Sunday, April 19, 2015

Le Moléson (2002 m)

Holidays are over... High time to go back on the trails. I didn't choose the itinerary for today, I guess I would have been less courageous myself :) But Moléson was the mountain I had always wanted to hike. It's just beside Gruyeres, my beloved village that I visit several times every year. Every time I was there I looked at the lonely peek with a sparkle in my eye. So when there was an opportunity to join a hike there I didn't hesitate.

Although we've had good weather this year, it's still April so mountains are still in snow. We learnt about it in a pretty painful way. Wet and heavy ground slowed us down, we had problems finding the path and most of all, we were constantly sliding. Some passages would not pose any difficulty in summer but today they were delicate and it even happened to Sergey that he lost the grip and slid down a couple of metres. Fortunately, he was able to somehow stop and nothing serious happened.

Not without a struggle, but we made it to the top from where we had a nice panorama over the Alps. The sky was clouded but clouds were high enough to let us see far and well. We made a lunch break, happy and not aware that even more struggle ahead of us :)
Whenever I can, I always do the routes that go in loops, I don't like to trace back my footsteps on my way down. Today was no different. What I didn't know was that the variant that was chosen for our descent was not really used in winter. At least we didn't see any traces of hikers. It looked like the opening walk for these chemins and now I see why.
The path led on a ridge of a neighbouring mountain that looked like that:

I don't have that much experience in winter hiking so I didn't trust this overhanging snow. In fact, if it wasn't for Sergey who went first and encouraged us to continue, I would have turned back. I did this passage with my heart in my mouth and felt seriously relieved when it was over. The rest of the route was substantially easier but not really a Sunday walk either. To cross all the snow fields was not an easy task and we moved rather slowly at times. At some point we lost the path and had to go downhill in the snow. I was glad we made it safely to our car.

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