There was no great rush today, although we had a long way to go.
Over the Grunhornlucke to the Hollandiahutte was around 12.5km.
Down on to the Fieschergletscher and up to the col, the views back
to the Finsteraarhorn were superb.The
route we had taken yesterday was totally clear. Oh, that the weather
had been like this then.
We turned to descend the Gruneggfirn to Konkordiaplatz. There was
a stiff, chill wind blowing into our faces. Above us was the Weisnollen
and we looked up to see whether, two days before, we could have
descended from the summit to this col. Certainly, someone had ascended
from here, but the initial section down from the summit did not
look clear and we thought going up would be easier than going down.
was great to stretch out and descend quickly. Opposite the stairway
to the Konkordiahutte at 11am, we stopped for a break until 12am.
A bite, a drink and some photographs. We were about to enter one
of the greatest places in the mountains, the Konkordiaplatz.
We started over Konkordiapaltz toward the Grosser Aletschfirn, a
mile distant and quite crevassed, though quite safe to walk unroped.
It took ages to walk up the Grosser Aletschfirn, over 4 miles. Further
up it, transverse crevasses blocked our way and we had to detour
around them to the south.
hut sits on the shoulder on the north side of the Lotschenlucke.
We walked onto the verrandah at 5pm, to be greeted by the guardienne
holding a tray with a pot of fruit tea and three glasses. What a
welcome! She had been watching our trip up the glacier for some
time and knew we would appreciate a hot drink when we arrived. It
This is a beautiful hut. With fresh new pine and eco-loos, there
were only three other people in for the night and we had a whole
dorm to ourselves. The thing about the Hollandiahutte is that most
people entering the area from the west, the Lotschental, will usually
carry on downhill to the Konkordiahutte rather than stay here.
We settled into the dorm, then went down to the dining room to rehydrate
and to have a beer or two. Our guardienne was filling in for the
resident guardienne, who was away for a couple of days. She was
from Interlaken and, we soon found out, was a superb cook.