NLMC Alps Meet 2024 - Saastal

Thank you! Could you advise New members which activities are planned for Alps meet to Sass Valley - 8-16th June?

Hi Polina, I’ll answer this initially as I intend to go and have been there before :slightly_smiling_face: …others may chip in later with varying opinions!

The main objectives in the Saastal will likely be the abundance of accessible 3500-4000m summits (at least a dozen!). There is some local valley sport cragging which is OK and some multipitch sport on the Jegihorn. Therefore if you have no/very little mountaineering experience you should probably look at a guided trip first, or seek out an existing attending member who’s willing to look after a novice. Many of the local 4000m peaks have very easy routes to the summit and there’s excellent cable car/ski lift/funicular access to them, but almost all still require glacier crossings.

Cheers
Matt

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I believe Ben in his capacity as meets secretary will be organising chocolate making, schnapps tasting, alpenhorn blowing and a fondue night.

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A quick review of the main huts and lifts
HUTS
Mountain huts (saas-fee.ch)
MischabelhĂĽtte - opens mid-June
BritanniahĂĽtte - opens 15th June
AlmagellerhĂĽtte - opens 16th June
TaschhĂĽtte - possibly mid-March, not confirmed yet
WeissmieshĂĽtte - not confirmed yet
HohsaashĂĽtte - all year round

Lifts is rather trickier to find out but the main uplifts between Saas Fee and Mittel Allalin/Hohlaub and Saas Grund and Hohsaas will be open to serve tourists going up to the restaurants, so that gets you pretty high either way.

So pushing the trip back a week would give us more accommodation options.

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I’m in agreement with Matt on this. Even possibly moving back two weeks. Check out the lift opening dates here:

Summer Timetable

It looks like the Weissmeiss SW ridge is doable in any conditions, and it looks like there are some good rock routes e.g. Rimpfischorn that would be in condition even if the snow ones aren’t. Also, last year I was in Chamonix at the end of June/beginning of July and the conditions were fine. It’s the Alps, so anything could happen re the weather and conditions.

Pros and Cons I think…it’ll be quieter and cheaper to go when the huts aren’t open, using winter rooms, but you’ll have to carry more kit of course, and probably do more walking.

I’d actually rather go early, purely for selfish reasons, as I am highly unlikely to be able to take leave towards the end of June due to our FY end…but that’s just tough luck if the majority of you want to push the trip back! :man_shrugging:

The main campsite is open from May to October
Camping Kapellenweg Saas Grund

@MattGee - Could you get away with June 15-22 for work? Don’t mind the extra walking, but I do like my creature comforts :smiling_face:. If not then might be easiest to keep days as is.

NB I just looked at the Almagellerhuette and Mischsbel hut websites and neither have a winter room, only an emergency shelter with no running water, cooking facilities etc.

I probably won’t be able to make it so don’t take my opinion too seriously, but for what it’s worth, having lived in the area I think you are likely to have better conditions for classic mountaineering and some mixed routes if you go earlier. And the routes will be less crowded if the huts aren’t open.

Hmm… the Saas Grund/Hohsaas lift seems to open very early in the season, but the Felskinn lift for the Alallinhorn etc. on the Saas Fee side doesn’t open until the 22nd. So going from the 8th limits that option as well as huts.

I know its less than ideal, but would pushing back to the first week of July work better for availability to attend and functioning infrastructure?

Maybe create a spreadsheet to gauge who is interested in attending, intended goals, and preferred dates, and use that to make a decision?

Thank you, Matt. I have experience in mountaineering, having tackled routes in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Although I haven’t done climbing and mountaineering in the Alps yet and need a partner. I trust your advice on the best timing. Any time in June works well for me.

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Moved my annual leave to the week 17th-21st June as I think Ian is absolutely right about the huts/lifts, I could therefore do anytime from 15th - 23rd June inclusive.

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All sounds great! I’m keen, and those dates should work well.
But having no real alpine experience, I’ll be picking peoples’ brains nearer the time for advice about courses, guides or whatever’s appropriate.

Possibly going by Matthias’ experience you might want to start looking at guides fairly soon as they are getting booked out earlier every year. A weekend with a guide in Zermatt or on the Monte Rosa prior to the club trip would probably set you up for some easier routes.

I know a few in Chamonix, and a couple who live nearer in Switzerland. Happy to pass on names if you want to start investigating

Hiring a guide is probably a very good idea. There was no way I could afford one in 1970 when I first went to Chamonix. Survival was more by luck than judgement.

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Amazing! Is the June 15-23rd range confirmed as official now, or is it still an open matter?

It’s official for me. Anyone else is welcome to go when they want. So a spreadsheet would still be a useful thing to add :smirk:

Is that a not-so-subtle hint? :laughing: … I’ll attempt to create one.