5 o'clock saw
us setting off up rocks behind the hut. Another group was just in
the way well, so we just followed until the rock ran out and we
were on the snow. Crampons on and roped up, we set off roughly due
north until we got to the "fruhstuckplatz". As can be
seen from the photo left it was wreathed in cloud and covered in
a dusting of snow. This is the point at which the route crosses
the long SW/NE ridge which runs the height of the mountain. After
a quick bite, we followed the group in front.
I was not going well, and the further we got the more effort I had
to put in. It wasn't that the route was difficult or strenuous,
it wasn't, the route is very straight forward. But,as we approached
the Hugisattel, I was having to push myself more and more, whilst
Bill and Nigel followed easily behind.
We had a few minutes stop at the Hugisattel
and I was getting cold and shivering. I put my fleece jacket on
and forced down some drink and a bite of something. Bill asked if
I wanted to lead up the ridge but I just wanted to go down, I was
feeling so rough.
But we roped up and Bill lead on up the quarter mile of ridge to
It's actually superb climbing, easy rock and snow, but interesting
all the way and it was very atmospheric climbing with the cloud
coming and going.
reaching the summit, the team in front of us were about to leave
and we had the place to ourselves. Photos taken, I just wanted to
get down. I lead off (weakest first!), everything to the right was
in cloud, hiding the drops. Below and left we could see the previous
team well down on the glacier below. It about 3/4 of an hour to
regain the Hugisattel where we had left our sacks.A
quick drink and I started down as quickly as possible. There was
warm sunshine and with the decreasing altitude I began to improve.
Just before the fruhstuckplatz there is a small area of quite large
crevasses, then a slight rise and we were back on the ridge where
we could stop and have a good break. Here I could take off some
gear and really soak up the sun. Bill, who had been taking a video,
asked me had I enjoyed it. I replied that I had hated every minute
However, we were nearly down and just had a couple of small bergschrunds
to jump, a plod down to the rock rib above the hut and we were back
late at 4:50pm. The last team to get back.