Adventure at 4,000 metres

Thanks for all the donations to Justice & Care !

Breithorn Fi 4164m

A month ago (28/09/16),  I had just summited the Breithorn mountain, at a height of 4,164 metres. This was a climb I had hoped to make for some months. I can report that the experience lived up to all expectations, and was exhilarating. At the same time, I felt surprisingly at home on the summit and the narrow traverse of the peak, and I hope that this is the first of many 4,000 metre peaks.

The reason I climbed the Breithorn, Pennine Alps in the Valais region of Switzerland, was also to raise funds for a wonderful charity called Justice & Care, committed to the rescue and support of victims of trafficking, slavery and other abuses. They work internationally with governments and law enforcement agencies, focusing on prevention, protection and prosecution. More on their work here. Thank you so much to all those who donated to the climb. I raised just under £500.00 which is fantastic! xxxx


View of Matterhorn on way to Breithorn climb.


For the Breithorn climb, I booked a local mountain guide. This was for a number of reasons; namely my inexperience of 4,000 metre peaks, plus the Breithorn climb crosses a large snowfield over a glacier. Bruno was my Swiss guide, booked via the Zermatt Alpine Centre, and I hired crampons, boots and a harness from a local hire shop (with a 10% discount from the Alpine Centre. Bruno was an awesome help, and we summited well within the 2 hour ascent (more on the guiding services from the Alpine Centre here ). The views from the summit were awesome, including all the local 4,000 metre plus peaks, and even a great view of Mont Blanc, some 60 kms away!




Breithorn 4164m bw

I cannot recommend such an Alpine Adventure enough. On the way up, we travelled with the Italian, German and Croatian national ski teams, in Zermatt for their late Summer/early Autumn training, and everyone I met was encouraging and friendly. There really is an alpine community who are welcoming, highly professional and fun. At the top, I met the very kind photographer, Bernard Shouwey, who sent on a great shot of Bruno and I on the summit. Check out his work here. The fun did not stop there lol: on the way down from the summit, I met two climbers straining up the alp with their mountain bikes! The Swiss certainly know how to challenge themselves and have fun!

fffhedbi Mont Blanc

Bruno has recommended that I consider climbing the Castor alp 4,228 metres, next. I value his expertise and advice, and hope to do this next Spring 2017, where I will again be raising funds for Justice & Care. I hope you enjoyed reading my blog. I am a photographer, rather than a writer, so excuse any lacks in the flow of my expression! However, I loved every moment. The night before, I was apprehensive of the climb ahead of me. Having suffered bronchitis earlier in the year, and as a result having to cancel a trip to Gran Paradiso, I had resolved that as long as I got to 4,000 metres I would be content. I am full of thankfulness to have got to the 4,164 metre summit. It was a joyful experience and to my amazement, no aches and pains. I loved it up there, and cannot wait for the next Alpine Adventure 🙂 Fi xxx


Then, on my return to the UK, got to hear Chris Bonington’s talk on ‘Everest, the hard way’ at GLive in Surrey. Chris is definitely one of my heroes: mountaineer, ambassador for climbers everywhere, and gentleman. He still climbed the Old Man of Hoy when he was 80. Incredibly, first heard him speak back in the late 70s, when he visited my school. Quite awesome that having just climbed my first 4000, I got to hear him again 😀 Good times.





close up

View from Breithorn summit towards Roccia Nera 4,075m.