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When I first came to Meiringen in 2001 I looked up at the surrounding mountains and the Wetterhorn and said "I will climb that mountain one day..ha ha ha"

At the time, I thought it was a joke but little did I know that 6 years later I would be able to look down on Grindelwald from ca 12,000feet and feel very proud of myself! See the Eiger and Jungfrau in the distance? Well worth the 4am start and ca 10hours hiking, climbing and at times crawling when the terrain got more than a little steep.

We were very lucky with the September weather again this year which was clear and gorgeous, if icey cold. So we took advantage of it and headed up for a 5 day mountaineering trip. Our first peak was the Weismies in Wallis, one of the Walliser 4000 peaks, so over 12,000feet. A true challenge and at times a battle against very cold, strong wind which seemed to be blowing as if it didn't want me there. I tried not to take it personally but at times was almost convinced that, no, I really didn't think I should be there either! But only once or twice and of course, it's always worth it when you fight the elements and at the end reflect (with a beer held in your thawing hand) on what you accomplished

Next day we headed up to the next 4000er, Allalinhorn above Saas Fee. The day felt like a walk on the beach after the previous, with the much warmer weather and relatively easy route. Bruno, our friend and mountain guide in green calls this a 'Schoggi tour', and you all know what schoggi is right? Maybe his definition of easy is a little different than mine, but I had to agree that this day was really a holiday, but it still required some concentration. Along the way, my boyfriend Marc woke me out of my focusing on one step after the other to ask 'Hey, what's that?' He was being a little bit of a smart aleck but good thing he stopped me or I might have continued walking and missed it!

And, yes, after 5 yrs in Switzerland it was the first time I saw the Matterhorn. I'm glad I waited.

The next 2 days we dedicated to climbing the Wetterhorn and eventually going home to a very long and hot bath. I've got millions of stories and pictures from this week but I wanted to share these especially.

I'l spare you the ones of what my feet looked and felt like at the end!

Grüss from Switzerland!

Views: 165

Comment by Bill Kover on November 6, 2007 at 10:16am
Where did you stay overnight?
Comment by Vance Roy on November 6, 2007 at 1:46pm
Jessica,
A woman after my own heart! Would that I had 40 years away from my next birthday. I might try those hills. My "conquest" in CH is the Siedelhorn (3000 meters and ten years ago). It scared me when I got there and saw the sign. Now, I sit and dream as an armchair climber. We do have a friend who is mid-50s who has done several 4000s, and I live vicariously through her at times.
Good luck and keep climbing!
Comment by Jessica Powers, Heartland Staff on November 6, 2007 at 4:16pm
Hi Vance,
I am constantly inspired by people I see clambering around the mountain, in thier 50's, 60's and upwards. I can only hope I enjoy so many years of mountaineering! I was also on the Siedelhorn a few years ago and remember it was quite a climb and somewhere along the way was a memorial plaque or two for some perished climbers which didnt give me alot of confidence.

When up at the Glecksteinhütte, before our Wetterhorn climb, we lucked out to hear Frans Holler do a reading of some of his mountaineering and hiking stories (he's a great author who I previously didnt know). He also talked about a new addition somehwere along either the train ride up through the Eiger, or else along the Eiger trail. Small plaques were placed along the route commerating various milestones in the Swiss Alpine Club and various Eiger ascents. And on the last plaque it says in German basically "And it's all the same to the mountain", which I think is a great sentiment.

Maybe someday the Eiger will be one of our goals, but not yet!
take care
Comment by Jessica Powers, Heartland Staff on November 6, 2007 at 4:27pm
Overnighting is always a fun challenge, depending on how many people you're rooming with, who snores, and how many days in a row everyone's worn the same pair of socks! THe first night we stayed in the Almagellerhütte, ca 4hr hike above Saas Almagell (here's the website for some picts and info http://www.almagellerhuette.ch/index-e.php?sprache/english/seiten/willkommen/main.php) the second night we stayed in a hotel in Saas Fee and the third night we were in the Glecksteinhütte, a ca3 hr hike above Grindelwald and famous for the Ibex which come to lick salt off the walls in the evening (http://www.gleckstein.ch/frameset%201.htm)
Comment by Bill Kover on November 25, 2007 at 9:32pm
I just watched a PBS program called Globe Trekker. The young fellow on the program took the viewers on a 7 day skiing trek from Chaminix to Zermatt. Each evening they stayed in one of those "huts". Watching it reminded me of you and your blog. It was nice to see Zermatt again. It would be nice to be 25 years old again. But I don't think I would have the nerve to do the 7 day trip from Chamonix to Zermatt, especially since I've never skied in my life.

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