Dent Blanche - Round 2

20th August 2017

A return to the Swiss Valais, for another outing on the excellent South Ridge of the Dent Blanche.

The imposing sight of the Dent Blanche from a glacial lake on the long approach march

Sunset from the Dent Blanche Hut

 

The main target for the week with James was the Mittellegi Ridge on the Eiger. However, the Oberland and eastern Valais had received heavy snowfall a few days previously, and a reported 70cm of snow at Jungfraujoch put paid to that idea. The guardian had even deserted the Mittellegi Hut!

 

Although the Dent Blanche was looking much whiter than on two weeks previously, the rocky sections of the ridge were clear and dry. We were joined by Sam to make a keen team of three.

Sunrise over the Matterhorn and Dent d'Herens

Big exposure on one of the ridge sections beyond the Grand Gendarme

More moderate terrain on the final approach to to the summit

Summit!

Spectacular views across the Schonbielgletscher to the Matterhorn

 

As always, the Dent Blanche gave a big day out. Crampons were needed for much of the ridge this time, slowing things a little. And, as usual the descent proved trickier than the way up.. 

 

Dropping down steep snow slopes to outflank the Grand Gendarme

Final approach back down to the hut, after many hours of effort

 

After reaching the safety of the hut, weary legs carried us down the remainder of the interminable descent back to the road, finally hitting the car after over 14 hours on the move. All that remained was the drive back to Chamonix..

 

Well done to James and Sam for a big effort and a great day. Thanks to Rob at www.highmountainguides.com.