Brenva Spur in July : LUSENET : Mountaineering : One Thread

I'm going to the Alps for a 2 weeks in July with my partner. Our target's are Dent Blanche (Ferpecle ridge), Matterhorn, (Zmutt) and Mont Blanc's Brenva spur. We chose these routes, because we want to avoid the worst crowds, especially on Matterhorn and Blanc. We also feel that they are well within our capabilities. And Matterhorn is a mountain my partner very much wants to climb.

My previous climbing experience consists five years of crag and ice climbing in Finland and some mountaineering in Norway. The routes we have climbed in Norway fall somewhere in PD-AD-D -categories. I currently rock climb something like 5.11a. My partner has soloed many of Ecuadorian and Chilean volcanoes (via non-technical routes) in the past.

And to the questions.

1. what's the temperature range in the Alps in July? We plan to do some bivying (short on cash) and wonder, whether a bivy bag is enough or should we take sleeping bags as well.

2. Is it possible to descent all the way to valley after an ascent of the Brenva Spur or should we stay at Vallot hut?

3. What's your recommended start time from Col de la Fourche hut for Brenva Spur? Is the lower part of the route climbable in darkness?

4. Any other suggestions for ambitious, but cautious rookies like us?

-- Timo Vennonen (, May 06, 1999


1. By night, the zero isotherm is around 2500-3000 meters. In summer I don't take a sleeping bag unless the route is easy or I don't have to carry it. The hut which is at Col de la Fourche has no carekeeper and is free. It has dirty blankets. 2. If you are fast enough, your best bet would be to go down through Aiguille du Midi or Grands Mulets. In summer the last car will go down quite late. Going down the Gouter is longer. Personally I always found myself staying at the Vallot (not a very pleasant experience). 3. I'd say around 2am, but basically you get up at the same time as everybody else since the hut is tiny. The whole route could be done in the dark and many parties finish the mixed part before sunrise.

-- Quang-Tuan Luong (, May 06, 1999.

4. Arete Kuffner to Mont Maudit. Depart from Col de la Fourche. Nice introduction to long courses.

-- Francisco Molina (, June 03, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ