Finally got a chance for a trip to the mountains and selected the West Flank of the Wetterhorn as my target. I got to Grindelwald for about ten in the evening and hitchhiked up to the start of the path leading to the Gleckstein Hut. A very helpful local called 'Jonny' gave me a lift, he'd been out hunting and was telling me about his flashlight he got in the farmer's store that is just as good as a MagLite but a fraction of the cost.
I donned my head-torch and got on the path at Loitschbiel which made a rising traverse along the North side of the Weteerhorn and then turn up the left, up the valley above the Obere-Grindelwald Glacier. Deep snow made the going quite slow and I finally reached the Gleckstein Hut at stupid O'clock in the morning. Absolutely knackered! I got in the hut, went upstairs and died for about 4 hours! Far too tired to climb the West Flank route to the summit. Had to make do with a nice lie-in, brunch and taking some photos of the surrounding peaks.
At about midday I set off back down to Grindelwald, happy that I had reached the hut without having to make an unplanned bivi. The descent was a pleasure in comparison to on the way up. Snow had softened and didn't have that annoying crust that tries to hold your boots in place. Things were warming up, which meant snow and ice projectiles were starting to fall from the cliffs above. Nothing too big luckily and I'd remembered my helmet. The footpath passed a large section of bare grass, where a slab avalanche must have occurred a few days before.
I was down below the snow line by about 4 in the afternoon and thumbed a lift down to Zweilutschinen and then up to to Lauterbrunnen to have a quick look around. Nice little town, I will come back here again soon. Stuck my thumb out again to get down to Interlaken train station and was picked up by 3 Germans (thanks for the beer guys) who had been BASE jumping from the cliffs in Lauterbrunnen. They were very friendly and took me almost all the way back to Bern. Good times!
On the way to the hut at 2 in the morning or something stupid.
Suffering in bed
Swiss toilet humour
Grindelwald from my bedroom window.
The West Flank of the Wetterhorn. Sacked it off as I was too tired. Maybe another time.
I would like to dedicate this post to my good friend Rob Smith in South Wales, who gave me some helpful times on walking in deep snow without snowshoes. Cheers Rob.