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~ Wednesday 5th August 2009

 We're just back from a record breaking ascent of the South ridge of the Dent Blanche - the longest any of us could remember!

The reason was the weather on Monday. Walking up in rain which turned to snow, we were expecting some tricky conditions. Tuesday morning dawned clear and cold, but with 30cm of fresh windblown snow at the hut. 

Dawn onver the Matterhorn

                                

          

                           

                                   On the climb, wind had plastered the rock with snow and ice, meaning slow going and careful movement on corniced ridges. 

Looking up the South Ridge to the Grand Gendarme

                                    

                                        

            

                        The bonus was that only 4 teams were on the route. The South ridge is a reasonable choice when snowy, but it still took 12 hours round trip - and a second night in the hut.

Descending, just above the Grand Gendarme