Berner Oberland Trilogy - Mönch, Jungfrau and Eiger

Difficulty


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Guiding Fees

Booking info

Best Season
early July to early September

Maximum Ratio
1 climber per guide

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See also:
12-day Eiger & Matterhorn program

Eiger

Climbing on the Eiger

This 4-day program climbs the three most famous peaks of the Berner Oberland. The north and west sides of these summits drops away steeply to the green valleys of Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald, quintessential Switzerland. The view from the north hides the huge expanse of the Aletschgletscher, the largest in the Alps, which flows from the summits of the Jungfrau and Mönch.

The character of the climbs is as varied as the topography. The Mönch and Jungfrau are primarily snow and glacier climbs, and on the sections of rock tat are encountered the climbing is enjoyable on solid red and orange gneiss. Both peaks are climbed from the Jungfraufirn on the south and east sides of the summits.

In contrast, the Eiger's challenge lies mostly on the limestone of its rocky ridges. This is a more difficult climb than either of the other peaks, and for this reason we normally climb it last, when we are most acclimated technically better prepared.

Difficulty

This is a challenging program for experienced climbers. The climbs of the Mönch and Jungfrau involve some technical rock climbing which must be done in mountain boots. There is steep snow, and often the final slopes to the summit of the Jungfrau can be icy. We almost always belay these sections.


The Eiger is more difficult, and is primarily a rock climb, with some steep snow. The route is amazingly exposed, right our of the hut. Climbers who are not used to climbing on knife-edged ridge crests will have some trouble here. While the climb to the summit is usually fairly quick, the descent down the South Ridge is long and steep. Climbers must be able to keep to a good pace, even when the exposure is mind boggling.

Prerequisites

Participants for this 4-day program must have previous rock and ice climbing experience and be in very good condition. You should be able to climb 5.7 rock on a top rope quickly and with little difficulty. You should have extensive experience scrambling on steep rock, such as climbing in the Sierra, Cascades or Tetons. You need to be comfortable cramponing on steep 50 degree frozen snow or soft ice, both in ascent and descent.


Nearing the summit of the Jungfrau
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Jungfrau, Mönch & Eiger

Day 0

Evening meeting in Grindelwald, to go over equipment and logistics.

Day 1

Take the (amazing!) Jungfraujoch railway to the Jungfraujoch. A short walk to the Mönchsjochhütte, and ascent of the Mönch (4099 m, 13,445') from the southeast, on a ridge of moderate rock and snow climbing. Return to the Mönchsjochütte for the night.

Day 2

Traverse the Jungfraufirn to the Jungfrau (4158 m, 13638'), ascend via the Rottalsattel, a mostly snow and ice climb with some short rock climbing sections. Return to the Jungfraujoch station and descend via railway to the Kleine Scheidegg for the night.

Day 3

Re-ascend via railway to the Eismeer station, emerge from the tunnel onto the Challifirn glacier, and traverse it a short distance to the rocks which lead up to the hut. 4 pitches of technical climbing lead to 3rd class scrambling, and the Mittellegi hut.

Day 4

Climb the Mittellegi Ridge to the summit of the Eiger (3970m, 13021'), descend via the south ridge back to the Mönchsjochhütte, and then to the Jungfraujoch. Descend by train to Kleine Scheidegg or Grindelwald for the night.


Kathy Cosley & Mark Houston
UIAGM Internationally Licensed Mountain Guides

AMGA Certified • SNGM members
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