John Cobb - Zermatt and Italy • August 28 - September 3, 2017

John Cobb ventured across the pond from Atlanta for a week of climbing with Mark. His trip coincided with the end of "summer" and the beginning of "winter.". After 3 days of warmth and sunshine, the temperatures plummeted and the snow began to fall on the higher peaks.

But we made good use of the week, chasing the weather first from Zermatt, then down into the warmth of Italy, finally returning to the Saas Fee area after the cold front passed.

Other trips with John

Alps, September 2015
Alps, August 2014
Alps, July 2006

Return to all recent trips


One of John's goals for the trip was the Zinal Rothorn. So without delay, on our first day, we hiked up to the Rothorn hut. This sign at the hut at least makes sure you start out in the correct general direction.


The long hike up to the hut from Zermatt. Some 1600 meters (5250 feet) from town to bed.


The weather the following day was perfect. Warm and calm. This is the view of the Rothorn shortly after sunrise.


Looking out to the south to the Matterhorn, Wellenkuppe, Obergabelhorn and Dent Blanche.


John climbing on the good rock on the upper pyramid.


Dueling cameras.


John on the summit of the Zinal Rothorn.


On the way back to the hut we pass a troop of locals. Ibex.


The next morning we were again up early, this time to climb the Wellenkuppe, hoping to have enough time to miss the forecast afternoon rains. Sunrise on the Michabel peaks.


Another party on the fine upper rock pitches of the Wellenkuppe.


John in a similar position as the climbers in the photo above.


At the top of the rock pitches, we cross the wonderfully flat area just below the upper snow slope.


And arriving at the summit.


On top of the Wellenkuppe.


On our way down from the hut we stop to enjoy some of Hugo's famous ice tea at the Berghotel Trift.


The following day, being rather rainy and cold, we declare a rest day.


Looking towards the Dôm and Täschhorn during a brief spell of good visibility.




A ray of sunshine on Zermatt.


The next morning we broke camp and travelled to Italy for a bit of rock climbing. Our first route. 4 pitches (though nobody does the last one).


The route lies on the right side of this buttress. Mouse over to see the line.

We also climbed a single pitch climb called Platters 1, just to the left.


Shoes on in the shade at the base of Topo Pazzo.


The last moves at the top of the first pitch.


We spent the night at the Forte di Machaby, a restored fort from the 17th and 18th centuries.


Notre Dame des Neiges (Our Lady of the Snows). On the 20 minute walk up to the Forte, we pass by this sanctuary, dating from 17th century.


The interior of the Forte de Machaby.


After a restful night, we are back out on the rock, this time on a route called Dr Jimmy.


Dr Jimmy climbs a buttress of fine rock high above the town of Hone.


John belays the last pitch of Dr Jimmy.


Following our climb, we drive north again, through the Grand Saint Bernard tunnel and back into Switzerland.

Objective Allalinhorn.


The new snow of the previous few days of storm is clearly evident.


But the track was good, and the weather perfect.


The amazing ladder crossing of a giant crevasse.


Lots of folks out on this fine day.


John on the summit of the Allalinhorn.




Another party descends just below the summit.


And we depart the top as well.


The clouds roll in during our descent.


Thanks John, for another fine week.

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