Dufourspitze | Switzerland

This mountain I had a lot of respect for. I know others trying to do this project that did not succeed because of this mountain. I tried to climb it last year in september but it was too late, a snowstorm came and it was not possible. So when I found a weather window I decided to go for it. 10 days earlier then planned. The only problem was I needed a guide and everyone was fully booked. So I tried to get an experienced climbing partner. I don´t even know that many so when no one I knew could I tried to find anyone with alpine experience. But I could not get a hold of that either. So I wrote a friend. From Costa Rica, living in Stockholm. With no alpine climbing experience. That had never used crampons. I didn´t even know if he had been on snow before. But at least he was an amazing rock climber with good balance and a great and crazy friend who said “I will come” and jumped on the next flight to come climb with me!

After only one night at 2500 meters we went up to the Monte Rosa hut. My friend Ry rented his gear in Zermatt and borrowed some from me. We really had to improvise a little to get everything ready with such short notice. I picked him up the day before in Milan and then we drove to Täsch where we took the train to Zermatt. We were running late too, started hiking around 6 pm (the time you should be in the hut)

The hike is three parts. First along a trail, then over a dry glacier and in the end a more steep trail with rocks.

Here you can see the Monte Rosa hut where we were spending the night.

Matterhorn in the background.

We arrived just before 10 pm. Not so popular but Rys flight from Frankfurt to Milan was cancelled so we could not get here any earlier…

The next day we did a acclimatization hike up to 3800 meter. The sun was frying us and the snow was soft. Since Ry had no experience I had to lead the climb. It was my first time doing that. I consulted a guiding friend about some things to feel comfortable doing it. Before I had only climbed with guides and it´s a whole new thing to climb on your own.

The next morning it was breakfast at 3 am. We had almost 2000 altitude meters to climb from the hut to the summit. When we left in the dark me and Ry took the lead since we had done the hike the day before and knew the route. Everyone else was following but some catched up at the glacier were we roped up. That is one thing that takes more time – all the logistics, when you climb on your own.

Then we maneuvered across the crevasses.

And kept going up, up, up. The night turned into morning. There was some other people climbing the mountain too. Maybe 10 groups in total.

We got to the ridge where it became more steep and exposed.

Views were amazing!

Costa Rican man with an ice ax!

To the top! I was really impressed by us being the third group all the way. Even if things took longer time for us when it came to ropes, putting on crampons and all the logistics I was happy that we had good speed walking on the glacier even if it was a long way to the top.

View from the ridge. Other climbers going for the summit of Nordend.

The summit ridge was very exposed and Ry, used to rock climbing said to me when we got down “this was a life changing experience” since there was no protection, no fixed ropes or anything. We put our rope around rocks at some places. It was exciting and a little bit nervous to lead the climb on this part.

The last part to the summit was a 5 meter high wall. But not too difficult!

And then we were on the summit! About 6-7 hours after leaving the hut.

Summit cross!

Summit views!

So cool!

And then we climbed down again all the way to Zermatt. We had a 2 hour stop in the Monte Rosa hut on the way down. I had a shower (amazing) and some cake and we made it to the last train with 5 minutes to spare! We had to run the last part, I was pretty tired then. But so happy with this climb. It was one of the best in the project. So cool and I´m so proud over myself and my friend Ry for doing this!