Europe 2017

Wednesday August 2, 2017

Thursday August 3, 2017
Zermatt to Saas Fee

Friday August 4, 2017

So I'd finally summitted Breithorn and was ready to attempt Allalinhorn.
We just needed to figure out when.
Kent and I were both kind of beat.
I'd biked up Col du Galibier Monday and climbed the Breithorn on Wednesday.
Kent had climbed Nadelhorn and Breithorn, attempted the Mönch, and done plenty of skateboarding.
I really wanted a bit of a down day to relax.
We thought about heading to Leukerbad, but it is pretty out of the way.
Brigerbad was another possibility and was closer, but was still not on the way.
We finally settled on relaxing in Saas Fee this afternoon at the spa, pool, or whatever facilities they had.
Saas Fee hotels all include passes for their facilities and all lifts in the Saas valley as well.
That way we'd be able to do Allalinhorn tomorrow - the weather was forecast to remain good.

Fendant is a great white wine from Valais. 
Kent is getting his Fendant ready for travel...

Kent was kinda beat Thursday morning.
He picked right up when I brought him a morning beer from the Coop!

Kent's pic

We had a bit of a challenge finding the correct bus stop Stalden - they've now got a total of 4 bus stops in this tiny town for some bizzare reason.

2017-08-03 11:33

It takes about 2 hours to take the train then bus to get from Zermatt to Saas Fee transfering in Stalden, and we arrived in Saas Fee around noon.
We checked out the Hotel Europa Saas Fee cause they were cheap online, but the rates were pure bait and switch crap (100 CHF for a room with no view at all, 180 CHF for a room with a view!), and the snotty young couple that own or run the place were a pair of arrogant asses.
Avoid the Hotel Europa Saas Fee at all costs.
Kent found us a great cheap room at the Hotel Tenne.
The Hotel Tenne has a cheap annex, but they warned us that one of the rooms in the annex was occupied by loud skiers who woke everyone up at 4am every morning.
The owners placed us in their main hotel at annex rates for 57 CHF per person, which was really nice of them.
We only rented the room for one night since we didn't have any idea what where we'd end up tomorrow after Allalinhorn.

The main street was full of vendors - we thought it may be the annual goat festival but we didn't see any goats.
There was also local folk music in the streets, but overall it was a pretty tame and low key event.

2017-08-03 14:07

We checked out the Saaser Museum.

2017-08-03 14:13

The Saaser Museum was pretty underwhelming, the climbing exhibits were the only thing it really had going for it.

2017-08-03 14:15

Old school crampons

Old school hobnailed boots

2017-08-03 14:16

2017-08-03 14:17

Kent was thrilled to find the wiener guy at one of the food booths!

After lunch we wandered the town and finally found the spa.
It looked pretty dark and not very inviting.
It was around 3pm.
Kent went back to the room for a nap.
I used my free lift pass and went up the brand new Spielboden then the (old) Längfluh lifts to see the mountains.
The last lift down Längfluh from was 415pm, and the last list down from Spielboden was 430pm, so I had to move fast!
Spielboden featured multiple cameras in every gondola car for a total big brother experience!

PANO from Spielboden - scroll right
Fallgletscher (I think... or part of Feegletscher)
Saas Fee
The lower Saas Fee ski area with Mittaghorn 3093m and Egginer 3367m

Fallgletscher (I think... or part of Feegletscher)
from Spielboden looking northwest

2017-08-03 15:40

Saas Fee from Spielboden
Looking northeast

The lower Saas Fee ski area with Mittaghorn 3093m and Egginer 3367m

Spielboden 2447m

Längfluh gondola

Feegletscher and Allalinhorn from Längfluh, looking southeast

PANO from Längfluh - scroll right
Saas Fee, Feegletscher, and Längfluh

2017-08-03 16:00

PANO from Längfluh 2867m - scroll right
Saas Fee & Feegletscher
Fletschhorn 3985m / 13,100', Lagginhorn 4010m / 13,160',  Weissmies 4017m / 13,179' are across the Saas valley on the left

From Summitpost.org:
The Fletschhorn is considered to be one of the most complex peaks in the area.
Its imposing north face and east side ridges provide some of the most demanding routes in the Alps and thus the Fletschhorn has sometimes been called the most beautiful Swiss 3000m-peak .
Lagginhorn is perhaps the only 4000m mountain of the Alps that can be climbed without crampons and danger of crevasses,
 and (as no bigger climbing skills are necessary) even a hiker could reach the summit if the upper part is free of snow.
Most of the easiest route is a steep path in very loose scree interrupted by short steps that need a little climbing.
“Weissmies” means “white moss”, which refers the glaciated summit of the mountain.
Weissmies is considered an “easy” 4000 meter peak, since the normal route to the summit is graded PD.

Allalinhorn 4027m is the glaciated peak above Feegletscher in the center right of the pano

2017-08-03 16:01

Feegletscher from Längfluh

As late as 410pm I saw several of people above Längfluh who didn't seem to either know or care that the last lift down left in 5 minutes...
The last lift down turned out to run a little late, perhaps they ended up rounding everyone up to get them on the lift.

2017-08-03 16:47

When I got back to Saas Fee I found Kent and we shopped for food and beverage for the climb.

2017-08-03 17:45

We found a good pizza place that was playing live local folk music for the festival

Kent's pic

2017-08-03 18:52

I passed out early from exhaustion while Kent packed for the climb.
Kent was sure I wasn't going to climb tomorrow.
Later at about 9pm I woke up and packed for over an hour so I'd be ready to climb first thing in the morning...
Kent explained some of the finer points of the crampons I have - they're called neves cause their made for snow, not ice. 
They're aluminum instead of stainless steel, and their points aren't as tipped or as deep as a better pair of crampons.
I didn't have a harness with me so I didn't think there was any point in trying to use an ice ax.
I also didn't have a pack that could accomodate an ice ax.
This had been a concern since I first thought about Allalinhorn.

Meanwhile in the heat wave in Italy...
Paul and Ray did the Vatican Museum and St Peters, Paul had a beer on roof of the museum.
Paul moved on to Castle St Angelo and the Capitoline museum.
He had beer and pasta and pesto at a cafe for 4 euros.
They were early enought to beat the lines.
Vatican Museum was warm but survivable.

Paul and Ray hung out at trevi fountain watching the anti-fun police blow whistles every minute at tourists for the new crime of sitting on the edge of the fountain
Ray bought a selfie stick from a street vendor - asking price 12, he offered 6 and got one.
Paul and Ray went to small bar near the Collosseum and got properly inebriated before night tour of the Collosseum

Wednesday August 2, 2017

Thursday August 3, 2017
Zermatt to Saas Fee

Friday August 4, 2017