MM Collection
Checking in from the Condor's Nest on Illimani, Bolivia. MM Collection
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August 9, 2018

No Spaghetti on spaghetti traverse... just tortellini, ziti, penne and espresso!

The spaghetti traverse, is a five day horseshoe shaped traverse that begins and ends in Zermatt. Although it begins and terminates in Switzerland almost all of the climbing occurs in Italy. Each hut is located on Italian soil (or rock in most cases).

 

The trek begins from one of the highest lift service points in Europe the Klien Matterhorn (3883 m).  There is very little ‘fluff’ on this traverse as two hours after leaving the tram you are on top of the first of many 4000 meter peaks, the western Breithorn. 

 

Each of the first three days of the traverse makes a U-shape.  You leave a hut climb up to the ridge tag one or several 4000+ meter summits then drop back down to the hut.  The climbs are primarily snow with many sharp knife edge ridges. Several options include rocky scrambles and/or fixed lines like Pollux, and The Naso. 

 

 

 

 

These summits are optional and most of the time is spent traveling across large glacial systems.

 

 

Although the climbing, and glacier traverses are incredible the thing that really makes this trip is the Italian huts.  With inexpensive house wines, beer on tap, WiFi, gregarious Italian Hut keepers, and most important generous portions of Italian food on hand; the huts really make this outing something to remember. 

 

Pie and espresso for an afternoon snack 

 

Or maybe a freshly made pizza, with beer?

 

Dinner is generally served around 7 pm. It begins with your first plate of either a soup or a pasta. Given the name of our traverse we always opted for the pasta!

 

 

Although the first course is generally more than you would expect to eat in the mountains, a second course soon arrives. 

 

 

In this case chicken, French fries, bread and mixed green salad at 4500 meters!

 

Eventually after four huts and seven 4000 meter peaks reached it was time to descend back to zermatt, down the grenz glacier.

 

 

And several tricky sections of the low glacial snouts, up ladders, and 8 hours of travel, we made it back to the cog rail of the Gornergrat railway that would take us back to Zermatt.

 

 

- Alan Rousseau