On Swiss national day, the first of August, Tanya and I walked from Steingletscher to the Tierberglihütte. The path rose gently from the valley before a sudden uphill section climbed 700 m in one go, and before we knew it we arrived at the hut, right as a thunderstorm rolled over the surrounding peaks.
|Sustenhorn (3502 m).|
Bizarrely, we were the only clients staying in the hut. Inside the dining room as it stormed outside were four or five bees, trapped against the glass, and after letting them out it was only us and the hut wardens left. That night there was a spectacular post-storm sunset that lit up our objective for the next morning — the Sustenhorn.
|Sunset colours from the Tierberglihütte.|
|Sunset over Giglistock (2900 m).|
|Crevasses lit by the setting sun.|
|This photo shows the entire route across the glacier and up Sustenhorn.|
|The view down to the Sustenpass.|
|A very quiet Tierberglihütte.|
In the morning we rose early, ate breakfast, and set out onto the ice of the Steingletscher. Normally in the Alps there are at least a few other groups going up any mountain we choose to climb, and it was strange and surprisingly unnerving to step out onto the glacier with not another soul around.
|(Tanya for scale).|
Higher on the glacier, there were some impressively open crevasses for us to cross, and we moved carefully. Higher still we came to a point where there was sheet ice that wasn’t comfortable going, and while we considered whether there was another way around, clouds started forming on the summit. We made the decision to turn around and leave the mountain for another day.
|Crevasses and weather.|
The trip was great fun. Our wander on the glacier was exciting and we had incredible views. To get home we took the bus from Steingletscher over the Sustenpass and all the way down into Valais, from where we could take a train through a tunnel to get back to Bern. It made for an interesting round trip and a satisfying end to a couple of days in the hills.
|Gwächtenhorn (3404 m).|
|Our route went to the right of these seracs.|
|Just off the glacier.|