overnight or lunch, and what interested us most, all types of terrain, from alpine meadow, to glacier, to 3rd class scrambling for the summit. While easily done in a …

The Wetterhorn, Mittelhorn and Rosenhorn Ski Mountaineering Tour

Climbing the Wetterhorn's normal route

A friend referred to this as the “Horny Tour”. Starting from Rosenlaui, between Meiringen and Grindelwald, it’s a ski mountaineering tour that links up ascents of the Wetterhorn (3692 meters), Mittelhorn (3703 meters) and Rosenhorn (3688 meters). In the world of ski mountaineering, this one has a bit more mountaineering than ski. In fact, word has it that it’s an endurance exam for Swiss mountain guides and has a sub 12 hour time requirement. It takes a …

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The Eiger West Flank from Grindelwald

The Way Up Inspiration This year’s project, The Way Up, finished off with what may be the mother of all Way Ups! The Eiger, from Grindelwald, with Ueli Steck. Ueli is a close friend and someone I have shared a lot of days in the mountains with, including three Himalayan expeditions. In fact, it was probably Ueli that inspired me to do this project of seeking out the biggest valley to peak days. In 2015, …

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Shishapangma South Face with Ueli Steck and David Göttler

Ueli Steck and David Göttler packing climbing gear

May 29, 2016: Kathmandu, Nepal When I started as a photographer I simply wanted to document what I saw, to be a journalist, a National Geographic type shooting assignments where I responded to and anticipated situations. But, I was a mountain guy and had been working in the outdoor industry with many friends and connections, which I would soon realize had already put me on the path I am still on today. With the exception …