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Zermatt is one of my favorite places in Europe. When I returned in the summer of 2003, I had already decided that Zinalrothorn was going to be one of my climbs. It's maybe not as high and famous as Matterhorn and Weisshorn, but the spectacular summit spire makes it much more exciting than the two other summits.

Zinalrothorn is one the most beautiful mountains in the Alps, especially from the south where it's looking like a needle. The technical difficulties on the normal route is AD (approx the same difficulty as Matterhorn that I climbed two days later). The Biner slabs on the upper ridge can be difficult and exposed in icy conditions. Here we had to use crampons on very mixed ground. However the main danger is the frequent rock-falls in the couloir from the snow-ridge and all the way up to Gabel's notch. The rock-falls in the afternoon are also bombarding the glacier just above the hut, rocks that can be the size of a car. On the the way down it was a terrifying sight to see all the big rocks that blocked the path we had taken in the middle of the night. Speed is safety, hence I ran like a mad man to prevent being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The route is described in one of the pictures right, with the interesting bypassing of the forepeak Kanzel on the final summit ridge. I will never forget that extremely exposed vertical drop, surely the most exciting step on the entire climb. For more information about Zinalrothorn see Summitpost.org

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Posted by gfg on Wednesday, August 06, 2003. Filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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