This last week in July has been absolutely beautiful weather wise and a number of alpinism activities have been going on for us: visiting the ancient alpine botanical garden high above Leysin, rock climbing and hiking plus climbing peaks over 4000 m altitude in the Swiss Alps. Earlier, Phil Melchior from Wanaka was on his sixth visit in Europe for alpine climbing with chief Gaz and he kindly made this photo album available. They stayed at the historical mountaineering hotel Rosenlaui, then climbed up to the Dossenhut. Continue reading 'Mountaineering and other Alpinism activities in Europe'»
Posts tagged: Alpinism in Europe
Autumn colors are here again and the Alpinism & Ski team is preparing to change location to the Northern Hemisphere. Alpinism in Europe is on the program, starting with ski touring – but a few projects at the base are to be finished before departure at the end of April. Another sustainable goal is achieved: double glazed windows are installed in the Alpinism Studio and a brand new econo heat panel is mounted on the wall. For those looking for charming and reasonably priced Wanaka Winter accommodation, still available are both house and studio, each ideal for a couple, so email Iris if you are interested.
As summer in New Zealand is disappearing, our minds are turning to the mountain guiding season in Europe where we’ll be based again until end of August. This year, given that Gary is president of NZMGA at the moment, he’ll be representing his favorite country at the international mountain guides festival in France during the first week of May. Iris & Gaz look forward to their personal ski touring while there too. However, before the departure in six weeks, we have some more Alpinism in New Zealand on the program.
August last year, Thanks for the feed back and photos Michael:
On behalf of James and myself, thank you very much for an excellent week at the Orny and Dix huts. It was an ideal mix of instruction, rockclimbing, snow and ice experience, and mountaineering on mixed terrain. Mt Blanc de Cheilon was a great way to end the week – a beautiful mountain and a superb, satisfying climb. Thank you especially for your patience and for not only ensuring our safety but taking the time at every stage to explain clearly what we were doing and why. We also greatly appreciated your steady pacing, which provided several first-hand examples of the hare and tortoise principle in practice; I can’t speak for James, but do not underestimate the achievement of getting me to the top of Mt Blanc de Cheilon in (just) under guide-book time, still breathing comfortably and with an acceptable pulse-rate.
Many thanks again.” Michael Firth
Here some memorabilia of Alpinism during the last decade: youtube legendary Doug Ball who spent considerable time climbing with mountain guide Gary Dickson aka Gaz from January 2006 until August 2009.
Doug had climbed Mt Cook Aoraki with his wife Peggy and many other peaks, but never Mt Aspiring. He got thwarted twice while climbing with Gaz because of conditions and weather but third time lucky and for a brief time he was considered the oldest climber to have sumited. He must have been an inspiration … more
He sent us these lines just recently …”I use a slide show of my mountaineering photos as a screen saver so that my memories are not lost but are refreshed every day. Alpinism and Ski certainly made an enormous difference to my life. What would have become of me if I had just thrown in the sponge after Peggy died? I have so much to thank you both for and am not likely to ever forget it.”
keep going strong Doug
Second half of July here in Europe – the Alps with fresh snow all around. Rain galore for mother nature and good for the glaciers and mountaineering later on in the season, but definitely making it tricky right now for us to go climbing rock up high. We have managed a bit of climbing between the showers on the lower rock climbing crags and Gary prepared this photo album of the specialized climbing instruction a few weeks ago, enjoy.
Latter half of June, and Gary and Chief guide of Icelandic Mountain Guides, Ivar, spent 8 days in Switzerland with 8 of IMG’s senior guides for some assessment of Alpine trekking skills and knowledge and up-skilling/training of guiding on solid alpine rock. Both the Zinal (Moiry Glacier) and Trient Plateau areas were used and provided perfect rock ridges for training missions and snowy passes and glaciers for assessing skills and knowledge.
The Icelandic team head back to Iceland for another busy season guiding on the dynamic guiding terrain of Iceland with hopefully ” a few more tools in their tool box”.
Gary having a few days off rock climbing with Iris on the local Swiss crags before heading away for a week with an ISM client.
Last week of August and it’s time to pack up our mountaineering gear for alpinism in Europe until next summer. Gary was working with legendary mountain guide Steve Jones and a group of students teaching them the essential alpine climbing skills. Earlier he’s been on a week of adventures with Jim who’s based in Zurich, starting with a multi pitch rock climb, then heading up to the cabane de Dix. They enjoyed the ascents of La Luette and Mont Blanc de Cheilon. They moved on to the Almagellen hut and finished the trip with the traverse of the Weissmies.
Australian adventure couple Karin and Peter have for the second time this year been on a trip with Alpinism & Ski, first in The Darrens, Fiordland NZ with mountain guide Sam Bosshard, and during July with Gary Dickson in the Swiss Alps :
“Just want to thank you both for a great trip….Gary for keeping us safe and showing us a little more of the Alps and Iris for organising everything (Gary included)” , 31st July 2010
Peter and Karin from Australia as part of a holiday in Europe came to Switzerland for a week of climbing with Gary. Starting off at the beginning of the week on some 3500m peaks to get acclimatized, they then headed to the Saas valley and traversed the 4000m Weissmies. A check of the weather forecast on the internet – a front coming in, so an eight pitch rock climb was completed just before the rain started on Thursday. Friday had heavy rain in the morning, so the team checked out the Castle at Aigle (built in the 1600′s) and then whizzed up a Via Ferratta that traverses a spectacular gorge and rock face in nearby Champéry. Friday night the team met up with Iris for a great meal out at the top of Leysin, at the restaurant Prafandaz.
As usual, one of the great things about Alpinism in Switzerland is the abundance of things to do and alternate objectives when the weather is less than perfect.