Alpine North Faces – Great Autumn Conditions

There were quite a few alpine climbing conditions postings on the forums last week saying temperatures for Alpine N Faces weren’t any good.

Rich thought differently however – and proved it by nailing the N Face of the Gd Jorrasses and the N Face of the Matterhorn last week in a flash trip to the Alps with Stu MacAleese. 

Arriving in Cham on Monday evening, the boys walked straight up to Montenvers in the dark and headed up to the Leschaux Hut the next day.  On Wednesday they climbed The Shroud in stellar conditions, before abbing down the Petite MacIntyre on in situ abolakovs. 

N Face of the Gd Jorrasses, showing the line of The Shroud.

Next day it rained and snowed quite a bit, so a day of coffee drinking ensued before heading round to Zermatt and the Hornli Hut as the weather improved.   They then climbed the Schmidt Route on the N Face of the Matterhorn, finding the lower 2/3 of the face well iced and in great condition.  The upper headwall was a lot drier, with tricky mixed climbing and poorly consolidated snow and consequently took much longer that the lower half of the face, which they’d moved together on.

The classic Schmidt Route on the N Face of the Matterhorn.

Nice one boys – a great demonstration of the ‘there’s only one way to find out’ school of alpinism!