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Ski Touring in the Bernese Oberland

Ski Touring in the Bernese Oberland

photography
John Thornton
April 2019 | Read
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The arrival of spring marks the beginning of the alpine ski touring season.  The longer days and a more stable snowpack allow larger distances to be covered, and the gathering warmth of the sun eases tired winter muscles.

Check out the photo story below by St Anton-based ski instructor and climber, John Thornton.

With a clear schedule and a mostly promising forecast we packed our bags and headed to the Bernese Oberland for a 4-day glacier tour.  Our aim: to climb and ski some of the classic mountains in the area.  Heading out with expedition buddies Rob Johnson and Charlie Hornberger, we had our sights on the Aletsch glacier and the vast opportunities it offered.  

Climbing SE Ridge of Monch
Wasting no time we headed straight for the classic SE Ridge of the Mönch (4107m)
Climbing the Monch
The weather beginning to turn on us as we climbed higher
Summit ridge of the Monch
Battling through the storm to the summit before hastily down climbing to the Mönchjochhütte
Ski touring through the Grünhornlücke in the Bernese Oberland
Heading through the Grünhornlücke to our next overnight stay at the Finsteraarhornhütte
Ski touring in the Bernese Oberland
High-winds make for heavy touring on tired legs
Finsteraarhornhütte, Bernese Oberland
Relaxing at the Finsteraarhornhütte
Climbing the Finsteraarhorn, Bernese Oberland
An early start to tackle the Finsteraarhorn (4274m)
Climbing the Finsteraarhorn, Bernese Oberland
Conditions for skiing looking bad ahead as we make our way to the Hugisattel
Climbing the Finsteraarhorn NW Ridge
Trying to keep our balance high up on the Finsteraarhorn NW Ridge
Ski touring to the Jungfraujoch via Fieschersattel
Touring our way back to the Jungfraujoch via Fieschersattel
Rappelling into the Fieschersattel
Rappelling into the very dry Fieschersattel before catching the train home

John works as a ski instructor in St Anton, Austria, and runs his own photography business - John Thornton Photography.

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John Thornton

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