When people ask me “When is the best time for the Matterhorn?” I always answer…
Summer is here in the Bernese Oberland with the flowers out and hot summer weather. Fittingly we did a trip to the Blüemlisalp (Flowers Alp) area. The classic Morgenhorn – Blüemlisalphorn traverse has been on my list for a long time so it was great to check out this area in summer as it is a good ski touring spot too.
We travelled in from the Kiental and Griesalp, a nature reserve area, passing many waterfalls and walking through flowery alpine meadows and a fair bit of snow on the way to the Blüemlisalp hut at 2830m.
The next day it was an early start again at 3am for breakfast. Not surprisingly, neither of us was that hungry so the quality breakfast was somewhat wasted on us. We left at 3.30am and found the conditions generally good over the glacier and up the Morgenhorn (3623m) apart from some breakable crust for around 100m vertical. Monika was light enough to remain on the snow surface, much to her delight. It was cool to see what this looked like in summer as we had been up it on skis a few winters ago. We summitted just as the sun was rising and our spirits rose as our hands warmed up nicely and the ridgeline came into view.
Our route, the classic traverse, then follows the airy ridgeline for around two kilometre, first over a few rocky sections and then to the summit of the Wyssi Frau (3650m). A descent down to a saddle follows and we were wary of the cornices overhanging the south side as we climbed and cramponed down and along.
Some more rock climbing and snow ridge saw us summiting the Blüemlialpshorn around 10am.
The descent down to the Rothhornsattel went smoothly and the good conditions on the glacier meant we could take quite a direct line back to the hut. After refreshments we were heading home.
The traverse is a true classic of the Bernese Oberland and is highly recommended. We felt the spring snow cover along the ridge made travel easier than it may be later in the summer.