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Climbing the Moench

Climbing the Moench, the classic 4000er of the Berner Oberland, a moderately technical climb with an exposed knife edge snow ridge to the summit.

Tim Robertson comments on climbing the Moench:

What’s special about climbing the Moench? Why would anyone want to climb it?

The Moench has such an incredible drop off the North face.  You can climb it in a day from Interlaken, you get up to 4100m and the valley floor is 1000m below you on the northern side.

The exposure you get for a very short climb is quite unusual

it can be climbed generally most of the summer, it has been climbed in most conditions

Any particular challenges?

It has a steep snow arête for the last 500m of distance and 100m of height gain.  The arête is really narrow and exposed.

It is a challenge for people’s composure.

What is your approach to the mountain?

I like to guide it 1 to 1, there is a much bigger safety margin. I have guided at 1 to 2 with very experienced clients and they have not enjoyed it.  Although it may be more expensive, the client has a much better experience on this mountain when guided one-to-one.

What are the requirements for the clients?

Being focused and composed in exposed locations.  The last arête is really exposed, that’s why Moench  is such a classic climb.  It helps a lot though if the guiding is 1:1

Anything else?

A Moench ascent  can be combined really well with a two-day trip including the Jungfrau.

if you are not from Europe, it’s very unusual  to be able to do a 4000m peak in a day, on a climb that is not simply hiking up snow.  It has a good mixture.

Climbers need to be acclimatised or they will feel the altitude.

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