The Berner Oberland haute route has some of the most spectacular scenery in the European Alps. We will travel hut to hut with only light packs, being able to enjoy the skiing along the way. This is a high level ski tour about long ski descents and peak bagging. It is almost entirely on glaciers. There is not as much emphasis on having to make it to the next hut as other traverses in the Alps. Indeed we often spend two nights in the same hut to take advantage of the numerous skiing and climbing objectives. We stay on the high glaciers and do not descend to a low valley until the end of the tour when we drop 6000 feet to the small town of Munster. Many of the peaks that we climb are done as summer mountaineering objectives, the fast descent on skis makes them much more enjoyable in the spring.
This area of central Switzerland is a picturesque landscape of rolling green hills and snow capped mountains. There is huge vertical relief, up to 11,000 feet, between the peaks and the valleys. We will be traveling from spring in the low valleys, to snow on the high glaciers, then back down to spring again in a completely different region of Switzerland. From the north the Berner Oberland is dominated by three great peaks; the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. On the right the Jungfrau, the virgin pure and beautiful, is draped with white glaciers beckoning in the sun. On the other side of the range is the Eiger.
Larry Dolecki will be your guide for this trip. Since he first visited the Alps as a teenager, Larry has returned to the Alps almost every year to ski, climb and continue exploring this great range. After the mountains of Canada, this has become his second home. The Berner Oberland route offers many variations, alternative ski descents or bad weather options. An experienced guide will ensure you get the most out of your ski holiday. Larry has extensive local knowledge of the mountains and culture. He will provide you with the expertise to make your Berner Oberland trip the experience of a lifetime.
This tour requires good physical condition and advanced skiing ability. You should have previous experience back country skiing. We can and probably will be skiing in all conditions from powder to corn, wind hammered and frozen crud. There is no day that is particularly hard, but doing it day after day for a week takes its toll. Good skiing ability will help you save energy on the descent. Mountaineering skills are not a prerequisite and will be taught as needed on the tour. You must be able to do a kick turn on steep icy slopes and side slip on 40 degree slopes. No previous experience with crampons or ice axe necessary.
Day 1: We meet in Grindelwald. We will go over equipment for the trip.
Day 2: We ride the train up through the Eiger to the Jungfraujoch (3464m). From here we ski over the Louriohorn (3773m), down an 800m ski run and then up a short distance to the Hollandia Hut (3240m).
Day 3: We climb the Abeni Flue (3962m) and then ski down to the Concordia Hut (2850m).
Day 4: Climb the Gross Grunhorn (4043m) and return to the Concordia Hut.
Day 5: We traverse to the Finsteraarhorn Hut (3048m) via the Grunlucke (3280m), possible climbing the Weisnollen (3594m) or other objective on the way.
Day 6: Climb the Agassizhorn (3946m) or the Gross Wannenhorn (3905m) and return to the Finstereaarhorn Hut.
Day 7: The big ski descent down to Munster, 6100 feet vertical! We skin up to the Galmilucke (3293m) and then the long run down to the Rhone valley and spring.
Are you ready for adventure?