About wet Tents, the Jungfraujoch and Adventurous Climbing

It was Wednesday, at 2:33 a.m. when I first looked at the time. Then 3:27, and I saw Sara, watching her phone. Something liquid dropped onto our faces. The tent – it’s a really old and cheap one - was completely and drippingly wet inside… it didn’t even rain! So we decided, we’ll get a waterproof tent the next day. Sara and I tried to sleep again that night. But we didn’t fall asleep anymore.

We’ve set the alarm clock at 6.30 a.m. to watch the sun rise. Exactly at that time, we would have been able to sleep again (that’s just normal, isn’t it?). We both, very sleepy, went outside and could not believe what we saw. It was beautiful; such a morning glory.

We tried to dry the tent, packed our bags and drove to Alpnachstad. There is the station at the bottom of the Mount Pilatus. The Pilatus railway is the steepest rack railway in the world (up to 48% gradient). After being half an hour on the railway, we arrived at the top of the Pilatus. We had again a really beautiful view over the Lake of Lucerne, to the Alps, also up to the Schwarzwald!

We did some small hikes at the top of the Pilatus and went back to the railway at around lunchtime (we’ve actually wanted to hike down the mountain but because of the bad weather forecast we didn’t).

After having arrived, we went to a shop for outdoor items and bought a waterproof (it really is!) tent.

Next stop: LAUTERBRUNNEN. Why Lauterbrunnen? We’ve followed Chris Burkard’s (he’s one of the most famous adventure, outdoor photographer in the social media) trips around the world and also around Switzerland. He raved about Lauterbrunnen! So, we said we would also want to visit this place.

The road trip was beautiful. We drove over main streets, along some lakes (Sarnersee, Brienzersee…), through the Berneroberland (there are so many lovely villages) until we reached the Lauterbrunnen Valley. It is a tiny valley in between two high cliffs with many waterfalls. Besides being unbelievably tired, we were really excited to be here. We ate dinner and fell asleep.

 

We started the next day (Thursday) by going onto a train that brought us to the highest railway station in Europe: Jungfraujoch, at 3454 m. We were overwhelmed by Chinese, Japanese and Indians… There are even Asian and Indian restaurants there!... Besides the many tourist (yes, we were tourists too, I know) and the thin air, we had a wonderful view over the Aletschglacier, Mount Mönch and Mount Jungfrau (Mount Eiger we didn’t really see from there). We went into an ice palace, did a short walk on the glacier and just enjoyed this mountain. In the afternoon, we took the train back down to a middle station, called Eigerglacier, where we got off the train so that we can walk to the next station. As we looked back, we were completely stunned. There was this huge wall of rock and the Eiger glacier in between. We were both speechless. Maybe it’s because once again we noticed how small we actually are in this world… It was THE perfect place to take photos and play with our cameras!

We finished the day by going up the Staubbachfall, the famous waterfall of Lauterbrunnen (in the night, it even is lighted!). In short, we payed A LOT of money (87 CHF each one, with a half-price discount) to get to the Jungfraujoch. But we both liked the walk down from the Eiger glacier station down to the next station the most! The Jungfraujoch is beautiful… But it’s way too expensive and way too crowded!

 

On Friday, we had a very dense program. First, we went again to some waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen, to the Trümmelbachfalls. The Trümmelbach is a river made out of the glacier water of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. In average, this river brings 20’000 litres of water per second. The Trümmelbach river falls down the cliff in ten cascades, with a difference in altitude of 140 metres. That was rad.

We continued our drive to the well-known Aaregorge (a canyon traversed by the Aare river) in the Berner Oberland. Since 1888, this canyon has been accessible for people. A wooden walkway and light made the Aaregorge even more attractive. It was a wonderful walk through the canyon and totally worth the 8 CHF.

Our next stop was the station of the bottom of the Triftbahn (gondola). We took one of the last gondolas to the upper station. Our plan was to hike up the Windegghut where we wanted to stay for the night. We didn’t know what to expect….. When we left the gondola, there was a really mystic landscape, like maybe in the Lord of the Rings. The signs for the Windegghut predicted a 1h30 hike. Well, that’s OK, we thought. Quite heavily loaded, we started to hike. It was a steep hike. With lots of rocks on the path. The only people we met were descending and looking at us like why in the world we ascended that late (it was 4 pm). After an hour of hiking and even more ascending, we arrived at a junction, where was written: right: Windegghut 30 mins; left: Triftbridge 30 mins, Windegghut 1h30. As we also wanted to see the Triftbridge (a chain bridge over the glacial lake of the Trift glacier), we decided to take the longer route. What a crazy path this was. We hiked over a rocky roads and scrambled up some bigger rocks until we finally reached the chain bridge! It was a breathtaking view. And yes, of course we crossed the bridge, even if we got really weak in the knees.. But it was worth it! After having taken many pictures, we continued our hike to the hut… There were two possibilities to walk: back on the “family way” which would take approx. 50 mins, or over the “chain way”, with 40 mins duration. We of course took the shorter path… But what we didn’t know was that it was actually almost a climb to get there. Seriously. There were chains to hold onto and to not fall down the cliff. It was exhausting and quite crazy what we did (I guess our parents wouldn’t have let us gone on that path/climb… we wouldn’t have gone there either if we’d had known, haha). Completely soaked, we arrived at the hut! Yippee! We had a quick dinner with a view over the mountain and the glacier and then, we tiredly slipped into our sleeping bags and slept like a baby. No, joke. It was a dormitory with approx. 10 people in it. At least 3 of them snored during the whole night… Never mind. It was a really adventurous and beautiful day. In sum, we didn’t make much width on our hike, but a lot of altitude!

 

Today, Saturday started early for us. At 6.30 am we tiptoed out of the hut, got ready for the descent and hiked back down to the upper Triftbahn station. This time, we took the quick path and met other hikers going up the way, asking why we already went back down… As soon as we arrived in the valley, we packed our bags again and started our longer car ride to Lugano in the canton Ticino. We drove over the Susten pass (narrow roads, but a great view; It looked so extraterrestrial). We originally wanted to visit the devil’s bridge, just before the Gotthard pass. Unfortunately, there was no parking free so we continued our way over the Gotthard pass. The streets here wider and in better condition. Some time at noon, we made a stop at the Ticino river. The weather was so hot. It was maybe 30 degrees temperature difference to last night. In the afternoon, we arrived in Lugano. We went for a swim in the Lago di Lugano and now, we prepare for a big day tomorrow!

 

Buona notte a tutti!