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Running the Glacier Haute Route

The idea to run the Glacier Haute Route evolved in about a two minute conversation with our Run the Alps Switzerland book partner, Kim Strom. Driving to Arolla for a run, we spotted the expanse of glaciers at the end of the valley that surround Mont Collon. Seeing them reminded me of 2013 when we hiked the Glacier Haute Route. I started telling Kim about the trip when it suddenly hit me, “We should run …

2

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 …

For a Few Meters More at the Ortler Ski Tour

skiing the Gran Zebru, Ortler ski tour

The Ortler Ski Tour Two guys wearing nothing but spandex shorts, ski boots, and packs full of gear saunter down to the parking lot. Spaghetti western extras with holstered ice axes and dangling ski crampons. An upsurge of dust follows. Our gang is just arriving to start a week of touring in Italy’s Ortler range, and conditions look dry. We nod, crossing paths, shirts vs. skins. We’re headed into what they’ve just come from. Our …

4

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 …

Skiing the Bishorn

skiing the 4000er Bishorn

  Ski Touring an Alps 4000 Meter Peak The Bishorn is one of the Alps “easiest” 4000 meter peaks. However, this doesn’t make it easy. While it has no technical difficulties beyond walking, it does have the occasional crevasse, and the last 30 meters to the true summit can get icy. But what makes it “not easy” is that skiing the Bishorn is long. Very long. If you decide to ski it, and this is really the way …