Allalinhorn, 4027m
Alphubel, 4206m
August 1999


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Allalinhorn, 4027 m; a view from the Alphubeljoch
After failing to get to the top of Rimpfischorn we made a plan to climb two 4000 meter peaks in one day. We chose Allalinhorn and Alphubel. Neither of the summits presents any serious challenge but climbing both at the same time makes it into a rather long hike.

We started the climb by driving to Sass Fee and parking a car in a structure built outside this popular skiing resort. No cars are allowed in town these days. It took another 20 minutes to get to the Mittelallalin Express lower terminal. Soon we were on our way up to the Mittelallalin, 3454 m, fighting with a crowd of rather pushy skiers of all nationalities. I felt like I was in a queue in front of a Polish butcher shop 15 years back. Not a laughing matter mind you, but rather one of survival. The Mittelallalin Express is a truly amazing construction, very Swiss, I might add, with the last section of about 500 vertical meters traveled on a "London tube" through a hole drilled inside the mountain! The price for the round trip fare matched steepness of the ascent of the train when we were arriving at the upper terminal.

Finally we were out there. It started snowing and one could see no mountains. The summits were gone and a few minutes later one could not even see the trail. Allalinhorn, 4027 m, is perhaps one of the easiest of all Alpine 4000-ers and with the construction of Mittelallalin terminal it now takes less than 600 vertical meters to get to the summit. This is done on a broad "highway", full of people who are doing their first glacier walk (mostly clients with guides). Well, as we paid for the tickets there was nothing else but to go up and we did. On the top the weather worsened and at times I could not see further than 10 meters ahead. In addition, it started blowing and I felt like I was in a full scale blizzard. We started descending almost immediately and I was sure that this was turning into the most pathetic summit I have ever done. We could not go to Alphubel as planned because we could not see any trails.

Luckily, on the way down, at Feejoch we met a couple of climbers who were coming from Alphubel. They were in the Täschhutte the night before, then went to the summit and now were going down to Mittelallalin. It was already about noon when we decided to follow their trail and do the Alphubel after all. After about an hour the weather started improving but this photo was taken much later in the afternoon, on our way back.