Journey through the Alps



Zermatt (1600m) to Britannia Hut SAC (3030m)S08

24 Feb 2016

Stage: S08

Map: Swiss TOPO 1:50,000 284S Mischabel

Time: 14.12hrs (dept 04.56  / arrive 19.06)

Distance: 28.4km (ascent 2493m / descent 1151m)

Weather: clear at first becoming overcast and snowing later

Notes: In good conditions this is a long day. In poor conditions it can be a very long day. Climb the ski runs east of the town centre to Sunnegga 2288m. Traverse eastwards to gain the Findelgletscher. The obvious route is to pass Flualp 2607m and drop down onto the glacier around pt 2603m but this involves a steep drop down an unstable rubble slope. It may be best to gain the valley floor much closer to Sunnegga by heading down to the ski lift station at Gant 2223m. Climb the Adlergletscher to the Adler Pass 3789m and descend the Allalingletscher. There is significant crevasse hazard on the upper section of this glacier around 3700m-3500m.

Accommodation: Excellent modern accommodation in the winter room with electric lights. The main hut is open at weekends early in the ski season and fully open by mid season.

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Britannia Hut CAS (3030m) to Saas Grund (1560m)S09

25 Feb 2016

Stage: S09

Map: Swiss TOPO 1:50,000 284S Mischabel

Time: 3.22hrs (dept 07.13  / arrive 10.35)

Distance: 13.8km (ascent 230m / descent 1695m)

Weather: overcast becoming fair

Notes: This is a short stage following the ski runs of Saas Fee down to the village and then taking the road down to the valley floor at Saas Grund. It would be preferable to extend this day by following the Nordic trails down the valley to Saas Balen, but there is no suitable accommodation in this hamlet.

Accommodation: There are several hotels in Saas Grund.

Supply options: Saas Grund has a few small shops.

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Saas Grund (1560m) to Simplon Pass (2005m)S10

26 Feb 2016

Stage: S10

Map: Swiss TOPO 1:50,000 274S Visp

Time: 10.47hrs (dept 04.50  / arrive 15.37)

Distance: 29.4km (ascent 1997m / descent 1578m)

Weather: mostly clear becoming overcast with snow later

Notes: This is excellent and varied day crossing two high passes. Follow the Nordic ski tracks down the valley to Saas Balen than take a forest road heading due north. Around 2200m turn east into Mattroaldbach until approx 2600m then turn north towards Simelipass 3022m. Descend NE to approx 2500m then climb to Sirrooltesattel 2621m. Descend to the road at Nideralp 1825m and ski north along the broad valley to Simplonpass.

Accommodation: The hospice is the obvious choice but was not accepting visitors when we were there, so we stayed at the Hotel Monte Leone.

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Bad weather day

27 Feb 2015

Weather: heavy snowfall

Notes: It was impossible to stay at the Monte Leone so we travelled down into Italy and waited in Domodossola for the weather to improve.

Accommodation: Hotel Domodossola


Bad weather day

28 Feb 2015

Weather: heavy snowfall

Notes: Second night in Domodossola


Bad weather day

29 Feb 2015

Weather: light snowfall

Notes: With an improving weather forecast we travelled back to the Simplon Pass.

Accommodation: Hotel Monte Leone




David Hamilton
High Adventure
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CV10 0SG


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