We gave the Mittelegi Integrale (D, 2400m gain) on the Eiger a good shot. Did the via ferrata to Ostegg Hut (2300m) on Saturday (3hrs), one day after arriving to Switzerland. OH is the plushest unattended hut in the Alps. On Sunday we climbed to the Mittellegi Hut (3300m)in light rain and on wet rock, in 9 hours. There were a few pitches of actual rock climbing which made me don rock shoes....it was still interesting with a 16kg pack. Lots of scrambling on chossy rock and balancing on knifeblade ridges, some abseils into clefts...all quite interesting but dry rock and some visibility would have been a better. On Monday morning we were going to go for the summit but were greeted by sleet, wind and 10m visibility. Damn. The weather foresast we were given was shit, the site to use is meteoschweiz.ch ...now we know. We descended to the Eismeer train station instead (3 hours), climbed the 15m up to the door above the glacier and caught the train up to Jungfraujoch....for free. Jungfraujoch is a bit of a tourist zoo so we quickly headed to the Monchsjoch Hut for the night. A typical germanic land lady, with no smile and no running water.
On Tuesday the weather was clear so we climbed the entire South East Ridge of the Jungfrau (PD+, 850m gain) to 4150m altitude, our first summit. The round trip took 7 hours, which was quite good considering this was our 4th day climbing in a row. Blue skies, great visibility, for once both me and Neil had fun. We even got to use two ice scews on the iced up ramp that gains the bottom of the SE Ridge.
We have now transferred from Grindelwald to Zermatt and are having 2 days rest before the Matterhorn. Beer and chocolate are cheap but watches are expensive. Lots of people with funny clothes in the street.