Climbing Weekend at the Albert Heim Hütte

Organised by James Patterson. Here are his description and photos.

 

The plan was to close out the season in grand fashion, to squeeze in one last climb on some Furka granite.  The weather forecast forced us to lower our expectations, but we still had visions of dry south-facing walls near the Albert-Heim-Hütte.  We decided to go despite the weather, with a small hochtour planned as a backup in case the walls were too wet or cold for barehanded climbing.  Our expectations continued their monotonic decline as we found the bus from Göschenen to the Furka pass was canceled (despite what SBB said) and as we hiked through fresh snow from Realp to the hut, wasting both energy and daylight.  There was more snow than we had expected: the walls were iced up and the glaciers covered in a thin layer of powder.  As the trip organizer, I felt a bit shameful for getting everyone into this situation, but I was overjoyed to find that our spirits never wavered.  We spent the afternoon hiking (T4 or L--) to Chli Bielenhorn.  Snow was on the ground, but the skies were wide open - crisp, blue, and visibility beyond the Matterhorn.  The rest of the evening was spent in the nearly empty hut while snow began to pile outside, roughly 10 cm that night.  Visibility the next day was minimal, prompting us to head back to Realp without any big peaks or climbs in the bag.  We had taken a risk - Furka in October! - but even the worse case had turned out quite alright.

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