Montag, 25. Juni 2007
Sonntag, 24. Juni 2007
Samstag, 23. Juni 2007
Montag, 18. Juni 2007
Refugiu era full (153 de locuri are) si ne o costat cu cina si mic dejun pe la 35 de euro. Care io zic ca ii un rip off, pentru ca am dormit cu aburi la gura (cred ca si ningea la un moment dat), si mancarea era najpa. Da ma rog, era si varianta hors-sac, adik in sac, da afara, pe prispa. Moka. Ma rog, 3 euro dak voiai sa mananci inauntru mancare din propria-ti punga.
A shy sun was peaking through the Neuchatel clouds on that Sunday morning. Morning for the less lazy of us, because I personally crawled to the bus stop, questioning my love for the mountains as I was swallowing my last drops of bitter coffee and trying to open my eyes. After an efficient meeting at the Island of Boudry (everybody was in their driver’s car in less then 15 minutes, with sandwiches, chocolate and water packed), we headed direction Martigny via Lausanne.
Two hours and some evil jokes later we arrived in Tour, the small village guarded by it s flowing Glacier. The sun was now bright, drying the last drop of rain/dew that still lingered on the myriad of mountain flowers that filled the valley. While equipping for going up, we also got a grip of the concept “Surtout pas de baskets”. This may sometimes mean “But sandals with socks are acceptable”.
We walked through the meadow and followed a narrow path through the forest, almost like a winding staircase. Mousse to the left and shining green, the first shy torrents flowing from the glacier to our right, bending our heads under the branches that shadowed the path, we walked in an Indian file until the first “crux” (yes, you may laugh, but as a hiker, I always liked this word, when my climbing friends talk about the key step) – the passage was now a bit steeper with a bit of 2a (?) climbing involved.
Nobody needed the rope that our guide was carrying, and after hoisting ourselves on the granite path, we arrived in the sun, getting ready to turn right, towards the side of the glacier. After a short chocolate break, watching the torents from above, we continued going up on a “morene” trail, where the glacier on our right was getting larger and larger.
A longer lunch in the shadow next to the blue seracs was well deserved, since the climb to there took us a lot less then we expected. Pulling the polaires out we continued going up, with our eyes focused towards the refuge that was now visible on top of the icy mountain.
he last 200 m were a bit more extreme, walking on a steep snow covered hill. But as the refuge was full and at least 50 people have walked the trail before us, even our well equipped guide managed to get up without getting his feet, ahem, socks wet. 1300 m in height and a bit more in length (but not a lot, there are no flat regions, it’s always “up” at various angles) – and we did it all in 4 hours.
We drank beer and laughed satisfied, waiting until
, when our winter cabin opened (yes, we were very efficient, and arrived at the refuge around
), we shared a nice moment and got to know a bit eachother. All ages, all backgrounds and all happy to have done such a nice walk.
The ones still full of energy (well, everybody except me) went for an afternoon walk on the glacier and adopted some rock (aka the pile of stones of the Neuchatelois). The author joined later, for the first round of dinner. Probably the best potato soup ever.
After we admired the sunset over the (fill in the names of the mountains) and enjoyed the winter-like smell, we invaded the “hors-sac” living room for a game of cards and an evening tea/coffee/beer/some weird alcohol/chocolate and then gratefully hit the sleeping bags in a frozen sardine fashion.
In the morning I was again struck by the efficiency of the group who rounded up for breakfast in less then 15 minutes. Once the hot chocolate and pruneaux d’Agean to keep us fit were consumed, we went for a walk on the glacier, under the morning sun. Watching some more brave then us climbing the Table, two other teams getting up on Chardonay, we thanked ourselves to get the feeling of walking on 50 meters of ice and admiring two members of our teams playing the penguins when going down hill.
We left the refuge around
, heading for la Tete de Balme, a 2300 peak , across the border, in
. After a quite painful descent on a steep slope, covered with quite hard snow, we managed to regroup and start walking on the narrow path under the rocks. The void on our left and majestic stones on our right, we stopped from time to time to admire the Montblanc which shyly hid it s face under a fluffy white cloud, we identified peaks and flowers and even got a glimpse at a marmote sumo match. A nice and long “Sunday walk”, as one of the people defined it led us to the swiss border. From there to our target we climbed another km and found ourselves at…L’Arolete (Tete de Balme was lower so we weren’t too displeased by our mistake). We enjoyed a long picnic and a short siesta, with Les Drus and Le Montblanc reflecting in our eyes.
We continued then to go down, passing by la Tete de Balme, as to be able to check it also on our list.
The descent was quite harsh for the knees, so some of us decided to continue in telecabine, and 30 minutes later we regrouped in the Tour parking lot.
After a traditional last drink in F., we headed under a shy rain towards foggy Neuchatel.
Fr me it was probably one of the best hikes, fun and yet with some difficult parts, as to keep the excitement at a decent level. The way the blue seracs shine under the sun, the mix of polar feelings and European summer, the open spaces that make one feel “king of the castle” incredibly small and humble in the same time charged my batteries for a while.
I guess heartily thanks are in order for our organizers – JSC and MyL, and from my part to all the group that added the nice and fun human touch to this hike.
Mittwoch, 13. Juni 2007
And you breathe it all in, and write more letters and stories then in the whole previous year, and you find your charcoal and paint brushes, braid your hair, heck you even FEEL the NEED to wear high heels once in a while. Plan weekends and run away from work in the middle of the day, cross the mountains just to see yourself reflected in your love's eyes, because that's the only mirror in which you look beautiful.