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~ Friday 21st August 2009

 Following on from the Dent Blanche, we went over to Tasch to climb  the West Ridge "Rotgrat" of the Alphubel. 

Legs were a bit tired after the 2400m downhill from the DB, so it was a relief have a gentle 1 hour 30 mins walk to the Tasch hut. This is a fantastic hut, recently modernised and extended, with single beds, running hot water and showers!

Alphubel is usually climbed from Saas Fee, where it's a short snow route from the lift. From the west, it's a different mountain with a steep rocky face towering above Taschalp. The Rotgrat is a 2.5km ridge rising 1600m from the hut. 

Rotgrat from the descent

A harsh 3am breakfast and a steep uphill walk lead to the start of the ridge (and a meeting with a  team who thought they were on the Taschhorn) Good rock, the sun comes up, only 1 other team on the route. We reached 3900m in quick time, but then struggled to find the right corner on the final bastion...described as "easier then it looks", our corner was still quite hard! 3 pitches later, we're back on route and soon on the summit, with a great view back down the route. 

The wrong corner!

Nearly there