VALAIS ALPS

Posted on: December 1, 2002


Starting from the shores of Lake Geneva, Claude-Alain Gailland and Sebastien Gay (Switzerland) began a traverse of the Valais Alps on June 1. The pair planned to follow the ridge that forms the border of the Canton Valais in a counterclockwise direction. This would have involved around 640 kilometers, 330 summits, eighteen of the 4000-meter peaks in the Alps and a total elevation gain of more than 70,000 meters without descending from the crest. They had completed approximately two-thirds of the traverse, climbing 250 summits and crossing major peaks such as the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa, when, during the descent of the Rhonenstock, north of the Furka Pass, Gailland was hit by a rock, which broke his hand. The two had to abandon their odyssey before they were able to start the westward traverse across the Oberland peaks back toward Lake Geneva.

— Eddie Sender, USA

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