This is a sample programme as there are many different ways to combine these ascents, largely depending on the condition of the glaciers and weather forecast.
The course starts with a briefing at 6.45pm at the hotel in Leysin. This is a chance for you to meet your team mates and Guide and go through the details of the course. There will also be time for you to sort out any equipment you need and for you to ask questions. Dinner will follow the briefing.
After breakfast we travel by car north east, over the Col du Diablerets, through Gstaad and on to Spiez, a very picturesque town overlooking the beautiful twin Lakes of Thunersee and Brienzersee, which are both fed from the huge glaciers and peaks of the Bernese Oberland. Sandwiched in between these huge lakes is the town of Interlaken at the base of the huge Lutschental Valley. We wind our way up the Lutschental Valley to the watershed that is the northern side of the Bernese Oberland. The huge peaks of the Eiger, Monch and Jungrau tower over the village of Grindelwald, which is where we start our journey into the heart of the Bernese Oberland. From Grindelwald we take the famous Jungfraujoch train through the Eiger, which includes a brief stop in the tunnel to look out of the glass observatory windows over the infamous North Face of the Eiger. You can take a few minutes to image what it must have been like climbing the North Face and the struggles of all those tho have tried to climb it since the first ascent in 1858. The train journey continues up to the Jungfraujoch, where we walk through tunnels in the mountain to access the huge snowfields and glacier that is the Jungfraufirn. From here, we put on crampons and rope-up for glacier travel as we head down the Jungfraufirn glacier to the Konkordia Platz which is the main junction of some of the biggest glaciers and snowfields in the Alps. Here we access the Konkordia hut (2850m) which sits on a steep rocky outcrop, via a set of steep ladders high above the glacier below, giving stunning views of the surrounding peaks and huge glaciated basin.
Just before day breaks, we leave the Konkordia Hut using the ladders onto the Gruneggfirn Glacier. From here we first walk up the Glacier and then go north to a Col at 3500m which accesses the upper glacier and SW flank of the Grunegghorn (3860m). This leads onto the SW Ridge of the Grunegghorn. From here we have two options, one is to retrace our steps back down onto the Gruneggfirn Glacier and then head NE over the Grunhornlucke, a col which will access the Fiescher Glacier and the Finsteraarhorn Hut, or continue on from the summit of the Grunegghorn and tackle the higher and more challenging Gross Grunhorn (4043m). If acclimatised well enough and we have good weather and conditions, then the SW Ridge (PD) of the Gross Grunhorn will give you a fantastic big 4000m experience in the heart of the Bernese Oberland. From the summit there are a number of options to descend to end the day at the Finsteraarhorn Hut.
Another early start, but the route this time heads off from behind the Finsteraarhorn hut up the SW flank of the Finsteraarhorn to access the classic NW Ridge (PD+) and then the beautiful rocky summit of the Finsteraarhorn (4167m). You descend by retracing your steps back down to the very comfortable Finsteraarhorn Hut where you can enjoy some quality time sitting out on the huge terrace taking in the amazing scenery and spending a second night at the Finsteraarhorn hut.
After breakfast, we head back down onto the Fiescher Glacier and walk back over the Grunhornlucke Pass which gives fantastic views back to the pyramid shaped peak that is the Finsteraarhorn 4167m. We continue down from the Grunhornlucke Pass and back to the Konkordia Platz and then make our way back up the impressive Jungfraufirn glacier to spend the night at the Monchjoch Hut.
Today is our last day in the mountains and we'll attempt to climb the classic 4000m peak that is the Monch (4107m). The start of the climb is very close to the Monchjoch hut and a fantastic final objective to your week in the Bernese Oberland. We will attempt to climb the SE ridge on the Monch. The views across to the Eiger and down to Grindelwald are spectacular and the summit ridge is a perfect snow arete and not for the faint hearted! A great summit and fantastic finish to the week of high summits and great adventure through the heart of the Bernese Oberland. Descent is via the same route, dropping back down onto the Jungfraufirn glacier and then a short distance back to the Jungfraujoch train station. From here we'll descend on the train back to Grindelwald and after a short break in the town, we'll drive back to Leysin for a well-deserved rest and have time to relax back at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel is included before departure.