Tuesday, August 07, 2012

HT Woche Berner Alpen Day 2: Konkordiahuette -> Finsteraarhornhuette

The original plan for the day was to head to the Grünhornlücke, climb the snow face to the Wyssnollen, then head down the other side and back around to the Finsteraarhornhütte. After the folks in the Konkordiahütte recommend that we avoid the snow face since it's quite icy, we decide to go from the pass down to the glacier, then up to the Wyssnollen from the back side. It's longer, but definitely doable.

We wake up to a beautifully clear day, have breakfast, take some pictures, head down the stairs to grab our stuff, rope in, and head up the Grüneggfirn. The views are great, the going is easy, and our pace is really, really slow -- it takes us about two and a half hours to do the 500m to the Grünhornlücke.
On the way up to the Grünhornlücke
At the pass we do a short snack break and discuss what to do. One of the members of the group isn't feeling particularly fit and doesn't think she can do the full tour. Damn. Ah well, we decide to all head onwards to the hut with the consolation that on the next day we're going to do the Grosses Wannenhorn, which is in the same chain but which is higher and should have even better views.

From the pass we head down to the Fieschergletscher and then across to the cliff the hut is sitting on. The glacier has no snow cover, so the going is easy and the traversal has some nice puzzle-solving to it ("get forward past these crevasses that are all too wide to jump"). The path up to the hut is fun and scrambly and the hut itself is quite nice, with an amazing view from the terrace.

It's pretty early and some of us want to do more with the day, so we follow a bit of the path up towards the Finsteraarhorn (unfortunately not on our program due to the group size and composition). After a couple hundred meters of climb we find a reasonably wind-sheltered spot with great views of the Finsteraarhorn chain, a beautiful little glacier lake, and the loveliness in the other direction.
Glacier lake under the Finsteraarhorn.  Finsteraarrothorn in the middle, vorderes Galmihorn a bit  to the right.
We enjoy an extended break and then head back down to sit on the terrace and enjoy the views for the rest of the evening.
Three rope teams crossing the glacier.
The hut is almost full, but it's new ( = smaller sleeping rooms. yay!), very well organized, and the food is good, so we have an enjoyable evening.

The track:

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