Mini Haute Route Day 2

Day two began with a cloudy departure from the hut. The rain soon followed as we started up the canyon leading to the glacier.

We jokingly said we were entering the South Gate of Mordor…but it was pretty much how it looked.

We walked up the glacier. All the way up and the ice surrounding us was amazing. The pure blue color and thickness of the ice were striking.

Part of our job walking up the glacier was to avoid falling in holes like that one. We successfully made it up the glacier without falling into a hole. They’re incredibly deep and I’m grateful we didn’t have any accidents.

Here you can see how far we walked up the glacier. Far back in the distance is the stream featured in the first photo of this post. The itself is covered in a beautiful patter of dust.

As we reached the top of the glacier we experienced our first crevases and snow bridges. Here’s Brent in action crossing one….

The landscape was incredible but also a little desolate. We’re above the tree line so there’s no vegetation but there are also no animals or birds or insects. In the photo below you can see the full view of the glacier we traveled up.

Next we had to climb to the hut. This involved a steep accent in our crampons (the test run for day three). Followed by a hike across the top of a second glacier, crossing over a ridge, and a hike across another glacier.

You can see the volume of ice to the left of us as we hike across the snow avoiding crevasses. The photo below is what it looks like below us to the right. Good thing we didn’t see that view until after we had already crossed!

The final part of the day involved crossing the last glacier. Paul made small footholds for us using his icepick.

The hut is an isolated place, obviously not easy to get to, but typically pretty busy. We were lucky to be one of only six people staying the night. In the photo below you can see the hut. You cannot access it from this side. This photo was taken by Eric as we were crossing the top of the second glacier.

And once we got to the hut we enjoyed the views from the hut, games, and more Rosti! In between storms we ventured out on the rocks above the hut for more sighseeing.

Off to the right of Brent you can see the second glacier we walked across. If you look closely you can see our tracks. You can also see the sleep slope and sudden drop just after the area we trekked.

Paul went up higher than we were willing to climb wearing crocks so he could make a phone call home to his family. We stayed below on the lower rocks and enjoyed the view of the area.

Before we came back down to the hut we took a group selfie with the peak of the mountain we would climb the next morning in the background.

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