Glacier tour

On August 1, Switzerland celebrates the Swiss national day. Where else to celebrate it, then in the Swiss mountains? Thus I went to Italy.. border.

More specifically, I, Flo, and Tobias went to Binntal in Wallis for a four-day hike over several glaciers. As I am fascinated by glaciers, but until recently, I was not educated in the crevasse rescue, I was both excited and scared of this trip.

Enjoying mid-summer.

The tour started with several troubles. Flo boarded a wrong train and forgot to take a stove. Tobias was not that surprised, having already experienced such Flo’s days. To my surprise, they managed to get the stove by a flatmate, so Flo was just 2 hours behind us (instead of 4 hours, as the train went once per 2 hours). Secondly, a hiking trail that we selected for the first day was closed due to a massive rockslide. A detour added 3 km and 300 elevation meters, totaling in 10 km with 1 km elevation.

We used the extra time for lunch by a mystery lake, which is mysterious by its no out-flow, at a place of Ticino-Rhône drainage divide. We refilled our water, I swam (in this order), and Flo caught on us.

This is the no out-flow lake.

After two more kilometers, we reached Griesgletcher, snaillike flowing down the valley. The dirt on its surface made walking with bare boots possible, even at 20° slope. The dust was only on the top, so all the streams of water cutting its path deeper into the ice were crystal clear. We were not roped up, so I was free to observe all the fascinating shapes that water in its liquid and solid states can form. It was a sunny afternoon, but on the glacier, the temperature was just perfect, with the valley wind getting colder with increasing altitude, as it flows over the chilling ice.

Note: I would never finish this, so from here I release mainly pictures with some comment.

The safe part of the glacier, no gear needed.

I was fascinated by these shapes in the glacier.

And more shapes :D.

We found a safe place for camping in 2750 masl below Punta dei Camosci. Tobias made a great dinner.

Camping view!

The weather changed on Friday. The plan was to reach Blinnenhorn, which we renamed to Blindenhorn, as it was never visible.

Rare moment of visibility, but this is not Blinnenhorn.

Eventually, we decided to skip the ascent of Blinnenhorn just 200 meters below the top (Blinnenhorn is 3374 m high). The rain was forcing us to go to the cabin Rifugio Claudio e Bruno. All of us realized that we forgot to take euros for this trip.

Luckily the weather for the evening was good, so we moved away from the hut.

On Saturday, we planned another ascent, this time to Ofenhorn (3235 m). Again, we canceled it due to weather.

Instead, we spent the time with crevasse rescue training.

Heeeelp! …

… from this view from “crevasse”.

In the meantime, the weather got better, but we were lazy to do the ascent.

So we passed the Hohsandjoch with the views to the Binn valley.

Which looked like this in lower altitudes.

I loved this view, so we camped here!

And practices some acroyoga.

We realized that we can see some 4k peaks, such as Weisshorn.

Last look back to Ofenhorn, before finishing the trip in Binn.

In general, we have skipped both high peaks, and I enjoyed that feeling on missed closure. I see Swiss people so dedicated to ascents that they forget to enjoy the journey. But we have spent our time as we felt was right. It was both an enriching experience, as I was happy to get some crevasse rescue practice, and relaxing, which gives you more time to feel the mountains.

Written on August 1, 2019