Aug 10 04
I was lucky enough to have three weeks holiday this year so we headed off to Switzerland for the first five days.
I read about a mountain called the Salbit with amazing long granite ridges in climb magazine last year and really wanted to climb the South Ridge which looked amazing and was just the right level of difficulty for me. So we decided to spend the first five days in Andermatt in central Switzerland.
After a day chilling out, recovering from the long drive from Scotland and doing some sports climbing, we decided to climb the ESE Ridge of the Gross Furkahorn. This was a lovely long easy ridge with a nicely exposed summit. The climbing was on really nice granite flakes and cracks.
Unfortunately the hut we wanted to stay in was full, so we had another quite early start and long walk in from the pass the next day to climb the SE ridge of the Gross Bielenhorn. This was another lovely ridge, just slightly harder in places, unfortunately the weather was looking a bit suspect so we abbed off after the ridge climb and didn’t finish the scramble up to the summit, but it was still a really good day.
We had just enough time left for an ascent of the South Ridge on the Salbit, so we set off the next day for the Salbit hut. Stuart (my partner) was absoulutely delighted to discover that they had a rucksack transport so luckily we only had to carry our rucksacks up the second half of the approach to the hut. The hut was one of the most welcoming that I have ever stayed in- we even got a welcome drink on arrival. The view of the ridge from the hut was fantastic so I went to bed really excited about climbing it.
The ridge turned out to be absolutely fantastic- really exposed exciting climbing for us! We moved fairly quickly up the 17 pitches, as we mostly had the ridge to ourselves. Unfortunately however at the end of one of the pitches I looked down at my harness to discover that I had lost my camera, I guess it must have broken off, and gone tumbling down the side of the ridge.
The summit needle was an amazingly exposed pinnacle- but I decided that I would enjoy it more if I was photographed (with Stuart’s camera) at the base after climbing it, rather than standing at the top!
Well what a brilliant climb, and even dropping my camera didn’t spoil a fabulous day, and we left Switzerland feeling tired and happy and headed for the dolomites!
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