Triftjigrat (D, 920m), Breithorn

We bivi'ed close to the Gandegg hut. Evening views to Breithorn, and the Mont Rosa Group had been fantastic. The weather was settled and there looked to be no excuses for not ticking a decent route the following day. Tomorrow we would try Triftjigrat on the north side of Breithorn. The route looked to end a long way from where we were bivi'ing but we were well acclimatised and confident about covering the distance swiftly. The alarms were set for 2.30am so as to take no chances.

The Gandeg Hutt & Breithorn
Bivi'ing close to the Gandegg hut

By 3am we were descending the easy rocky ground to the glacier floor that we would traverse to the start of the climbing proper. We moved quickly down the gentle glacial slopes and through a broad gap that separated two bands of rock in the glacier. We descended maybe 150m before the glacier began to rise again. The climbing remained easy. Navigation was also straight-forward as our bivi site had offered an excellent vantage point of the whole route.

By sunrise we already close to the Triftjisattel. We climbed a short slope and traversed towards the main slopes beneath the summit. Crossing the bergschrund we climbed a broad faint couloir to the right of the broad serac just beneath the summit. The climbing was never more than 45 degrees. We carried a rope but never bothered to use it as snow conditions were excellent and difficulties suitable to solo. 

Lower slopes
Matterhorn views
Mike approaching the bergschrund
Above the bergshrund
Me climbing the upper slopes of Triftjitrat on Breithorn
Mike climbing the upper slopes of Triftjitrat on Breithorn
Mike climbing the upper slopes of Triftjitrat on Breithorn
We reached the summit of Breithorn by 9am. Winds were high but we could enjoy the solitude of being the first people on the summit that morning. Once photos had been taken and we had briefly enjoyed the views it was time to descend in the direction of the army of ants approaching via the South-South-West Flank. Never have I seen so many climbers on one route.

Summit of Breithorn (before the crowds arrived)
We descended to the Klein Matterhorn station, chatted to some American tourists, and then continued to the Gandegg hut by skirting the pistes on the Italian side. 

Comments

  1. Looks fantastic. Could not do this last year, but planning to do it this year if the conditions are right. Thanks for the photos, definitely helps the research for this year's plans.

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