Steve, Tony and I decided that, weather permitting, we would try and get up it. First we climbed some easier 4000m peaks nearby. These were a good warm-up and gave us some useful acclimatisation to the thin air at altitude.
We all wanted to try the easiest way up! This is the "Hornli" ridge, the classic route up and the line of the original first ascent (1865). The guide book says "One of the hardest 4000er ordinary routes".
The blue line marks the route. "A" shows the Hornli hut, where we would spend the night before the climb. Farther up, the Solvay hut emergency refuge is marked.