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Published: August 8th 2010
We woke up feeling extra ambition and decided it was high time we dangled ourselves off one of the fine cliffs we had been ooh-ing and ahh-ing. So we set off to Murren, one gondola ride up from our town, Gimmelwald, to get mountain wear: harnesses and helmets. With no signs marking the trail we wandered the streets of Murren until we ran into our auberge neighbours going the same way. We started out together, but only one of the three in that party made it through. We, on the other hand, were two for two.
So we started out with some gorgeous views, some seriously steep rolling drop offs, but nothing we couldn't handle. A few iron rod steps, a serious respect for the sheer size and height of the mountains, and we were on top of the world! (Oh yes, pun intended!)
Confidence up, we rounded the corner and discovered the REAL reason for the harnesses. Iron rods sticking out of the mountain...apparently these qualify as steps in the mountain world...wrapped around the face of the vertical face of the mountain. And we were supposed to get to the other side. Don't look down, don't look down. One step and then another. Confidence builds. Then we get around the corner, where we had foolishly assumed the ground would be...no such luck. All the way around we went...wait until you see the video I got (pardon the profanity, but I'm sure you'll understand when you see it) There was absolutely NOTHING underneath us. Nothing but 2000m of mountain air that is. Tied to a harness on a cable or not, we nearly needed new pants. Darwin would have his way on this course!
So, challenge #1, pass. By this point, we were more than a little curious about what lay ahead...we were pretty sure whatever was coming couldn't be enough to make us want to go back!
Challenge #2, a bridge. Not a big deal, you say?? We cross bridges every day, you laugh! HA! This "bridge" involves three cables, one you get to walk on, and two you get to hold on to dear life to. Oh, and the bridge was OBVIOUSLY over a river heading down the face of a mountain. No biggy, we're awesome like that.
Once we were done talking to ourselves, we ventured on. Obviously, it couldn't get any crazier.
Enter, the ladder. We already had a jumpstart on the ladder challenge, we've both been up AND down all KINDS of ladders. None that took us down the rock face of a mountain before, but these are minor details. After all we were almost pro by this point. Consequently, these ladders were lined up as many as 8 in a row, to connect the ledges we were walking. Some were vertical, some were "vertical". Down, down, down. We cross streams, walked, jumped, laddered, and side stepped our way along the mountain face.
Challenge #3...or 4??? Another bridge. But to spice things up a little (as two cable bridges in a row would be boring) this one was THROUGH a river. Two prior days of rain caused the rain to run a little...heavy. So rather than the bridge crossing the river, the river crossed the bridge. We got wet. I did a shuffle *OMG my camera!!!!* shuffle; Mom did a shuffle *OMG that's cold!!!!* shuffle.
The hike stabilized a little more, and we started doing benign things like drudging through the mud to climb up all the down we had done. On a normal day, this may have seemed like a challenge.
For the grand finale, a super bridge. Suspension, a one foot wide "plank" (for lack of a better word) to walk, and only one hand rail. Oh, and it was about 200m long. Over impending death, obviously.
The swaying that kicked in around midway was not at all soothing, contrary to common beliefs about to and fro motions. But we made it. A little further up the muddy path and we were home free. The reigning champs of the Swiss Alps!! WooHoo!!
Our first stop after such an accomplishment was, of course, to sit down and drink some wine. A few deep breaths, a little wine, cheese, and crackers, and we were almost back to normal. Needless to say, the rest of the day was dedicated to more traditional sight seeing.
Tot: 3.601s; Tpl: 0.041s; cc: 11; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0365s; 3; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb