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Discussion: Gornergrat

in: baloney; baloney > 2016-08-19

Aug 19, 2016 7:00 PM # 
...was the scene of an adventure many years ago. I was studying in France for a month and decided to go to Zermatt for my 18th birthday weekend. I took the train up Gornergrat and decided it would be fun to walk down - except I didn't have a map or much outdoor experience or shoes or gear, and I was carrying my backpack for a 3-day hotel trip. It got sketchy and cliffy, and I had to throw my backpack down ahead of me in order to scramble down some steep sections. Luckily, I found it and when I got to the hotel, I found that a shampoo bottle had opened and covered everything in my backpack - from clothing to books. Some lessons were learned there.

I know Trav will be much smarter about his mountaineering bug!
Aug 20, 2016 7:38 AM # 
Sounds like the trail has improved a lot since then. Only a one hour run down now and pretty straight forward - lots of families taking it on. Trav was eyeing the Mt Rosa hut with the thought of attempting a couple glacier summits. Would need some mountaineering training first, and some help in getting trav over his issue with heights.....maybe with Yamnuska in Canmore.
Aug 20, 2016 12:45 PM # 
I did a 10 day glacier mountaineering course with Yamnuska - a memorable and wonderful adventure! One member of the group was nervous about heights and I only remember one day on an airy ridge where that was an issue. To me, glacier climbing felt safer than rock climbing because you can always use ice axe and crampons to move up an ice slope, whereas you need to find holds on rock. Doooo it!

When I descended from Gornergrat, I didn't bother with the trail. I just headed cross-country down a Swiss Alp, avoiding all the crowds. How hard could it be? Teenagers...!!!
Aug 20, 2016 3:57 PM # 
Yamnuska definitely dialled in - did one too a number of years ago - two endorsements for trav to check it out. :)
Aug 20, 2016 6:44 PM # 
I think he should take on some Euro mountain 50Ks too! They'll all be saying, "Who's the fast new dude?" Awesome result today!

My only complaint about the mountaineering course was the calm acceptance of our guides that it's a sport where some of their friends die - but hey, that's just part of the sport. I loved the glaciers and moderate mountains but I'm too much of a wimp to take it to the next level.

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