/ Solo 4000er.
Im wanting to climb a 4000 meter mountain for my 30th birthday in May. I have previous experience in the alps, mostly touristy routes up popular mountains, Blanc, Dufour etc.
I want to do a mountain that will test my skills but due to lack of friends I can do solo. Does anyone have any advice on a suitable mountain, I wanted to do the Dom but the crevasse fields on the way down are concerning me. Any help or advice would be appreciated.
The Monch and the Breithorn were both steady solos, but might not be long or technical enough for you. Allalinhorn should be OK as well. Not sure how technical you want it if you're on your own.
traverse of the Pelvoux might fit the bill
Theres a few massive crevasses on the way up the Allalinhorn.....
> traverse of the Pelvoux might fit the bill
Apart from the 4000m bit!
I had a good (understatement) day solo on the Rimpfischhorn WSW ridge (PD+) in August. There are photos in an 'Alps 2012' gallery (towards the end) on my SmugMug site if you're interested.
I'm not aware of any crevasses on the Fluhalp approach. There's c75m of grade I/II snow/ice on the last 200m, followed by some quite high-grade scrambling to the summit, so it's not an amble.
I started from the Berghaus Fluhalp, which is very pleasant, but if doing it again I think I would bivvy at the Pfulwe col (2½ hrs from the Blauherd lift station).
Jealous that you got the Dufour. Tried for it from the Monte Rosahutte this year but got 'delhi-belly' at 3800m so had to retreat. Couldn't leave Zermatt (only had five days there) without doing a 4000er and Matterhorn wasn't in condition so Alphubel was a nice consolation in that once I got my bowels under control I could do it in one day.
Here are photos of when I did it:
It isn't 4,000m, but look at the Crete du Plan arete:
There are some steep bits on that one though.
It also isn't worth 4,000m, but look at the Portjengrat:
There is one very exposed step on the Portjengrat. You can also do the PD S ridge of the Weissmies as an out and back from the Almageller hut, which is the same hut from which you do the Portjengrat.
> Apart from the 4000m bit!
My mate put his foot through a snow bridge into a crevasse when I did the traverse of the Pelvoux...
Now if I could just follow my own advice...shuffle shuffle
Whats 50m between friends?
Which route avoids the glacier? I'm not being facetious I genuinely don't know how you would climb the alphubel and avoid the glacier. We did it via the rotgrat but the descent was glaciated and pretty heavily crevasses too.
To the OP - I would second the Hornli. No slots to fall in there...
From the col at 3772m make WNW for the 3904 spot then follow NW, keeping close into the rockface (avalanche risk), into the coire then straight up the obvious couloir onto the summit. When I did it in July this year I came off the same way in a storm in the dark and felt quite safe (though I'm quite confident in night nav and probably a couple of bikkies short of a picnic)!
As long as the OP takes this route allowing plenty of time to get off in daylight they should be fine. I take it that when you went up via the Rotgrat you came off down the Weingartenglecher which, from looking at the map, is heavily crevassed?
If the ridge is free of verglas, should be steady enough.
Thanks for the advice guys, I think hornli may be a bit too much for me esp on my own.. I've already done blanc via the gouter which was amazing, the two ridges to finish made my trip.
Summitjunkie hard luck on dufour my friend didn't make it but another group of let me rope up and lead the sibersattle, i got really lucky. I'll do some research and let you guys no. I'm thinking a 2/3 day accent to really challenge my mind and body.
I can't remember to be honest. From a cursory look at google maps we came off the summit on the SE ridge down to the Alphubeljoch and then head W down to the hut and on to Tasch. It doesn't name the glacier on google maps but it was pretty heavily crevassed so I wouldn't recommend it to the OP.
Another advantage of this route is that it's close to the Weissmies south ridge, which you can do in another trip, staying at the Almageller en route. Surprised it's not suggested above or did I miss it - surely one of the great soloable easy 4,000m routes of the Alps. Just don't try to complete a traverse back to the Hohsaas side - sorry, it's gotta be an out and back.
I'm surprised to see stuff like the Allalinhorn, Alphubel and Mont Blanc 3 Monts route above, as I'd have thought these are potentially treacherous to solo, but who the heck am I? Dom totally out of the question
The Allalinhorn like others have said is a fine one also.
Agree re: Allainhorn and 3 Monts, however read p134 Martin Morans "The 4000m Peaks of the Alps" for description of safest route onto Alphubel which (quote) "...avoids the crevasse problems on the Langflue route." I found this easy PD- route to be crevasse-free and eminently 'soloable' but, to paraphrase yourself, who the heck am I? ;-)
p.s. looks like the OP is after a much more demanding route anyway, so proposing Alphubel is now academic anyway.
I think if I could get a couple of Alphebel's I would be happy. The lifts/trains etc cost loads however.
Im looking into Gran Paradiso as that seems like the type of 2 day climb into the wilderness im looking for.
p.s Martin Morans book had me sweating trying to keep up with the guide times. I couldnt keep up!
Gran Paradiso should soloable in May (avalanche danger must of course be assessed at the time). No crevasses on the normal route, but not much wilderness either. The two huts sleep about 100 climbers each and will be full if GP is still skiable.
> p.s Martin Morans book had me sweating trying to keep up with the guide times. I couldnt keep up!
Tell me about it! His Alphubel route as I described earlier is quoted as being about 5hrs from the hut (1500m ascent) and under 4hrs back. Admittedly, I started 500m lower at the carpark and have been called a lardy b'stard before now (though I'm by no means unfit mountaineering-wise) and, admittedly, I got caught in a whiteout on the way back and then nightfall, but even in perfect conditions I'd have had to jog up and down the mountain to meet those timings hut-to-hut. For safety, I'd add a good 25% on to any of his timings. ;-)
300m / hour is a very average ascent time.
I'd have said this was a bit more relevant:
> I got caught in a whiteout on the way back and then nightfall
But who the heck am I?
> For safety, I'd add a good 25% on to any of his timings. ;-)
For safety, I'd be aiming to meet or better Moran's times...
> 300m / hour is a very average ascent time.
> I'd have said this was a bit more relevant:
And my point was that Martin's times are not fast.
My point, as in earlier reply, was always give yourself plenty of time to complete safely. So, if you find you're often outside the times quoted in a guide plan extra time in so that you are off the mountain at a time dictated by time of year, conditions, weather and your own capabilities.
Gran Paradiso from my understanding is a classic example of a route lots of people solo and every year a few of them buy the farm on it, but I could be wrong - WTHAI?
Also - I might be wrong but from my point of view some of the heavily glaciated snow routes mentioned are also a bit lacking if you're looking for something that will "test your skills", as you say, whereas the Weissmies and Lagginhorn south ridges are actually reasonably compelling (totally escapeable) climbing without requiring you to mess about on wet glaciers solo which believe me, from personal experience, is the definition of Not Fun.
And one further thing - if you are dead set on a snow plod and willing to assume a degree of crevasse risk, I found the Nadelhorn normal route soloable in the conditions I found it last July, because there was a very clear track across the main glacier section, but again the advice is that there are sometimes very serious crevasses in this area, even the hut guardian does not like to solo here, and you really shouldn't. Also this route is about 4,300m so if you go straight up there you're not going to have fun. You'll be dizzy and puking (while in a crevasse).
Yes, I was just thinking that the Chabod route is not exactly the safest way up the Gran Paradiso - even by cutting out low onto the ridge instead of taking the glacier all the way. The approach from the Chabod to that point is very crevassed. Most folk soloing the GP do so from the VE hut. However, either way I struggle to see that it is << like the type of 2 day climb into the wilderness im looking for >>
I think the OP is basically hindered by the fact his birthday is in May - bloody parents, eh?.
Ah, I missed that constraint! I'm sure that the mountains will be willing to take into account the fact that the OP needs to climb in May when they determine the conditions then.
> But who the heck am I?
Do you really want an answer?
> Do you really want an answer?
Do I already know the answer? ;-)
You seem to now!
> You seem to now!
...and did before - amazing this t'internet thing isn't it.
...but I still can't do a damn thing to help those users on the forum who don't seem to know who 'the heck' they are. Perhaps they could look themselves up on t'internet too! ;-)
Ive already done Elbrus, The altitude was hard but the mountain was pretty dull. I think one day at altitude normally sorts me out which is why something like paradiso may suit me well. The Lagginhorn sounds interesting along with the variation of Alphubel.
I think gran paradiso or lagginhorn via west ridge are the best bet. Sounds like there may be some cravasses early in the season on both but they can be avoided. Its really up to the mountain if I can climb or not.
Can anyone advice me if Gran paradisio is suitable for a solo accent?
Looking at the route the summit ridge appears to have a ledge right before the summit where the larger rock your facing overhangs, that seems pretty exposed to someone who is unroped??
Many of the peaks suggested could be done solo. The risk is that if you do it when the glacier is wet, you may fall into an unseen crevasse, and there will be no partner or rope to save you.
Gran Paradiso get's rather crowded on the summit. A friend almost got knocked off by another climbing party. Without their partner looking out for them, and beign quick with the rope; it could ahve been a different story.
Why not post on here, or the other climbing forums, asking if anyone would like to join you for a trip to the Alps? Be honest about your experience and goals and see how you get on. Otherwise get yourself down to a local mountaineering club. Must clubs, including my own, have at least one trip a year to the Alps.
Lagginhorn and Weissmies these are good safe solos which I've done several times. You just can't do the traverse of the Weissmies. But the views are the same. Good fun. I did Lagginhorn from the valley last year. So a fairly easy day. About 2 hours from the camping ground to the hut where most other punters start then 2-3 more to the summit prob. I did Wiessmiess from a high bivvy the few days before. All completely free, not too hard, and good fun. Do the Jagginhorn Via Ferrata on the way down from the Lagginhorn and scare yourself silly. You will need a VF kit for this. It is not an easy solo without. Unless you have balls of steel :)
I too did rimpfischorn solo. I bivvied at the col as suggested which was great. left my stuff in a bin liner and returned to the bivy for the walk down. an excellent outing with no crevasses so safe. the scramble was icy when I did it.
Does it have to be 4000m? There are some very fine 3000-4000m peaks which will test your skills, but without quite as much risk.
You can solo some of the other routes on the Jegihorn quite easily, in big boots even. I did and I'm not a very good rock climber.
Re "mate" dropping out - I've had this happen too and empathise with how infuriating it is. I would advise that if your only prospective partners are unreliable or in fact make you uneasy in any way whatsoever - just head to Chamonix solo and pick up a partner in the OHM.
Don't go to the Alps expressly with the intention of soloing the entire time, I imagine it would be miserable if done for more than 5 days or so and you inevitably begin gravitating towards the kind of glaciated stuff you really should be doing in a pair.
There is some quite emphatic advice on here from some very experienced climbers and guides not to go near the Gran Paradiso solo - scroll up if you missed it the first time.
You don't have to go all the way down to link these routes. There is a high level traverse path that cuts around at the level of Weissmies Hut or just below.
Whether the Rimpfischhorn is a safe/crevasse free option depends on where you approach from/descend to:
When approaching the col from the direction of the Britanniahütte I seem to remember traversing a steep-ish slope above a yawning crevasse.
When descending the glacier in the direction of the Täschhütte I ended up falling fully into a hidden crevasse (roped up).
I'm 30 in June. And have no friends either. Wanna climb Dom?
Seriously - 4 to 5 hours from Saas Grund to the summit of the Lagginhorn without uplift?? That's beyond impressive!
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