07-21 Allalinhorn

At 3826m near the Feejoch in front of the Strahlhorn und Rimpfischhorn

21st.July Allalinhorn

Breakfast was at 4.30am and our plan was to return along the same path to Felskin and take one of the first trains (after 7.15) to Mittel Allalin. Although rain had been forecast in the night we were shocked to see than it was still raining at 5.30. Several parties left at this time but since a young lady staff member informed us cheerfully that the rain would stop at 6.30, we delayed our departure. She was correct and the first rays of sunshine soon pierced the dispersing clouds. From Mittel Allalin the summit of the Allalinhorn could be clearly seen against an almost cloudless deep blue sky. Only the highest peaks of the Mischabel Group were still enveloped in cloud.

We covered a short distance up the still frozen skipiste before roping up. David being the most recently experienced of us took charge of this operation. The route then makes several long zig-zags in order to avoid impressive crevasses. At one point a substantial wooden ladder has been built to bridge one crevasse but a steep snow slope with big steps provided an alternative ascent or in our case descent. In some places large blocks of snow or ice had fallen from the face above and come to rest near the track. I remember this also being the case on our first ascent.

Above the crevassed area the gradient became steeper and my already slow pace became even slower. This was chiefly due to the thin air to which I was not adequately acclimatised. We reached a point on the ridge to the Feechopf at 3826m from which we had a fine view to the South and West from the Strahlhorn and Rimpfischhorn across the Breithorn and Matterhorn as far as the Dent Blanche. The summit of the Allalinhorn looked tantalisingly near but it was still 200m height difference away and it would have taken too long to climb it. We could not afford to risk missing the last train down from the Mittel Allalin which would leave already at 15.15. So after a short photo session we retraced our tracks and returned to the station. The snow had as 50 years ago become very soft and the descent took longer than I had expected.

Despite not reaching the summit we had an enjoyable excursion in the high Alps and were able to commemorate our ascent of long ago. It was well worth the effort!

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