11/8/09 Traverse of the Ober Gabelhorn & Wiwani Alpine 'Paradise'
I had a few days holiday with my girlfriend Jenny in the Swiss Valais last week. We took the long and delightful stroll out of Zermatt up to the Arben Bivvi Hut which nestles conveniently under the impressive rocky South Face of the Ober Gabelhorn. The traverse of this small but proud 4000m peak is a real alpine treat to savour with a wide variety of terrain from perfect ridge scrambling, rock pitches, abseiling and down climbing snowy mixed ground aswell as classic snow aretes, the lot! The descent of the ENE ridge down to the Rothorn Hutte via the Wellenkuppe is not trivial and demands concentration throughout both in route finding and careful down climbing, not to mention some buch yarding on the fixed ropes of the Grande Gendarme! After Rosti and applestrudel at the Rothorn hut all that is left is the knee crunching 1700m descent straight down to the Brown Cow in Zermatt and a fitting climax to this real classic alpine traverse. As the weather deteriorated a retreat to the comfortable sanctity of the Wiwani hut, North of Visp, was called for. This hut boasts some of the finest hospitality, cake and wine around. The alpine sport rock and scrambling are pretty fine too. It's well worth a visit if you are in the area: http://www.wiwanni.ch/EN/huette.php You can even do yoga courses there!