An early snow fall meant that Chris, Böru and I could make a great early season snowboard/ski tour. The original target was the Schwalmere, but deep fresh powder sucked our energy and kept our pace slow. There was also a bit of avalanche risk so we decided to turn around at the Lobhoerner. In any case it was a beautiful day to kick off the season with some powder turns. Check the photos out on my smugmug page .
Isabel and I spent 5 days in Lisbon, Portugal checking out the city and visiting with Tammy and Isaac, old friends from the U.S., which were on vacation. Lisbon is a great historic city with lot’s to do. In addition to checking out the big city, I spent a day rock climbing near Obidos with Tammy and Isaac. Isabel and I were also able to visit Sintra which is a beautiful village about 45 min by train from Lisbon.Check the photos out on my smugmug page .
Isabel and I hiked from the Gelmersee (Gelmer Lake) to the Gelmer hut with our friends Diana, Stefan and their daughter Jesse. To get to the lake we took advantage of the Gelmerbahn (world’s steepest funicular, 106 degrees) to reach the lake. It was a nice hike to do on what was probably the last warm Autumn Sunday of the season. After we finished the hike I took Stefan and Jesse up a few easy rock climbs in the Grimsel area. Check the photos out on my smugmug page .
Isabel and I spent 2 weeks road tripping in the US, visiting some national parks and my family. We spent 3 days in Yellowstone NP, 3 days in Grand Teton NP, 2 Days in Utah and a week with my family in Reno Nevada. With over 4000 Km driven, we covered some distance in two weeks! Check the photos out on my smugmug page .
Isabel and I, with some friends (Stefan and Diana), spent Sunday the 2nd hiking in the Trift region. This region is famous since a few years for having the longest hanging bridge in Switzerland. We made the complete hike to the Trift hut which took about 7 hours round trip and included 1200 meters of elevation gain. Here is a link to the photos on my smugmug page.
On Saturday the 1st of September, I did a hike around the Oeschinen lake by myself. I’ve wanted to do this hike for awhile now. It’s not too long but crosses though the middle of a huge cliff and is very exposed for about 1 kilometer. It’s an impressive hike that is only recommended for confident hikers with no fear of heights. The photos can be found here.
Last weekend I climbed the Gross Fiescherhorn (4049m) with a group of friends. The climbing was supposed to be easy with a fairly long walk in and out. However, due to increasing temperatures over the last 10 years, many climbs that are graded easy in guide books turn out to be much more difficult. This was the case with the Gross Fiescherhorn. The climb had exposed technical snow climbing which kept us literally on our toes. The hike out also turned out to be a chore due to soft snow conditions on the glacier. Add to that a broken crampon and the trip ended up taking 12.5 hours round trip. Overall I can say the climbing was great and the walk out wasn’t so much fun. Check the photos out on my smugmug page .
Isabel and I spent 5 days camping in the Zermatt area. The first evening was also the 1st of August which is the Swiss national day. We enjoyed a parade and fireworks show in Zermatt. Unfortunately when we woke up the next morning it was raining, so we spent the day site seeing in Sion. The weather improved over the next three days, which we spent hiking and mountain biking. It’s easy to see why Zermatt is the number one Swiss mountain tourist destination. If your outdoor orientated, there’s an endless list of things to do. Check the photos out on my smugmug page .
This weekend Isabel and I made a hike from Gsteig to Sanetsch and back. The trail is good and has beautiful views. The trail would also make a good downhill mountian bike trip. In the Sanetsch area there is some nice rock climbing with moderate to easy grades. I did a few climbs and found some of the routes to be quite simmulating for thier grade... Check the photos out on my smugmug page .
Isabel and I have returned from our trip to the Seychelles and Dubai. We spent about two weeks on the islands and then enjoyed a 3 day stopover in Dubai. In the Seychelles we stayed on the three main islands (Mahe, Praslin and La Digue) plus visited lots of smaller islands on day trips. We really enjoyed ourselves are were able to relax. The beaches are fantastic, I've never seen any better. The beaches on La Digue are particularly beautiful with a combination of white sand, surrealistic granite blocks and palm trees. Check the photos out for yourself! besides sitting on the beach and swimming in the crystal clear water, we also made some snorkeling trips. While corals are still recovering from El Nino and will take many years to recover the damage it caused, the fish life is still going strong. The abundance and diversity of fish rivals anything we've seen before.
Since we were flying with Emirates and had a stop in Dubai, we decided to stop there for a few days and see why everyone is talking about this city. Unfortunately, May isn't the best time to visit. Summer has started and it's very hot (44C or 111F) and there are dust storms in the desert which makes the air hazy. The shopping is good though, the prices are low and there at least 10 large American style shopping malls to shop at. Due to the heat, we ended up spending a lot of time shopping... We did get out to the desert and made some trips around the city to get the feeling of what's going on. What is going on is a lot of construction, it's unbelievable how many buildings are going up at the moment. Totally crazy, but they do it with style, most buildings have very creative architecture and a new addition to be finished shortly, will be the tallest building in the world. Naturally we took lots of photos and they can be found on my smugmug page .
Isabel and I spent this weekend in Strasbourg visiting Mischa, an old friend of Isabel's. Strasbourg is a great place to visit and is only a 3 hour drive from where we live. Check the photos out on my smugmug page .
Last Sunday Isabel, Bob, Harald, Chris and Emily kicked off the climbing season with some routes and a BBQ at Schwarzwasser. This is a great little sand stone crag located next to the Schwarzwasser river. The weather has been fantastic the last few weeks and I hope it continues this way! Sorry but this is the only photo I took :-(
Chris and I made another ski/snowboard tour last weekend. Chris suggested we do a “challenging” tour and the tour we did definitely turned out so... We did a traverse of the Wildstrubel which is a famous mountain in the Berner Oberland. The route starts with a ride up the Enstligenalp ski lift and then a climb to the Chindbetti pass. From there we skied into the Taelli valley and then climbed up to the Rotertotz Luecke pass. Then we skied down past the Laemmeren Hut and started the climb to the middle peak of the Wildstrubel. Traversing the mountain to the North, we then ended the route with an excellent 1300 meter elevation drop powder run down the "normal" Wildstrubel tour route. In total we climbed 1500 meters and skied 1750 meters in elevation change and covered a distance of over 20 kilometers not including the help from the ski lift. It was a good route and a hard day out. Weather conditions were great except for the traverse at the top of the mountain. At the top, an icy wind was blowing with gusts above 80 km/h and with a snowboard strapped to your back, that's not a good thing! I was actually blown off my feet a few times and the traverse turned out to be quite a struggle. As usual there are photos on my smugmug page .
Chris and I made a great ski tour to the peak of the Maennlifluh. It took us just under 4 hours to make the climb from our starting point of 1379m to the high point of 2652m. I highly recommend it for snowboards, but take care on high avalanche risk days as the top section is over 30 degrees and has some slide risk.
Isabel and I went skiing in Grindelwald on Sunday (18.2). Conditions were OK near the Lauberhorn, but in other areas it was icy. On Monday (19.2) we took the day off to celebrate Isabel's birthday. The weather was good so we naturally went skiing. This time to Engstligenalp where the conditions were good, actually great considering what we've seen this year...
Since there isn’t much snow this winter, Isabel and I decided to skip going to the ski resort this weekend. Instead we went snowshoeing, which ended up being more of a hike. Where there is snow it is consolidated and isn’t deep, so snow shoes were not needed. We carried them with us for the duration of the 5 hour hike anyway… It was a beautiful day with great visibility. I think some of the photos turned out well. Niderhorn is 2077 meters high and is located in the Diemtigtal area.
This year we had a small new years party with a few friends from Thun. As most you you know I turned 33 on the 1st, which means I getting close to being officially old! My friend Boris took some good photos of the party and of us trying to catch ourselves on fire. Check out his photo gallery: www.atbm.ch/galerie/silvester06