Bernese Oberland

Course Overview

An Alpine journey to remember. The experience of a lifetime. Spend six days high on the glaciers of the Monch, Jungfrau, Fiescherhorn and Finsteraarhorn. These four thousand metre summits can all be included in this programme

This week would suit fit people with a background of winter mountaineering in Scotland on grade II ridges. All of the time will be spent on high glaciers, staying at mountain huts over night. If you are unsure of your ability for this course please speak with Alan Kimber before making a booking. Training in glacier travel will be given throughout the week.

Full use will be made of alpine huts, therefore reducing the need to carry heavy rucsacs full of food and bedding. Don't however forget your camera!!

Course Details

Costs: £1,500 per person (Based on two people booking)

Ratio: 1:2

Dates

By arrangement (June to September)
Dates to suit guests. Individuals or groups.
 

Sample Programme

Day 1
Meet in Interlaken or Grindlewald the day before the course starts. Staying in B&B.

Day 2
Ascend to Jungfraujoch (3500m) by mountain railway, passing through the Eiger en-route.Descend Jungfrau glacier to Konkordia Hut (2850 m) practising crevasse rescue techniques en route.

Day 3
Ascent of 3500 metre training peak and descend to Finsteraarhorn hut (2850m).

Day 4
Ascent of Finsteraarhorn (4274m) and back to hut. This is the highest peak in the Bernese Alps.

Day 5
Ascent of Fiescherhorn (4048m) and on to Obermonchjoch Hut (3629m).

Day 6
Ascent of Monch (4099m) and back to the hut.

Day 7
Ascent of Jungfrau (4158m) and descend by train to the valley.
The exact programme will depend largely on the weather and party fitness. It is possible to re-arrange the daily ascents to suit those taking part. Some time will be spent on the evening of arrival, sorting equipment.

Description

Cost includes:
  • Accommodation and meals (2 nights in Grindlewald)
  • Return trip on Jungfraujoch railway
  • All hut costs, including evening meal and breakfast.
  • All Guides expenses.
Cost does not include:
  • Alpine Insurance (Contact BMC)
  • Travel to the Alps.

Kit Requirements

Alps Kit List

Boots

Boots
For the Alps it is essential to have a warm and stiff soled boot. The warmth of the boot is important on high snowy peaks. Boots can be hired, but it is better to arrive with your own well broken-in footwear, in order to avoid problems. They must not be smooth soled or very flexible. Go for a B2 for general alpinism or B3 if you intend climbing more technical routes. Lightweight fabric boots are not recommended.

Crampons

Crampons
These should be ten or twelve pointers with front points. They should fit the boots you will be wearing! Rigid C3 crampons 'ball up' badly and are not recommended for that reason. Completely stiff crampons are not good for long treks. C2 Petzl-Charlet mixed points with toe straps and heel
' cup' are good, as are Grivel G10. Heel 'cups' tend to be more sure-fitting than heel clips on some boots. Carry your crampons in a bag, rubber nipple crampon covers are very fiddly and time consuming. Please have anti-balling plates fitted to your crampons. A C1 crampon with straps all round can be used on stiffer boots.

ice axe

Axe
Alpine axes should be around 60/70cms in length. Shorter tools are needed if steep climbing is envisaged.

Harness
Essential. Adjustable leg loops are preferred for ease of fitting. The Black Diamond 'Bod' is good.

Helmet

Helmet
Essential. Adjustable leg loops are preferred for ease of fitting. The Black Diamond 'Bod' is good.

Waterproof Jacket and Trousers
The trousers should have a full length leg zip for ease of fitting over boots and crampons. Lightweight waterproofs are often better in the Alps as they spend most of the time in your rucsac.

Gaiters
A lightweight pair of gaiters (not Yeti's) are essential at times.

Rucsac

Rucsac
A medium volume sac of 45/55 litres is best. Plastic bag liners are useful. Buy a rucsac without too many complicated straps and buckles. Large hip supports often hinder harness fitting and add to the weight, as do internal metal stiffeners.

fleece

Clothing
Should be of lightweight layers. Extremes of temperature will be experienced and a flexible system is essential. Warm mitts and hat are essential, as are sun-shade hat, trainers and shorts. Jackets should have accessible pouch pockets for carrying items needed quickly (sunglasses, sweeties, small camera, sun cream, etc.). Shirts should have a high collar to protect your neck from the sun, T-shirts are poor in this respect.

Bivvy Bag

Bivvy Bag
A large person sized plastic survival bag (500gauge) is the minimum requirement.

First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit
A small personal pack including medication for blisters, headaches, stomach upsets, sunburn plus any personal drugs. For people on special drug treatments please bring spares and/or a list of their brand names/contents. Total sun block cream for glacier travel. Lip salve. Small tube of skin cream. Ear plugs for a quiet nights sleep in huts if other people are snoring!

Good Quality Sun-glasses
Best with side covers for glacier travel. Please check with an optician.

Compass and Map

Compass and Map
Maps are best bought on arrival but can be found in Britain, check beforehand.

Guide Books
Try 'The Alpine 4000m Peaks' by Richard Goedeke (Diadem). Recommended

Prussik Loops
Bring four metres of 6mm line (softish kernmantel) to be made into loops on arrival.

Long Tape Slings

Two @ 120cm and Screwgate Karabiners (three).

Water-bottle

Water-bottle
Essential to carry a litre.

Light Sleeping Bag
For camping, bunkhouses and possible planned bivouacs.Not for alpine huts. A light silk sleeping bag liner can add to your comfort considerably.

Telescopic Ski Poles (three part)
Very useful for taking the weight off your lower body in descent, boosting you up hill and general balance. Recommended but not essential.

Rock Boots

Rock Boots
Useful for valley climbing, during bad weather conditions at altitude.

Other items
- Form E111 (DSS)
- Passport
- Alpine Club Card
- Insurance

Travel

Travel to Grindlewald is pretty straightforward by train from Geneva airport.