In collaboration with Mammut, Bächli Bergsport had been looking for two enthusiastic mountaineers who wanted to join the monk as their first 4000er summit on a joint tour - and found two highly motivated winners in Tina Schmelzer and Nadia Kägi.
A report by Alena Stauffacher - Bächli Bergsport
In early July 2019 found the tour on the 4107 m.ü.M. high mountain in the Bernese Alps, led by Konrad Rösti, mountain guide of the Mammoth Alpine School, and Caro North, Mammut Pro athlete and mountain guide aspirant. Unforgettable weather conditions created unforgettable memories - but let's just talk to the two alpinists: "Although I did not know anybody in the group, the meeting at the train station in Grindelwald was like a gathering of old acquaintances. Caro, Tina and I immediately embraced each other and the anticipation for the adventure together was huge. We were warmly welcomed by Michael von Bächli Bergsport and the mountain guides. From the train we could admire the impressive Eiger North Face. It was all the more unbelievable to entertain us with our companions, who had already defeated them several times and in record time.
Then the secret of the surprise was also revealed: We got off at the Stollenloch and were allowed to smell the north-wall air. I had set myself on the monk tour and on top of that came the Eiger North Face. "Crazy, Eiger North Face as training for the monk! "We joked. I was immensely impressed when we stood in the middle of the steep wall. It was so impressive and I just could not get enough of it. We were even allowed to climb! As a remembrance, I packed a small stone. »
In the run up to the big mountain hike, Tina and Nadja were equipped with hardshell jackets, softshell pants from the new Mammut Eiger collection for women, an alpine backpack and a climbing helmet to be optimally prepared. The surprise in the north face of the Eiger seemed to have succeeded: in the approximately 1,5 hours, which could spend the group in lofty heights, the two got a first impression of the beauty and harshness of the mountains around Grindelwald. «For me an absolute highlight! »Says Tina about this trip - even before they reached the Mönchsjoch hut in the snowstorm in the evening.
The moment when they left the warmth of the cabin the next morning shortly after 4 clock, coined:
"I was nervous and a little drowsy when Konrad handed me the rope with the figure-eight bow in the cloakroom of the Mönchsjoch hut. Do I have everything? Am I ready for this adventure? Now I'm on the rope and it starts! It was still dark and cold outside. The morning mood was magical. With a headlamp alone in the quiet and mighty mountain world, the vastness of the white, almost infinite snowy landscape and how the sun slowly emerged as a red line on the summit chain - I will never forget that feeling. »
Due to the snowfall at night, the crampons had to be put on early, and there was no chance of finding normal mountain shoe soles in the snow that covered the rocky terrain.
"For me a first challenge, I'm not as sure-footed in crampons as I wish. But Caro led me well and safely to the summit thanks to a few short breaks. An unbelievably great feeling, if you step up step by step, the sun rises slowly behind the mountain peaks and you are on the mountain with great people - pure happiness! »
The summit ridge was especially impressive for the two 4000-er newbies. For some, because of its exposure, it meant nervousness and concentration, others watched a cloud slide over the ropes like a Roche. But to rest for a moment and take a moment to take a look was worth it:
"On one side we had the glacier world and a" winter wonderland "at our feet, with a view of the Aletsch Glacier - even the Matterhorn was visible. On the other hand, juicy green meadows, mountain lakes and the summer feeling outweighed pure, separated only by the ridge, which we fought to the summit. »Tina Schmelzer
"At the summit I felt boundless freedom," recalls Tina and Nadja also reports: "I will never forget the feeling on the summit of the monk: I was proud of the performance of the team and my own. The view was impressive and Caro had even brought Ovi Summit Schoggi. This was followed by warm hugs and congratulations to our first 4000-er. »
The descent following the summit luck demanded of all again after full concentration and surefootedness. Carefully taking one step in front of the other and chatting cheerfully over and over again and exchanging experiences on the mountain, the two cliques slowly returned to Kleine Scheidegg. Here the group was expecting a fine afternoon - and a realization: "Only when I got down to the bottom did I really realize the effort that had cost me the great adventure. All in all, therefore, I was all the more proud of myself! »
Looking back on the ascent of the monk as her first 4000er tour, the mountaineers enthuse: «I am incredibly grateful to have met such great people - the joy for mountains and the sport united us immediately. It was an incredible opportunity and I am already looking forward to my second 4000er! »
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Credits: Photos & Videos: Nicolas Hojac