Sunday, September 02, 2012

Seilschaft coaching Day 1: To the Coazhutte

One of the conclusions we reached after the week in the Berner alps is that we should do a mountaineering course so that we can organize and undertake easier tours on our own. Very fortunately for us, Bergpunkt was offering a perfect-sounding course during the first week of our vacation. Since we didn't have any real fixed plans, we went ahead and signed up.

Day one is arrival day: after a very long train ride the group (there are four of us + Bruno, our guide/instructor) meets up at the foot of the Corvatsch gondola in Surlej and heads up to the middle station. After the requisite round of introductions and "what do you expect to get out of the course", we head off along the path to the Coazh├╝tte, where we'll be staying for the first two nights. Earlier in the week it snowed up here, so there's plenty of fresh snow to tramp through as we enjoy the panoramic views across the valley to the Piz Bernina, Piz Rosegg, etc. and all their associated glaciers.

From left: Piz Morteratsch, Piz Bernina, Piz Rosegg
Along the way a tip from Bruno to take some zoomed-in pictures of the Roseg and Sella glaciers: we will be crossing them on Tuesday and we can use the photos to help plan a route through the crevasses.
On Tuesday we're going to  have to make our way through that mess.
At the hut (unsurprisingly, but very pleasantly almost empty: there are five other people there) we get settled in and then do a session on trip planning for the next day, where the idea is to climb Il Chap├╝tschin. It's a great opportunity to talk about adjusting plans to the prevailing conditions: the weather forecast is pretty crappy -- overcast, chance of rain in the afternoon -- and we know that there's going to be plenty of fresh snow (30cm or so) on the ridge.

After a good meal it's off to bed for an early start on Monday.

Link to the whole trip on a topo map.

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