3 September 2021, Magnificent Mountets, Besso-Moming, Zinalrothorn, Obergabelhorn Conditions

The long walk in to the Cabane Mountets (2886m) is more than compensated for with stunning views of the upper Zinal Valley and arriving in the magnificent high mountain glacial arena where the hut is situated.

The inspiring walk up to the Mountets Hut with views of Weisshorn, Zinalrothorn, Dent Blanche, Grand Cornier and Obergabelhorn along the way…

It took us around 4 hours to walk in to the hut and another short outing up in to the impressive valley beneath the West Faces of Besso and Blanc de Moming gave us a useful recce for the approach in the dark for the next morning…and the red paint dots along the way helped quite a lot too!

Dawn below the fine SW ridge of Besso with the impressive north face of Dent Blanche and Grand Cornier beyond.

The traverse of the SW Ridge of Besso (3667m) and Blanc du Moming (3657m) gives an excellent sustained AD+ outing and long 10hrs plus round trip from the brilliant base camp at the Mountets Hut.

Good rock on the SW ridge of Besso early on during this long rocky traverse

There is plenty of good sustained scrambling and big boot rock pitches up to around III-IV on the SW Ridge of Besso with some fine pitches steepening up on the summit tower.

Good wall climbing high on the SW Ridge of Besso
Besso Mamouth Traverse

The fixed gear is very limited with just the occasional bolt and we used all the 6 cams we had taken from little blue to yellow 2.  The climbing is never too hard but there is plenty of it!

Perhaps the crux pitch on the penultimate steep section on the SW ridge. In-situ bolt and peg on this pitch but extra cams very much recommended.

It took us just under 5 hours from the hut to the summit and there are wonderful views of the surrounding peaks as well as back down the Zinal Valley – straight down to the car park!

Last few steps to the summit of Besso with Dent Blanche North Face beyond.

The traverse over to the Blanc de Moming starts with an easy scramble a little down on the East Face, but the ridge is quickly re-gained and then followed pretty diligently down to the col, along the sustained solid central section and then up to the Moming summit.

Besso Moming Traverse

The modern topo mentions a 20m delicate and fragile section of flakes just below the summit of Moming where the snow has receded exposing some raw rocky flakes.  These are slightly disconcerting to climb and protect on the lead but actually still provide good climbing and were thoroughly enjoyed by Richard seconding!

Another section of à Cheval along the ridge…plenty of horse riding on the Besso Moming traverse!
Nice cracked slab just before the steeper final flakes to reach the summit of Moming with Besso – and Zinal beyond.

The walk over the little glacier cap to the lower summit on Moming provided a welcome & easy break from the rocky ridge horse riding sections and a great opportunity to soak up the remarkable views with a Himalayan air to the high mountain grandeur.

The giants of the Zinal – Zermatt Skyline from Moming

Lots of teams had also been climbing on the Zinalrothorn, including all of the big 3 ridges on that plus both the Arbengrat and North Face of the Obergabelhorn.  Activity also on the Trifthorn and Dent Blanche.  We set off down the relatively rambling descent of the SW ridge of Moming Dome which is rapid and easy compared to the route on Besso and traverse ridge, with just one little pitched section protected by an in-situ bolt as the only real difficulty just above the La Forcle saddle with Mamouth.  It was great to relax and take in the wonderful high mountain ambiance with a second night at the hut rather than do the walk out after an 11hr day on the hill.

The marvellous base camp at Mountets with the north face of Obergabelhorn beyond.

After a leisurely 0700 breakfast the next morning we enjoyed the 4 hour round trip of the nearby Mamouth 3219m, starting just 300m down the path to the hut and featuring more fine solid rocky ridge action with the occasional bolt but well worth taking plenty of cams as per the Besso Moming traverse.

Starting up the SW ridge of Le Mamouth with the Mountets Hut behind.

There is some fine rock & fun climbing both the on SW ridge and the traverse of the main crest and this gives an enjoyable shorter outing and good option for either the hut walk in or walk out day.

Richard enjoying the fantastic views of the Zinal Skyline from Le Mamouth traverse

Back in Chamonix, well done to Robin on summitting Mont Blanc yesterday.  A great effort and fine conditions and just reward for putting the time in on our Snowdonia alpine training courses.

Robin on the summit of Mont Blanc. Good conditions, which can only be enjoyed as a result of lots of effective training. Congratulations Robin! Thanks to Kenny Grant for photo.

Our Chamonix alpine intro mountaineering team have been training and mountaineering on the Mer de Glace, Skyway Monte Bianco and are on the Gran Paradiso today.   We’ve also had teams on the Matterhorn and heading for Mont Blanc tomorrow, so stay tuned for conditions updates on those.

Richard back in the lower Zinal Valley having climbed Besso, behind.

We still have a few spaces left on late summer alpine mountaineering courses plus an early autumn opportunity to climb Gran Paradiso and Mont Blanc in early October…

For group courses – there is a regularly evolving situation with both regular bookings and cancellations – please check the details on our main mountaineering courses page and get in touch if you would like to join one of teams training and climbing in the Alps.

Likewise in Snowdonia and Scottish Highlands for our late summer and autumn Mont Blanc and Matterhorn training programmes please check for details here or get in touch for private guiding & training.

The North Face of the Obergabelhorn, which had just been climbed, en route to the Mountets Hut, Zinal, Swiss Valais Alps.