Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dufourspitz Peak Switzerland!

My trip to Europe so far has been amazing! Expensive, but well worth the experiences I have had! After Verbier I ventured to Saas Fe, Switzerland to meet my friends Don and Sarah to do a hut ski traverse to Zermatt. I had no idea what to expect and was grateful for the invite. The night I arrived in Saas Fe I was struck with food poisoning and was not able to join them on the first ski adventure. I ended up meeting them later in the afternoon at the Brittania hut not far from the summit of Saas Fe Ski area. The hut system here is pretty amazing, very accessible and the only thing you needed to carry is the essentials. We stayed the first night at the Brittania Hut and then planned to traverse the next morning to the Monet Rosa hut near Zermatt. We awoke at 6 am for breakfast the next morning and I was feeling a little better, but very fatigued. We traversed up and down through the Alps for 6 hours and I was so happy when the Matterhorn came into sight and I gained a second wind to make it to the hut!! As we arrived at the hut I had know idea what to expect, it was very modern and sat surrounded by glaciers and tall peaks. Everything in the hut was run my solar panels and the design of the windows were so they would catch sun at certain times of the day. The views from the dinner table were unbelieveable, I could not believe that I was actually here! The next day we decided to go for the highest peak in Switzerland the Dufourspitze which is about 15,203 ft. I have never been above 14,000 so I was stoked to get up there! We skinned up through glaciers and over crevasses as the sun rose through the mountains I could not believe how lucky I was to be here. As we approached the saddle I could definitely feel the altitude, but just kept moving slow and steady. At the saddle we exchanged in our skis for an ice axe and crampons and decided to go for the left peak first ( this one was about 14,700) it involved walking along a very exposed ledge that made the border between Italy and Switzerland. The walking was pretty easy, but falling was not an option. After this little trek we made our way back to Dufourspitze proper. This was a lot steeper and involved using crampns well and climbing a rope! This also had a lot of traversing above exposure, so I was greatful when I reached the summit.

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