Ascent of Gross-Fiescherhorn on 1949-08-04

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Others in Party:Guide Fritz Fuchs
Murray Brush
Carlo Schueller
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, August 4, 1949
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Train
    Elevation:13284 ft / 4048 m

Ascent Trip Report

The first leg of today’s traverse of the Gross-Fiescherhorn took us from the comfortable Touristenhaus at the Jungfraujoch (3571m) over the Mönchjoch (3629m), across the Ewigschneefeld and up to the Fieschersattel (3923m). Here we had to wait for nearly an hour while our skillful guide, Fritz Fuchs, chopped steps up a short but quite steep ice slope that leads to the rocks below the summit, which we finally achieved in icy, gale force winds at 10:30AM. Standing upright was a challenge. The views from the top were stunning: the Schreckhorn-Lauteraarhorn, Mönch-Eiger, Finsteraarhorn, and the very imposing Fiescherwand. It seemed as though we could easily be blown over that tremendous, icy face as we literally crawled along the rim in the relentless gale, which abated as we descended to the Fiescher glacier from the summit. We checked into the crowded Finsteraarhorn hut (3048m) at 4:00PM, called it a day, and sacked out until suppertime.

We were particularly pleased with our guide, Fritz, and I think he with us. Though very sturdy and competent, he must have been 75 years old. Most of his clients opt only for the popular climb of the Jungfrau. With three of us on his rope, he must have had a demanding workout. However, he seemed to welcome the challenge to do several peaks with us which, given his age, he wasn’t called on to lead nearly as often as in past years.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1568 ft / 477 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3284 ft / 1000 m
    Route Conditions:
Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Guide, Hut Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Very Windy, Clear
Very good, excellent visibility
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1568 ft / 477 m
    Route:via Fieschersattel
    Start Trailhead:Jungfraujoch  11716 ft / 3571 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3284 ft / 1000 m
    Route:via Fiescher glacier
    End Trailhead:Finsteraarhorn hut  10000 ft / 3048 m
    Time:5 Hours 30 Minutes

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