Ascent of Mönch on 2010-07-06

Climber: Stephen Wheeler

Others in Party:Thomas Burley -- Trip Report or GPS Track
James Legh
Randy Bosma
Chris Lawrence
Brian Jones
Date:Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Train
    Elevation:13474 ft / 4106 m

Ascent Trip Report

We took the cog train up from Grindewald to the Jungfraufroch station. After leaving the tunnel that leads out to the glacier you follow the cat trail in the snow to the Monch hut. The Monch hut sits at the base of the southeast ridge along the edge of the head of the glacier. Having significantly more traffic than the Mutt hut it was a sizable building with a large kitchen/dining area. There were some interesting looking characters in there at dinner, including a Spaniard who looked like a pirate. Jim who didn't like paying the price for cokes up there brought his own again.
The next morning we left in the midst of other climbers, a bit of a slow start. Tom was with Randy and Chris Lawrence, the guide. I was roped with Jim and Brian, our guide. Jim had some difficulty with the rockier sections and we proceeded much slower than the other team. The weather was low clouds so when we reached the summit it was nearly a white out. However it did not hide the pitch down either side of the ridge. The other team was waiting for us so we could get a summit shot with all of us in it together. On our decent the clouds began to lift and you could see that the path along the ridge was on a cornice. An impressive ridge line! As we continued to decent the clouds lifted more and you could see the Top of Europe poking out through the clouds below to our right, it looked like something out of the Myst game.
More groups were coming up as we decended, including a Japanese who was being guided up. He was breathing so hard I thought he was going to explode. As we got lower we caught up to the other team who were having a bit of trouble on the rocks and so had to slow down.
We were back at the hut by early afternoon. At that point I decided to hike over to The Top of Europe to have a look. Itnis quite an amazing
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2142 ft / 652 m
    Route:Southeast ridge
    Trailhead:Monch Hutte  11332 ft / 3453 m
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Guide, Porters, Hut Camp
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
    Weather:Cool, Calm, White-out
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 
Ascent Part of Trip: Classic Alps

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mönch2010-07-062142 ft / 653 m
2Jungfrau2010-07-072313 ft / 705 m
Total Trip Gain: 4455 ft / 1358 m    Total Trip Loss: 4455 ft / 1358 m

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