After arriving in Arolla we decided to make the most of a weather window by heading straight up to the Cabane des Vignettes with the aim of climbing the Pigne d’Arolla on the next day. The weather on the walk up was stunning but it was very hot, and with the combination of the excessive heat and altitude I really struggled on the ascent. Thanks to some encouragement from our friends we continued, and thankfully as we got onto the glacier it clouded over which provided some respite from the heat.
After an excellent evening in the hut, followed by the best hut breakfast I have experienced (bacon, scrambled egg and pancakes) we started the climb up the Pigne d’Arolla the next morning. The route is meant to be an easy snow plod, but due to the very hot summer there was a short section which was steep, bare glacial ice. As we were four on a rope we pitched the ice on the way up and down to ensure that we were safe. After the icy section the rest of the route was straightforward snow where we were able to enjoy the fantastic views.
The 1800m descent back down to Arolla was very long, and increasingly hot but the desire for a beer in Arolla kept us going!