Let us continue our ski-tour stories form the early winter season. As far as the snow cover is not yet too abandon this year in the Alps, we went to the same region—Simplon pass.
We went for the weekend, with the night at Hospice du Simplon (1997m). The place can be easy reserved at the website. The price for two persons is 140 CHF (including dinner and breakfast). In a room without shower (which still is present on the same floor) is 20 CHF less, in a large common dortoire is cheaper by another 20 CHF. Quite cheap by Suisse standards. There are lots of places in the Hospice, but in a high season it is better to reserve couple of days in advance.
For the first day we decided to go to Böshorn. The original plan was go by the normal route and descend by the N coluoir: Böshorn: Voie normale depuis Engiloch >> Couloir N.
Difference from the last weak was obvoius—we could see the mountains around us, but the snow was completely blown away hard as cement pack. Actually, the surface was rather hard to climb—we used the ski crampons nearly for the whole way up.
The top part of the climb is the summit rock ridge, and you have to leave your skis and put on your crampons. It is not hard, but has a short 3m garde III wall (rope is useful, especially on the descent).
Somehow, we were the only ones who made it to the top this day (though there were old traces and reports on from previous days.
We were not extra fast—start from the car at 9:00, top at 14:30, back down at 16:00. In fact, looking at the clock on the top we decided to go down on the same route as up, to be on the safe side with the early dark time and somewhat gathering clouds.
Snow on the descent—not much more fun as for the way up… The concrete hard surface with wind-blown bumps all the way. No fun (though makes one feel rather safe after the stories of the avalanche that happened on the route a weak ago).
For Sunday we decided to make a smaller trip and to go up Galehorn. For some reason first we wanted to go around it at first, but when we got to the Magelicke pass we just decided to traverse it. So, our way up was this.
The part from the Magelicke pass can in case of good snow be made on skis, but the hard pack covered by very small amount of blown snow made it rather painful, and we switched to crampons on or way.
Of course, when we got on top the visibility disappeared (hmm, I am wondering, if it is always the case for me?!). So, instead of goind down a (probably) very nice East face we went along the traces from the south, the most common way to get on the mountain. Surprisingly, the snow on the top part was way better, than on Saturday (probably, the warmth arrived with the clouds and the snow was not frozen that much).
On the whole—a very nice route with great scenery, varied and interesting!
Waiting for the next week—it was snowing this weekend at Chamonix, maybe we will be able to go there!
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