Classic Haute Route Day 5 – Bertol Hut to Schönbiel Hut

It was another early start with breakfast at around 5 am, unfortunately it was quite disappointing, there wasn’t enough Orange juice or milk,  both of which were just in a carton in the middle table. There didn’t seem to be anyone around to bring out some more stuff unlike the other huts. Overall this was the worst hut for hospitality we ended up staying at, the views are great but the guardian and hosts seemed grumpy and annoyed you were in their hut. We ate the bread with jam and some cereal with a little splash of milk and got ready to head off, it was a perfect morning with a clear skies and the no wind at all.

Sun rising behind Matterhorn from Bertol Hut

We set off down the ladders to the east side of the Col and got roped up ready for the glacier crossing. There was a clear track across the Glacier du Mont Minè south south east towards the Col des Bouquetins We then headed East up the Glacier towards Tête Blanche. As it was a clear night and morning the snow was very crisp and made for quite easy walking, crevasses were fairly easy to spot but well covered on our way up to Tête Blanche. Once on the Col de la Tête Blanche we headed up towards the summit across the bergschrund, which was a bit slushy and had a few holes (probably from the 70 Belgian Scouts the previous day). It was a short walk over the flat snow towards the summit (3707m) where we untied for summit photos and to enjoy the perfect views over the Matterhorn and surrounding ranges.

The Matterhorn from Tete Blanche summit

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Classic Haute Route Day 4 – Vignettes Hut to Bertol Hut

Route up Mont Collon Glacier
Route up Mont Collon Glacier, the track goes up to the right between the crevasses and the ridge line

We woke at around 5 am for breakfast which included bacon, pancakes and eggs as fresh hot food, this only continued to make me like this hut even more. We got ready downstairs in the indoor area and set off around 6 am back along the route we’d walked the previous day. The snow was nice and crisp after the cold night so we had our crampons on today unlike the walk in the day before.  We removed them again for the scramble down the ridge back onto the top end of the Otemma Glacier which was a lot easier than going up it before as it was also slightly frozen. At the bottom of the ridge we put our crampons and roped up ready for the glacier crossing. There was quite a clear track along the glacier up the Mont Collon Glacier towards the col de l’Eveque, the glacier was fairly easy going initially but then it got a bit steeper and the track went over to the east of the glacier. Further up there were quite a few open crevasses with snow bridges crossing them. Some of the snow was a bit soft in places and had been well trodden by earlier groups so the bridges were not as good as the lower part of the glacier.

We made our way up to the col where the Italian border runs and walked east down the glacier on the other side of the col. This started off good and there were tracks in the snow but further down we kept to the east side on the icy section of the glacier where the crevasses were much clearer.

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