Dom Trip Report (#22042)
- Signed By: Roy Lindman
- Date submitted: August 12, 2010
- Date(s) climbed: 09-10.08.2010
- Number of People Encountered:50+ people
- Recommend to a Friend: Highly
I started from Randa which is nearby Zermatt.
One goes through Randa towards north east and turns towards south east when starting ascending. Path goes through forest about two hours and is on the shadow side in the morning.
Weather was nice and enjoyable. When forest came to end I saw a waterfall on the right side, also on the Europa path. I decided to go and collect water. I drank about two liters and collected three liters.
I had travelled about two hours. Then returning towards Europa hut and up the Dom path. Here started also the climbing section with wire supports. It was sort of a nice scramble and climbing, which took about three hours. On the sign posting near Randa it says four hours up to Dom Hutte, but these times are based on people who are use to alpine conditions. There was ibexes near the Dom hut and one could go quite near them. The Dom hut was full of people, around 50 climbers. I had a look inside, it was made to last and obviously was used in the winter conditions too. This hut costs money and needs to be prebooked.
Then I decided to go higher. I had to see how the route is like, I would start my climbing in darknes early tomorrow morning. One hour higher there was a camping place with a few tents. Down to glacier and still some ascending. I would go easily through tomorrow. Only one bad section where I could drop down about five meters into glacier.
I had been on the Grenzgletscher glacier near Dufourspitze a few days ago. There was plenty of people using only walking sticks, not crampons. This surprised me a bit. What would one do if dropping into one of the cracks on the glacier ? I had good crampons, having two spikes at the front. One could ascend up the ice by kicking it. One other chance to survive was to have an anchor with cord. Unfortunately these have not been designed or are on the sale yet ! One could also throw the anchor
at the front when ascending a steep cliff.
Naturally an electric anchor would be an other option.
Anchor spikes getting warm from battery energy...
certainly would work !
I went back to Dom hut. Sleeping with 50 climbers did not inspire me, one would run out of oxygen ! I waited until it was more dark and returned to the camping place. There was a few tents. I found a nice wind cover as usual, put my alarm clock on and started to sleep. The night was warm and almost no wind. Stars millions of them, then I slept.
Around three O'clock in the morning I woke up, hearing other climbers passing by. I still wanted to sleep, but decided then to pack my things and have breakfast. That was chocolate !
My headlight was a great thing it had 10 led lights. Now it was four O'clock in the morning I started to go down towards the glacier, then ascending on the left side of it. I met a Polish climber where a stony section starts. I put my crampons on.
Cracks on the glacier were too big to go over. We climbed through a rocky terraine with plenty of moreine and some ice, it took one hour.
Going on glacier and on its left side took one more hour.
We were standing at the lower skirt of the saddle which leads on the Dom mountain. There was fixed ropes. I let the Polish climber go first, watched his climb and did the same thing, also secured my climb with a carabinier. If one would drop the carabinier on the fixed rope would stop one falling down. This was something what I did not usually do, but it does not weight too much to have with.
Technical climbing on the wall took half an hour,
then down the other side of the saddle and going on the glacier again. There was about 15 people at seeing distance from me and the Polish climber was somewhere there too. He was going faster, so I asked him to continue. I did not want to sweat, now it was frost. One of the problems with group climbing,
some went faster.
Awesome snow fields and massive glacier peaks at the north side of the Dom.
I was a very happy climber, I was doing my first four thousander.
I had my sunglasses on even it was not sunny yet, light reflected from the snow.
There was massive cracks on the glacier, possibly tens of meters deep.
After two hours I had passed a group of three climbers and came to more steep northern flank. Ice axe was usefull.
The northern flank is really steep.
I drank water slightly, about after every 50 meters, and that was a good support !
After two hours there was a couple coming down with a rope between them. They made a sort of running down, I smiled. I saw an other group of three people again and started to ascend after them. It was sort of a safe decision, the flank was really steep. I would have climbers nearby if something happened. From my previous experience I knew it was to hit with the ice axe several times into mountain, if starting to glide down. That helped too ! Going zig zag.
Finally on the top and over the clouds ! Incredible feeling...my first four thousander !!! Views were awesome, hundreds of peaks and massive clouds underneath. It had taken 5 hours from Randa to Dom Hutte and 7 hours from camping place on the top of the Dom.
I started taking photos...this was great !
Two Belgian climbers started to go down and I had a tiny chat with the three Slovakian climbers. Then the group I had passed came on the top, one of them was a woman. They were also from Slovakia.
It was time to go down. I started to hurry up, and that was easy, going down went always much quicker. I hit my axe several times, when going slightly faster.
When I came to saddle I met the Belgian climbers. They used own rope with stoppers. I had learned something new. That kind of brake attached on the rope was good to have.
It is called : a belay device.
All of us put helmets on and I still put my slalom glasses with straps on, those would not drop. I had only 20 meter rope, the Belgians had 75 meter, this meant that I had to attach my rope again and again. I was on a happy mode, my experience had grown. Climbing with ropes is OK, those just needs to be tested before climbing.
Down the glacier and soon we were at the Dom hut, it took 4 hours and other 4 to me as I still descended down to Randa.
My flight was tomorrow.
It was really hot on the lower cliffs, so I stopped several times. I went to collect water again. This was one of the problems on this mountain, there is not really water on it, except if one collects slow from the glacier.
Forest gave a release some needed shadow.
I was watching the old timber houses of Randa and emptied my last water bottle, my climb had come to end and there was a new adventure in my mind after a few weeks !