We met up with our American friends Friday evening at this little charming hotel up in the foothill of the Alps. This little place is just as gorgeous as it looks. So cute, so charming and so special. This is a place I would love to return to. It was great to see A and C again that we had not seen since they moved away from Basel in December last year. They had brought their daughter L (10 years old) a long as well. We had a delicious dinner, good wine and lots of catching up to do.
The Swiss cows are present everywhere. This is how they spend their summers. Talk about happy cows. You hear the sound of the cow bells in the distance almost everywhere.
So many waterfalls around this region. The power of the water dropping many meters down, so powerful and beautiful.
We started the hike Saturday morning around 9 am. We met up with our Swiss friends that drove up from Basel early in the morning. We were 7 all together. I must say we were so very lucky with the weather. We picked THE WEEKEND for a hike. It had been raining previously and more rain is expected this week. But we picked the window with the most gorgeous weather. It could not have been more perfect! It was sunny and actually quite warm around 30 C.
Passing a few small places such as this farm house selling fresh home made cheese.
The beauty of it all was just breathtaking. This weekend required plenty of sunscreen.
This is us taking a short water break. C, our Swiss friends Andreas and Connie and our American friends Aaron and Carol and Lillie standing behind Aaron.
Up here at this altitude it was still spring. The grassy slopes were covered with beautiful flowers of all kinds. As spring and June has been on the coolish side it was not so long ago since the snow melted away and the flowers were blooming in full bloom right now.
For us it was all uphill that first day. A steady pace for 4.5 hours, every step going up the mountain. The first part being easier with a proper trail. Here as you see the trail was mostly loose gravel and as we got higher it got steeper and steeper. All in all we had to climb 1300 height meters! This hike was tough and challenging, definitely not a beginners hike in any way.
As we got higher up there was more snow and also fog/clouds were rolling in. As you can see we were still dressed in shorts and t-shirts, we were not cold due to the steady climbing.
We had to cross patches of snow such as this one. The snow made the trail partly wet and slippery. I was very grateful for the hiking sticks that I had just gotten. They proved to be of great value both going up and down.
Finally, finally we reached the hut where we were staying over night. Such a relief and joy to see this sign and actually see the grey stone building of the hutte perched at the very top of the peak.
More clouds rolling in at us. The very last part of the trail was so steep that they had built in steps and a rope to hold on to. Felt like a great step-master machine with hundreds of steps to be accomplished.
The Blumisalp hutte where we stayed over night and had dinner and breakfast. Quite a big hut housing about 100 people. All supplies need to brought in and out with helicopter. This is one of the highest alpine huts at 2840 meters.
Staying the night here was for me a little bit like facing my very own Fear Factor. I had to overcome some of my comfort issues in life. This hut was housing far more people than I had expected. I was terrified of ending up in the big room with 50 people. However, we were lucky enough to be assigned to one of the smaller rooms with only 20 beds. We were 7 of us in our party so we got to sleep next to each other on the lower bunk. As you can see these bed are narrow giving you no more than about 80 cm with. You all share same mattress, you get a blanket and pillow, you bring your own sleeping bag and put the blanket on top of it. It is not an experience that I am thrilled about. But for one night I guess I would be able to put up with it again.
Relaxing and celebrating with drinks and friends. Even if the temperature was high in the lower sections up here it was much cooler.
One thing that was really cool was that we were right next to the glacier. It is a little hard to spot it in this picture. You see the big pile of snow in the center below the peak in the middle, that is part of the glacier. You could see the bluish ice clearly from the hut.
Good evening with beautiful weather and clear skies. A good dinner, some wine and a great time with good friends. Could not have been a better end to the day.
The views. To breathtaking, so spectacular in so many ways. These pictures don't make up for reality. It was just such an amazing experience to be here and take all of this in. I am so ready to do more of this. Every step and every drop of sweat as well as sleeping in a room with 20 other people was all worth it to get to see and experience this.
After the hearty 3-course dinner everyone sat outside just enjoying the evening and the views. Bed time was 10 pm. Many people go mountaineering and thus need to get up really early. They therefore had two breakfast servings, the first one at 3 am for the people heading out at 4 am and the second breakfast starting at 6:30 for the regular hikers like us.