/ Zermatt high level traverse

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Bradders - on 01 Jun 2012
Hi all,

Looking at doing a extended traverse of Breithorn, Pollux, Castor, Liskamm and Dufourspitze this summer and wanted to know if anyone had done it/knew any information about it. Thinking it will be about 3/4 days depending on how tired you are on descending the Dufourspitze.
Im interested in where people stayed and how long sections were. Is there any awkward route finding sections along route and which bit is the hardest.

Cheers
Bradley
richard_hopkins - on 01 Jun 2012
In reply to Bradders:
I did this a couple of years ago, but ended at the Margharita hut and traversed under Liskamm rather than along it as it looked a bit intimidating and I'm a novice. It was a spectacular trip and took us about 4 days. We more or less copied the route taken by the ISM Classic 4000m route described on their webpage. We didn't have a guide.
We had perfect weather. We did it at end of june / early july and route finding was straightforward as there were tracks to follow in the snow and the clear weather meant that we could basically just follow our noses and the map / compass was barely needed.

The only "interesting" glacier negotiation was between the Breithorn and Ayas hut which was a bit creative (the other glacier walking was on fully established paths which skirted round the obvious crevasses).

We stayed in Ayas (very pleasant), Quintino Sella (fine), Gnifetti (very crowded, noisy and a bit unpleasant) and Margherita (surprisingly good value given its elevation and very quiet with amazing views).

We climbed all of the peaks described in the ISM route and encountered no technical difficulties at all, but had acclimatised in Arolla earlier. A more experienced group could do it much quicker. I would imagine that traversing Liskamm and Doufourspitze would add more technical work to the traverse.

Going back in july for more :-)
Bradders - on 03 Jun 2012
Bump
alasdair19 on 03 Jun 2012
In reply to Bradders: friends skiied this in the spring great fun though the nav would be hard in poor vis. Key is acclimatisation.
Boydfest - on 03 Jun 2012
In reply to Bradders: I'm looking to do this too so I'll be interested in the comments.
jon on 03 Jun 2012
In reply to Bradders:

There are quite a few threads on here about this. Here's one which might answer some of your questions: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=471167&v=1#x6517806
Bradders - on 05 Jun 2012
In reply to jon: I was looking at doing it as a traverse that covers more distance in a day, e.g Breithorn, Pollux and Castor dropping to the Sella hut for example. Has anyone done it in this sort of way? Any advice appreciated.
Thanks Bradley
jon on 05 Jun 2012
In reply to Bradders:
> (In reply to jon) I was looking at doing it as a traverse that covers more distance in a day, e.g Breithorn, Pollux and Castor dropping to the Sella hut for example.

A German friend of mine went from the Klein matterhorn lift to the Cabane Margherita in one day via Castor and the traverse of Liskamm, so anything's possible...

Breithorn > Pollux > Castor > Q Sella would be OK if you were fit and well acclimatised. It would mean probably that your descent to Q Sella would be wet and slushy. You could shorten it by not doing Pollux if you thought time wasn't on your side. I've done Ayas > Pollux > Castor > Naso del Liskamm > Gnifetti in a day, but on skis. This at appears at first from the map as quite feasible, but in fact you have to descend almost to Q Sella before you can turn sharp left and start your ascent to the Naso. By doing the traverse of the Liskamm you could avoid that longish detour, but in fact the Liskamm traverse is much harder than anything else on your route and for this reason most people tend to avoid it by taking the Naso route.
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HardenClimber - on 05 Jun 2012
In reply to Bradders:
Few years ago:
Was quite well acclimatised but not super-fit.
Monte Rosa Hut to Nordend, then Dufourspitze and on to Margherita Hut.
Next day over the rest of Monte Rosa tops (and Punta Giordani).
Finished in deteriorating weather at Gnifetti (which I quite liked - perhaps because there weren't too many people there). Sat around the next day looking at the bad weather and wondering how to get back to Zermatt. Up early next morning and traversed Lyskamm (bitter wind, not many folk out) over Castor and back to KM to get lift down.
Superb outing.
Nothing too hard providing you feel steady on snow crests.
You could obviously work a stop at Ayas/QS and the other tops in (or move faster / find a track).

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