Back to the Saastal, and starting off with a training walk up the Mittaghorn from Plattjen.
Allalinhorn summit (4027m), after a rather late start.
Walking round to the Almagellertal from Kreuzboden.
and on up to the Almageller Hut.
Almagellerhütte (SAC), 2894m.
Portjenhorn from the S ridge of the Weissmies.
At 3500m on the Weissmies.
Looking Italy-wards from the Weissmies.
and in descent.
Approaching the W summit of the Breithorn (4164m), with Dent d'Herens and M/horn behind..
We met up with 2 friends in Zermatt, and S shared a rope with them. I don't like ropes, and avoid them whenever possible.
NE to the Mischabel and Saastal peaks.
The arête leading to the Breithorn central summit.
Down to the Breithornpass.
Val d'Ayas Guides' Hut (CAI), 3420m.
Val d'Ayas Hut
View SE from the Hut, to Monte Bettaforca (I think).
Just above the hut, and the usual zombie-esque procession. I don't mind, there's probably a guide somewhere up ahead so it saves thinking about where to go, and it will thin out soon enough.
On the Grand Verra glacier.
Castor, the day's objective, to the right of the Zwillingsjoch.
Gran Paradiso and la Grivola.
Mont Blanc, moonset and sunrise.
Paradiso again, way across the Val d'Aosta.
If a PD can be said to have a crux, it's probably here at the bergschrund / crevasse just below the summit ridge. It calls for careful treatment.
Pollux, and its SSE flank which the AC guidebook says 'can be climbed almost anywhere'. Aye, right.
The pleasantly narrow N ridge leading to the summit.
On the N ridge. Passing is not an option, or at least not an attractive one.
The SE ridge, the even easier route from the Quintino Sella Hut via the Felikjoch.
View SW from the summit (4228m).
SE ridge, with Lyskamm on the left.
There was a keen cold NE wind, but good sunny shelter among some rocks just below the summit, where I spent a pleasant half hour before wandering along to the SE top and back.
Castor N ridge again, with the W side of Dom, Täschhorn and Alphubel; Rimpfischhorn far right.
I start a reluctant descent - Castor was very enjoyable!
The bergschrund again.
Castor and the Little Verra glacier.
I was back at the Val d'Ayas Hut for 11am.
On the walk back next day I made a short detour to visit the Rossi e Volante bivi hut, which clings to the face of that buttress.
Bivacco Rossi e Volante, or Cesare e Giorgio (CAI), 3750m.
S and our 2 friends on their way across the glacier to the Breithornpass.