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Dufourspitze - far too cold

April 3, 2019

As part of my autumn 2017 project, I wanted to climb the 7 Summits of the Alps. Due to heavy snowfall and adventurous conditions on the Zugspitze, Vorder Grauspitz, Grossglocker and Triglav I had not even tried an ascent of the highest points of Switzerland and France. In addition, it was clear to me that Dufourspitze and Mont Blanc are only climbed with skis.

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Long story short, the Dufourspitze was still on the List. When I saw an entry on Gipfelbuch.ch at the end of March, I immediately started to plan the tour. The more opportune it was for me that I was able to spontaneously make free on Friday and thus tackle the summit on Saturday. This should mean a little less rush. However, the Monte Rosa hut was currently closed, this would mean a little more carrying work, because so only the winter room would remain.

 

L E T S  G O

After arriving in Zermatt and marching to the valley station, we first went up to Klein Matterhorn. A surreal Alpine bustle that is hard to beat for heterogeneity of the audience. From fashion dolls in high-heels to die-hard alpinists, everything is represented. After a short photo shoot on the viewing platform, we made our way towards the Breithorn plateau. The cloudy mood in Italy was incredible and provided an impressive backdrop for the descent to Schwarztor.

 

A N  E X T R A  S U M M I T  

But before we would go to the hut we wanted to climb the Pollux to acclimatize a bit. The detour was marginal and the effort was manageable from the ascent meters.

After the ski depot, the first 200hm were climbed in light block terrain. There were still traces of traffic, the way to miss was difficult. Nevertheless, a pair of mountaineers managed to miss the trail. While they made a loud argument, we made our way up the nimble. At about 4000m we finally reached the fix chain. The smooth handles made the climbing more challenging than I expected. The subsequent chimney and the wall to the summit plateau were nevertheless quickly mastered. The firn ridge to the summit was then pure enjoyment, the cloudy mood in Italy was still fantastic.

 

After a few photos, we made our descent, the chain passage we roped off and quickly reached the ski depot.

 

S C H W A R Z  T O R

The Schwarztor run is certainly one of the most famous runs in Zermatt. The north-facing exposure is always powder, but a careful choice of route is appropriate, but the descent leads through highly rugged glacial eruptions. Also with us it was the one or other abyss to avoid, the panorama and the scenery are stunning.

 

S U R P R I S E

After skinning up we made our way to Monte Rosa hut, the route is longer than expected, but with a good track it is still fast and after an hour I reach the terrace of the hut, which is well filled. I'm a bit unsure, because the information was the hut is closed. I already imagine the night in the winter room (12 beds ...), but on request I learn that the hut is still open. Reason was a broken water pipe which has now been repaired. Although we had dragged so unnecessarily much luggage, but it would give reasonably restful sleep, that would not hurt for the 1900m ascent from the next day.

 

 T I R E D 

 

The alarm clock rings at 02:50 clock, there is one more say alpinism has no masochistic traits ...

After a hearty breakfast, we enter the cabin at 03:50 and wiggle out into the dark night. Thanks to a good track, the path can hardly be missed, up to the glacier up the harsest serve well for a short time. From 3500m I sleep almost regularly. The height and the few hours of sleep in recent weeks take their toll. Nevertheless, we are making good progress and are already at 3800 meters at sunrise. The mood is bombastic, pictures say more than words ...

 

After about 3:45 am I reach the ski depot, the wind on the glacier had frozen my toes during the ascent, but the feeling was there, so that would be fine. For the hand warmer and the thick gloves, however, I had already been extremely happy during the ascent.

 

 

F I N A L L Y   S U N

After a short break and changing to crampons, we made our way towards the west ridge. 50 hm After the ski depot we finally reached the warming sun, what a blessing. First, from the saddle, a 40 degree steep Firnrampe upwards before the first rock section comes.