Today is the the 21st of March, which means the first day of spring. And today we are skiing down back to Zermatt after climbing the second two highest peaks of the Alps, Dufourspitze and Nordend.
In total, and together with Colin Haley we have climbed 21 peaks out of the 82 above 4000m. Whoop whoop !
Below is what we did so far:
2nd and 3rd of March: we started with the Gran Paradiso (4061m #1) with Colin Haley and Anthony Bonello (film maker). On day 1 we got up to Vittorio Emanuele hut. On day 2 we did the summit and back down.
4th to 10th of March: we had 7 days of bad weather. I stayed at home in Cham, trained a bit, ski some powder, did some filming and spoke a lot with Laurent Valbert, our weather man ;)
11th – 12th of March: Colin Haley, Anthony Bonello and I climbed the Barre des Ecrins (4102m #2) and Dôme de neige (4015m #3) (Day 1 we got up to the Ecrins hut from Pelvoux, on day 2 we climbed Barre and Dome and skied down back to Pelvoux. Drove back to Cham the same day.
Early morning skinning up Barre des Ecrins – Photo:Colin Haley
Going down Barre des Ecrins to reach Dome de Neige – Photo: Anthony Bonello
13th of March: At home in Cham, resting and preparing the next days.
14th of March: Colin and I skin up on the piste to Testa Grigia and stayed at the Cervino guide hut with Guido Perrini (film maker) from Breuil Cervinia.
15th of March: Colin and I climbed and skied Breithorn West (4164m #4), Central (4159m #5) and East (4139m #6), the Gendarme (4106m #7), Roccia Nera (4075m #8) and we finished with Pollux (4092M #9) and Castor (4223m #10) going down to the Feliksjoch and then skied down to the Quintino Sella winter hut. Guido went with us at the base of the Breithorns to shoot with the drone. My carbon boot broke on the first descent and we taped it for the rest of the day.
Colin Haley climbing up the last meters of Castor
16th of March: from Quintino Sella hut Colin and I climbed the Lyskamm West (4479m #11) and traversed to the Lyskamm East (4527m #12). On the way down to the Lysjoch one of my pole broke. We decided to change our original plans: to leave Dufourspitze and Nordend to later on and do as many as possible of the 4000m peaks on the North – South axe before to get down to Gnifetti hut. So from the Lysjoch we headed up to Signalukuppe (4554m #13) and Zumsteinspitze (4563m #14). From there we went to the Parrotspitze (4432m #15), Ludwigshöle (4341m #16), Corno Nero 4321m #17) and Pyramid Vincent (4215m #18). We ended at the Gnifetti hut with awesome food and warmth welcome.
Myself on the south West face of Lyskamm West – Photo Colin Haley
17th of March: We skinned up to Punto Giordani (4046m #19) and down to Gressoney then back to Breuil Cervinia and drove back to Cham.
18th of March: Bad weather day and rest day
19th of March: Colin, my brother and I headed to Zermatt and skinned up the pist to Rotenboden. Then down to the Gorner Gletscher and up to the Monte Rosa hut.
20th of March : Dufourspitze (4634m #20) and Nordend (4609m #21).
Conditions were not easy. We had to go thru a big crevasse on the way up (and then on the way down). The fixed ropes of the normal route to Dufour had been removed. We decided to go up a by a shorter couloir further left. But the last 20 meters were steep and not so easy. Colin soloed it and could give me a belay from the ridge which felt much safer. The ridge to reach the Dufour summit was snowy and it took us a bit of time to reach it. We decided to go down to the normal couloir, hoping to find some old belays still in place but there was not much. 4 rappels later with two on abalakovs we reached back the Silbersattel. We thought the hardest was done but as soon as we started to climb the Nordend ridge we realized it was all icy. It took a lot of our mental energy to go up to Nordend and down again. I was mentally tired after it and hungry too. The day turned out to be much longer than planned and we not much water nor food left. We decided to sleep again at the Monte Rosa hut and ski down to Zermat the next day.
Climbing up the snowing couloir before a short but hard section of mixte to gain the Dufourspitze ridge – Photo: Colin Haley
Climbing the Dufourspitze ridge to reach the summit – Photo: Colin Haley
21st of March: Getting down to Zermatt from the Monte Rosa hut. And back to Cham.
Also you can check our itineraries on movescount here
Three happy humans on top of Dome de Neige – From Left to Right, Colin Haley, Myself, Anthony Bonello