POLLUX (13,425 ft). ENGLISH VERSION

2008/09/02

In our second day in the Hut of 'Guide del Cervino', we'll try the Peak Pollux, which would be the last climb we'd make this year.

The Peak Pollux, over 4.000 meters – 13.123 feet height, often is unadvertised for the most of the climbers, opposite his elder brothers: Peaks CASTOR and BREITHORN WESTGIPFEL. Since that it’s not as tall as these others, and actually, it's more difficult, receives fewer visitors. However, this may be our most appreciated climb of this trip.

Spanish version in this link: POLLUX (4.092 m)


SITUATION
Border Ridge of Central Valais. Alps.


STARTING POINT
Hut of Guide of Cervino, kept for the whole year.

You should begin in Breuil-Cervinia, a famous village within Aosta Valley (Italy). Take a look at the ascend to Hut of Guide del Cervino and further information on 2008/08/31.

CARTOGRAFÍA
Sheets: ner 284 Mischabel and ner 294 Gressoney 1:50.000. Swisstopo.
Val d'Ayas Val di Gressoney Monte Rosa 1:25.000. L'Escursionista Editions.


MAP
Copyright L'Escursionista Editore.


RESUME
UNEVENNESS: 900 m – 2.952 ft (+/-)
TOTAL DISTANCE: 18 km – 11,2 miles.
TOTAL TIME: 12:00 hours.
DIFICULTY: A bit difficut (-).
50º snow slopes in the couloir before the South West Ridge of Pollux.
On the SW Ridge, maximum IIIerd degree scramblings, with bolt-aiders and auxiliary chains for security:
- Smooth wall, 6 m - 20 ft long horizontal crossing, over a cleft 10 centimeters – 4 inches width.
- Short narrow chimney-couloir, with embedded blocks.
- Smooth wall, 8 m – 26 ft height, with steeping stones, round 10 cm – 4 in width, which provides access to the back of Pollux. There you shall find a Virgin’s statue, figuring a sacred scene.
40º slopes on the final slope over the back of Pollux untill the summit. So that don’t forget of your crampons and ice-axe, and don’t leave them down, at the base of the scramble. It’s very temting to leave them there, to climb faster and be back sooner.
Therefore remember, there are still snow slopes above the scrambling.

GEARS: Basic equipment for glaciers, inclouding a belay device, a HMS carabiner, and a rope 50 m - 164 ft roughly, among others.

THE CLIMB
After have climbed BREITHORN WESTGIPFEL yesterday, with a little unstable weather, wake un early and watch over the accuracy for the forecast. So we have a breakfast and move soon. We intend to climb Pollux, and after that, move ourselves to Hut of 'Guide d'Ayas', in orther to keep on doing our tour over 'Monte Rosa'.

We can see the blue sky, from the entrance.



We prepare our equipment and take the same way as did yestarday, towards Plateau of Breithorn, near the Klein-Matterhorn sky-resort.

Fistly we walk by the ski slopes, avoiding to disturb skiers who are sliding down. Nevertheless, we don’t get out of the ski slopes, cause should be dangerous to walk over this multi-crevassed-glacier.

A few meters up, the Cervino appears further 'Plateau Rosà'.


Amazing!


It’s escorted by the 'Dent Blanche' on its right.


And some other emblematic peaks beyond, in Switzerland.


We get to an intersection of two different slopes: one goes cross a short near tunnel, the one we chose yesterday, and the other steepens to the north, today we’ll take thi, in order that we move straight to 'Breithornpass'.

Plateau Rosà seems tiny compared to Cervino.


It raises over the rest.


Westwards is Mont Blanc!


We carry on by ascending the slope, which turns on the right, and deviates us. Moreover we see footprints straight ahead to Breithornpass, by crossing Breithorn Plateau.

After a short meditation, we intend to follow these footprints. Not without regarding that we are upon a glacier. Nevertheless, upon such a flat surface, crevases are fewer, and it’s early in the morning.


Even we take some picture.


Footprints marks the way to go.


We’d better not get off the course of footprints.


Mont Blanc and Cervino.


Walking towards Breithornpass.


Awesome Cervino!


We go straight untill find and cross another ski slope, with ski lifts settled, from North to South.

Once in Breithornpass, groups of climbers tied together, coming from Klein-Matterhorn.


For information about climbing the BREITHORN WESTGIPFEL, click in.


While we look at Breithorn’s brothers, wich we’ll surround by South.


Any other tied-group-of–climbers, ascending Breithorn.


Moving forward we’re close to main footprints. It´s rather stepped on due to it’s next to Klein –Matterhorn. That’s a good starting point for a fast ascension.

By now, we can see the Pollux, on the left of Peak Castor.


From this same place we can see aligned, Kleinn-Matterhorn, Cervino and Dent Blanche.


Finally we are on the course to the Pollux, surrounding the south face of Breithorn Westgipfel, walking Eastwards.

Down clouds over South, towards Italy.


A perfect day, just by now.


It’s an splendid day, as to observe the peaks on the Border Ridge of Valais, previous to Monte Rosa. From here, there’s a clear course towards Pollux, straight through the base of Breithorn’s group.

This picture indicates the way.


From those precipices on the right falling from the Peak Dos de Rollin, arrive thunder sounds reguraly.


A bit closer.


Watching it’s SW Ridge.


We’re near the basis.


Taking a look on our backs.


There’s the couloir to climb.


We have a little rest and some meal. Of course take a drink.

We intend to leave the backpacks, in order to climb ligther and faster. We carry much load, as that we’ll go to another hut, so wear full-equipment and supplies for three days more.


We are to climb the couloir.


Follow the white line, please.


We watch what’s left.


The couloir steepens to 50º. Better be careful, due to the thin snow rug, and we’re stepping on rocks mostly.

At the end of the couloir.



Taking a look over the corridor.


Mountaineers climbing the South Face of Castor.


From now on, we move by the entertaining SW Rigde.

We must first scrambling some I/II grade passes.

Secondly, we’ll find the horizontal course crossing a wall of rock, helped by a chain, taken with anchorages, stepping on a cleft.

Then, climbing a short chimney, with embedded blocks, but also chained.

Finally, an 8 m – 26 ft height climb, thanksfully chained. Up there, you’ll find a bolt for a belay station.

We are 'smart' guys, so we decide to leave ice axe at the feet of the firts pass, as to not disturb us. That's a bad decision, but not dead-cause. Better carry on the back packs, and then you may wear your equipment, leaving your hands free.

Other groups climb and catch us. Most of them leaded with guides. We let them pass politely and see how to do the climb on the rock.

Waiting for our turn.


Awesome Castor, we may climb it tomorrow and also Liskamm.


So here’s the first pass.


The funnel under the first wall, nice fall.


Now we start climbing the chimney. At this point, I want to take the opportunity to give all my gratitude to all those professional guides over the Valley of Aosta, who enjoys steeping on your head, pushing you as you are in the middle of their way, in order to take their customers fast and safe to the top. Those polite guys, not everyone, but most of them, who pulls their customer as pieces of meat through the slopes, the rocks, the ridges and the falls, can take all my understanding on their behavior. Yet knows, money rules, for sure. What’s mountain better than a big-rocky-money-machine?

Yes, we are Spaniards, may be lazy, latin specutlators, lovers of sun and eternal party, and coast-building developing system creators. But I say, for sure, that you will find further better manners Southwards Pyrenees, on each ridge, wall and step you shall walk, than in the whole Aosta’s Valley. We don’t have glaciers, but we like to say 'Hello!' and sharing a piece of cheese or cured ham with wine on the Top of a Mountain.

Well, after this gap, sorry about it, let’s stop with state speeches. As I said before, we’re to climb the chimney. By this time, a friendly guide have climbed onto me, see his accurate skills and making me feel as another embedded block.

The piece of meat is at the other side of the blue rope.



We do the same play, Mane goes first, and belays me from the top.


See the chains. Note that Mane is the one in red helmet; the piece of meat is the one next him. She’s been pulled once and again.


I’ve got to the top of the last wall, and stare at the Breithorn grouping Westwards. This is so beautiful!


The remaining course to the top. See on the left that guy, who comes climbing the West Side of Pollux, all in snow.


The Liskamm and CASTOR.


The beautiful Virgin’s statue.


We take the opportunity to entrust ourselves to the Virgin, despite we’re agnostics.


Follow the white line, please.


Watching the clouds invading Castor’s basis.


Here you can see in front of us, the Roccia Nera.


Walking up the snow edge.


Close to the summit.


The Alps raising over Switzerland.


We're on the top


From here, we can see the Liskamm and 'Monte Rosa' in the background.


Watching huge glaciers over Switzerland...


... which are miles long.


Long gullies filled with ice.


Other teams of climbers and guides.


The clouds are chasing the CASTOR.


Mane can’t stop staring at this magnificent.


A nice guide offers to take a picture to us. Some of this guides are good professionals; but some others don’t care whether they are kicking your ass or not.

Summit of Pollux (4.092 m – 13.425 ft).


One more.


The North Face towards Switzerland.


Another one picture.


Lyskamm and Monte Rosa.


We beging descending from the Summit of Pollux without ice-axe, nice idea!

See you later!


Those teams descend directly to Zermatt.


We walk carefully.


The clouds advance, the day’s changing.


A nice ride. This is properly Alps.


Getting to the statue. We hope she cares for the climbers coming here.


We’re back at the top of the scramble.

Good bye, lady.


Looking for belay station.


And we descend by rappelling.


And now descending the chimney.


And for the last time, the horizontal pass. See much clouds around us.


Another point of view of the wall.


We recover our ice-axes, and get down .

Entering the corridor, we can see a team getting back to Kleinn-Matterhorn.


We begin see nothing cause of the damn clouds!


Descending the corridor, carefully, it gets definitely cloudy.


Once we are down again, have a drink, and plan what to do. We intended going to Hut of 'Guide d'Ayas', settled in an area with many crevasses. So it’s very important to take the footprints and follow them. However, we see almost anything and Mane doesn’t think this to be a good chance.

We expected to clear for a few minutes, and nothing happened. We can’t find footprints to 'Guide d’Ayas'. It’s rather cloudy. Finally, we decide to get back to 'Guide of Cervino', with our dutch pleasant host Tara.


I think that Mane actually wants to taste again the polenta served in 'Guide of Cervino'.

Clouds have wrapped the Pollux.


While we do the reverse way.


Soon we’re back at Breithornpass.


Hardly seeing Klein-Matterhorn.


We’d better walk by the ski slopes of Klein-Matterhorn, not as in the morning, while the sun tries to light us.


Cervino is also wrapped by clouds.


Close to the sunset.


And we get to the hut in an hour or else. The weather forecast indicates bad predictions, so we think our Alpin adventures should be closed for this year.

Happy and tired, we enjoy our dinner, have a cup of wine, and gone to sleep soon... :)

The climb of the next day in this link: BAJADA DEL RIFUGIO GUIDE DEL CERVINO.



To look for another Climbings in English Version, click on this link: RANK OF PEAKS. ENGLISH VERSION.
 
 

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