29/8/09 Late Summer in The Alps

Three weeks of warm and sunny alpine weather has made it's mark on climbing conditions across the Western Alps. Rock routes, even at the highest altitude became totally dry and snow free whilst some of the glaciers and classic easy snow ascents became awkward icy challenges. Jenny 'going-ape' on the Italian Ridge of the Matterhorn The superb summit crest of the Dufourspitze, Monte Rosa, Swiss Alps Many teams have been out making the most of the warm, stable weather and in the last few weeks I've climbed the Italian Ridge on the Matterhorn, (descending the Hornligrat to make one of the finest high level day traverses in the Alps) the Breithorn, Pollux, Monte Rosa and, this week, the Aiguille de Tour and Mont Blanc du Tacul with the speedy and cheerfull threesome of Stu, Sam and Elen.