Northern Mountain Sport / Blog / Bernese Oberland (video) and Training for the Diploma in Mountain Medicine

Bernese Oberland (video) and Training for the Diploma in Mountain Medicine

Once again I've been into the Oberland. This huge area lying north of the Rhone valley is home to many 4000m peaks as well as Western Europe's longest glacier, the Aletsch Glacier (a UNESCO World Heritage site). Doug and Alex had climbed the Finsteraarhorn before and accessed the area from the Rhone valley (via Fiesch) but not visited via the Jungfraujoch. Whilst not cheap this way does give unrivalled access to the peaks and you literally step off the train into the heart of the massif.

We headed down the glacier to the Konkordia Hut on day one and found a metre of fresh snow had fallen at the Jungfraujoch. With the Jungfrau potentially as a target this week this wasn't a great sign but we decided to let the snow cook a bit (settle down) as well as hopefully allowing a local guide to put a track in! The Konkordia Hut has new guardians who are bringing up their (very) new family there. Their daughter is less than two weeks old but they all seem to be handling things fine.

Our first objective was the Grunegghorn. This is a really good training peak at just short of 4000m. It has a glacial approach, a snow ridge and arete as well as some simple mixed terrain. Unfortunately after the fresh snow it was hard work and it took a good six hours of trail breaking to reach the summit; I think we all thought it was worth it however and the views from the top were exceptional. Strangely the Germans in the hut (who started an hour later) failed to make it after getting lost on the glacial approach. The strange bit is they went back to the hut to explain that they, in fact had taken the 'correct route' as we had gone wrong. I am still thinking about that one.

We then headed back up the glacier to the fleshpots of the Jungfraujoch. We did this in a speedy 4 hours after an early start to avoid the softening snow bridges. Even so we had to weave a chaotic line through some maze like crevase fields which seem to be opening up just now. A well earned 'spagbol' at the incredibly priced cafe had us fuelled for our next day's objective; the Monch.

This PD+ peak is one of the Oberland's finest and has a great finish; a knife edge arete to a small summit. We opted for a half past four breakfast to ensure we got this section in the best condition possible and I think we were pleased with our choice. Great rocky, mixed terrain leads to the sensational finish where good footwork and lack of imagination pays dividends.

To finish we thought we would head out and climb the North Face of the Eiger (or at least on the 'extreme right hand side of it!). The Rottstock is a subsiduary peak of the Eiger and has a great 'Via Ferrata' or Klettersteige but with a mountaineering flavour (it can be done without normal clippers but needs a rope). We climbed this alongside Twid who we teamed up with in the hut for a great finale.

After heading back to Chamonix I went out for the next two days with Doctors studying for their Diploma in Mountain Medicine. They had already climbed the previous two days on the Mer de Glace and Crochue Berard but were going to consolidate skills from the Torino Hut. This high hut is a great place from which to train and there is a variety of routes to go at. We spent the first day on an intensive crevasse rescue and glacial session; the learning point for me is how unreliable snow anchors can be! The next day we traversed the excellent Aiguille Marbrees which is one of the best PD's in the area with a nice rock crux which has to be pitched. They are all now going on to Arolla to complete their assessment and I wish them well.


Log in or create a user account to comment.

1 % for the planet 1% for the planet 1st Pointe des Nantillons 4000m peaks Aiguile Chardonnet Aiguille d'Argentiere Aiguille d'Entreves Aiguille d'Orny Aiguille de Bionnassay Aiguille de Chardonnet Aiguille de l'M Aiguille de la Berangere Aiguille des Pelerins Aiguille Dibona Aiguille du Chardonnet Aiguille du Tour Aiguille Entreves Aiguille Marbrees Aiguille Noire de Peutery Aiguille Verte Aiguilles Rouges Aiguillette d'Argentiere Aigulle de Roc Alaska Alexandre Buisse Alpine Climbing alpine climbing alpine course Alpine Peaks alpine training Alpine training alpinism alps Alps Antarctic Peninsula Antarctica Antartic Peninsula Aouille Tseuque Arctic Arete de Fleche Rousse Arete de la Table Arete de Marion argentiere glacier Argentiere Rive Droite Arolla Aurland avalanche courses avalanche training Ayas Hut Balmenhorn Barre des Ecrins bearded vulture Bec Rond Beginner Routes Alps Ben Nevis Benevolo Bernese Oberland Bettembourg Route Beyond Good and Evil Bezzi Refuge Bienvenue au George V BMC Lectures BMC Winter Lectures Bonatti bouldering Bowden Breche de Berarde Breithorn Breithorn Traverse Brevent Brouillard Burnier-Vogler Gully Cabane Brunet Carrington Rouse cascade de lillaz Castor Cevedale chamonix Chamonix Chamonix granite Chamonix Guide chamonix rock climbing Chamonix rock climbing Chamonix ski Chamonix to Sixt ski tour Chamonix to Zermatt Chapelle de Gliere Chardonnet Charlet Bettembourg Children l'integrale Children of the Moon Chivasso Refuge Claire Chazal climbing cogne Cogne col de Belvedere col de Beugeant Col de Gebroulaz col de Tacul Col des Chasseurs Col des Glaciers Colton Brooks conditions Congo Star Conscrits hut Contamine Grisolle Corno Nero Corsica Cosmique Arete Cosmiques Arete Couturier Couloir Cresta del Soldata Cresta Sella Crochue Berard Traverse crochues traverse video cuillin ridge cuillin traverse CWA training CWA Training Dent Blanche Dent de Geant Dent du Geant Domes de Miage Domes de Miage Bionassay traverse Drake Passage Droites dry tooling Dufourspitze Dun Mingulay easy alpine peaks Ecrins Envers des Aiguilles Envers Hut Escarra Escarra Coulouir Ex libris Finsteraarhorn Fleche Rousse Ridge Fond Refuge Forbes Arete Gebroulaz Gebroulaz Glacier Gervasutti Coulouir Glacier d'Armencette glacier de Periades glacier de toule Glacier de Toule Glencoe Gonella Hut Gran Paradiso Gran Paradiso Haute Route Gran Paradiso North Face Gran Paradiso Ski Tour Gran Vaudala Grand Bleu Grand Capucin Grand Saint Bernard Hospice Grand Saint Bernard Monastary Grand Saint Bernard Monastery Grand Saint Bernard Pass Grand St Bernard Monastery Greenland Greenland sail Greenland ski Grenzgletscher Grunegghorn Gudvangen Guide Harold and Maud Haute Route heli skiing ice Ice Climbing ice climbing Ice is Nice Il Naso Inadvertance Innominata Ridge Island Peak Italian High Level Route Kathmandu Kichatna Spires L'Index La Giettaz Laerdal Lammeren Hut lammergeier Laratoune Le Bettex Le Fayet Le Fil a Plomb les calanques Les Contamines Les Houches Lochnagar Ludwigshohe Lyngen Lyskamm Madier Route Margherita Hut Megeve Menegaux Route Mer de Glace Face of the Grepon Mera Peak Midi Plan Arete Migot Spur Mingulay mixed climbing ML MLTA MLTE Courses Monch Mont Blanc Mont Blanc courses Mont Fourchon Mont Rogneux Montagne des Agneaux Monte Rosa Monte Rosa Hut Monte Viso Monviso morgiou mountain conditions Mountain Guide mountain guide mountain leader courses Mountain Medicine mountain training Mt Blanc Nepal NGB's No Country for Old Men north face of the matterhorn North Ridge Dome de Gouter Norway Norway Ice Climbing Nuit Blanche Ober Gabelhorn Oberland Off Piste off piste off piste skiing Off Piste Skiing off-piste skiing Oggioni old man of stoer one percent for the planet Ortler Pabbay Pain de Sucre Pain de Sucre de Mont Tondu Pappillons Arete Parrotspitze Pas de Chevre Pellisier Gully Petit Croise Baulet Peutery Integral Pic Coolidge Pigne d'Arolla Piola Pointe Adolphe Rey Pointe de Blonniere Pointe Lachenal Pollux Punta Calabre Queyras Quintino Sella Hut Rebuffat Rebuffat route Red Pillar Refuge d'Argentiere Refuge de la Valette Ressac Robert Blanc Hut Roc de la Peche Rochefort Arete rock climbing rock climbing courses rock climbing in Chamonix Roi de Siam Rond Glacier Saas Gruund sail Salluard Route Scheideggwetterhorn Schmid route Scottish Ski Touring Scottish Winter Climbing Scottish Winter Skills Seltunfossen Senja Shewry Peak Silvretta Silvretta ski tour ski ski and sail Ski Antarctica ski Creag Meaghaidh ski Mont Blanc Ski Mont Blanc ski Monte Rosa ski mountaineering ski mountainering ski Mt Blanc ski sail trip ski tour ski touring Ski Touring ski touring at Grand St Bernard Monastery ski touring in Chamonix skiing Skiing skye Slav Route Snow and Rock Southern Highlands SPA spa spa courses spaghetti tour Spaghetti Tour St Gervais Table de Roc Ridge Tacul Triangle the Shield Direct Tim Blakemore tim blakemore Torino Hut Torridon Tour de Ciel Tour des Glaciers Tour Ronde Tour Ronde North Face Tromso Val d'Orco Val Thorens Vallee Blanche Valley Blanche Vanoise Vanoise Ski Touring Vent de Dragon Vettisfossen video Vincent Pyramid Voldafossen Weissmies West Pillar of the Scheideggwetterhorn Western Oberland WGL WGL Assessment WGL Training Winter winter climbing Winter Skills Zermatt Zermatt Zinal Ski Zinal Rothorn Zumsteinspitze


Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31