Autumn alpine climbing can bring both rewards and frustrations in the high mountains. The peaks are quiet, the weather often stable and the low temperatures can help with snow/ice routes.

The frustrations can arise from the lack of lifts and huts. And when the snow does fall this time of year it tends to stick around rather than consolidating quickly like it would in the warmer summer.

The trick to a satisfying trip is flexibility, and heading to routes that are in good condition rather than trying to force a route that should be left for another time. Being in the hills and the huts with no one else around is a fairly unique experience on the 4000m peaks of the alps. If you’re willing to put in a little more effort, and bring an extra coat then the autumn can be a superb time to be int he hills.

Marbrees Traverse

Mackerel Sky whilst approaching the Marbrees Traverse

Snowy mixed conditions on the traverse of the Marbrees

The east side of Mont Blanc taken from the summit of the Marbrees.

The Swiss 4000m peaks taken from the summit of the Allainhorn

Allalinhorn normal route

Descending from the summit of the Allalinhorn on the normal route.

Brittania Hut Winter Room

Dinner time in the winter room of the Brittania Refuge

Brittania Hut Winter Room

Time to go elsewhere. Cloudy and windy conditions leaving the Brittania refuge.

Aiguille du Van

Aiguille du Van north summit, the Emosson Dam in the background.

Voie Caline, Chamonix.

On one of the longer pitches of the Voie Caline, Chamonix.

Voie Caline, Chamonix.

Nearing the top of the Caline, Chamonix valley in the background.