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~ Saturday 28th July 2012

 Double success on the Matterhorn this week. After some good acclimatising on the Mont Blanc de Cheilon Traverse we headed up to the Hornli hut. The Swiss alpine club recently sold the hut to the town of Zermatt and it's due to be renovated next year (This could be interesting for the summers of 2013/14 - there will be limited beds available next year and apparently the whole building will be closed in 2014) A refit is, however, long overdue. It's currently a clear winner in the "worst alpine toilets" competition and a miserable experience after some pleasant nights this summer in the Argentiere hut, Ayas, Tasch, Dix,Vignettes, Chabod and Gonella. And it's expensive. 

Anyway, the Hornli ridge is in great condition (fairly dry as far as the shoulder and a good snowy track on the summit slope) and we made a quick and smooth ascent on Thursday, apart from the usual traffic on the fixed ropes. A second damp night in the cheerless Hornli hut made it hard to psyche up for the repeat ascent on Friday but in fact it went better than Thursday - no traffic jams and a very clear run up and down.