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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 …

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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, …

Trail Running Ticino’s Monte Zucchero

Running Ticino's Monte Zucchero

Stop and Smell the Goats Janine spreads a map on the dinner table between plates of polenta, pizza, and pasta. “I found a loop for us,” she says, tracing the route line. Tomorrow looks like a long day … even without the option to add an extra ridge … if there’s time. Dan and Janine had recently hiked the Via Alta Verzasca and couldn’t wait to return to the Ticino region of Switzerland, so here …

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The Hardergrat to Brunig Pass

Trail running the Hardergrat

Making the Hardergrat Harder! If more is better, then more of the Hardergrat is, well, really hard, and for sure even better. Together with my good friend Brody Leven, we just did the Hardergrat to the standard endpoint of the Brienzer Rothorn Station. But, instead of eating ice creams and hopping on the old steam train to escape the ridge, we continued past the station to the Brunig Pass, adding an additional 14km to the …

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Hiking the Dossen from Rosenlaui

There is simply no way I could title this “Running the Dossen”. Yes, there is a great section to run, but this is most certainly, “Hiking the Dossen”. Hands are even involved to get to the top, but we’ll get to that. In 2015, Janine and I hiked the 3138 meter Dossen from Rosenlaui and loved it for its setting amongst glaciers and high peaks. We went up late to have dinner, and even a glass of …