SMG Alps 2011 Jungfrau

 After our recovery day we decided to head back up to the Monchsjoch hut and give the Jungfrau a try.  The weather forcast didn’t look great but we thought if it didn’t snow too much we might get enough clear weather to give it a shot.  We rode the train back up to the Jungfrau Joch station and found it full of Mammut guides, people dressed in traditional 1800’s climbing gear, and lot’s of hubbub. We came to find out that it was the 200th anniversary of the 1st ascent of the Jungfrau that day.  There had been as many as 150 people on the summit, some in the old gear, and all in questionable weather. There had been helicopters and news reporters and it was quite a scene.  The weather was rainy so John and I stayed in the station and had some lunch. After lunch we hiked back to the Monchsjoch Hut and checked in.  There had been a lot of cancellations because of the weather so thankfully the hut wasn’t too busy.  Just the night before they had been packed to the gills for the 200th anniversary climb.  We had a great dinner and went to bed early for the 3am wakeup.  During the night I could hear the wind and snow battering the hut and at 3 we were in a cloud and it was still snowing.  The forecast called for clearing but even after breakfast the weather had not let up. I sent John back to bed and told him I would come and get him when it was time to go.  4:00, 4:30, 5:00, 5:30, and finally 6:00, were all the times I got up to check the weather.  There were two other guides looking to climb the Jungfrau as well and to this point no one had left yet.  At 6 I saw a faint clearing and got John up for an attempt.  We got organized quickly and were the first ones out the door for the day.  We were in a cloud as we trekked towards the Jungfrau but the closer we got the nicer it became, until we were treated to a beautiful sunrise blanketing the summit of the Jungfrau.  The previous nights snow had erased all the tracks from the 200th anniversary climb and John and I broke trail towards our objective.  We knew we needed to move as our weather window and late start only allowed a short time to reach the summit and return before the threat of wet avalanches and post holing would shut us down.  We climbed smoothly and efficiently through the steep sections and found ourselves alone and first on the summit that day by 10:30.  After some summit shots, great views, and seeing that the weather was coming back in we started our descent.  We made it back to the Jungrau Joch by lunch and seeing the forecast decided to head back down to Grindelwald.  We had a great climb on an amazing peak.
The deck on the Jungfrau.

John on his way back up to the Monchsjoch Hut

John with the Gross Fisherhorn in the background.

New snow on the summit morning sunrise blanketing the Mammut basecamp.

John is ready for action.

The Clearing sunrise with the Jungfrau on the Right.

Looking down glacier.

Mixed climbing in new snow on rock.

John making it look easy.

John is all smiles with the Monch in the background.

Steep snow climbing.

John on the upper summit ridge.

Graupel was piled up from the storm the day before.

John on the summit.

Jungfrau 4158m!

The Norwegian group coming up the final ridge.  They were the only other group to summit that day.

Exposure?  I think so!

Heading back to the Jungfrau Joch.

Crossing the ropes to civilization.

Celebration Rosti.

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