This is a photo of the most beautiful alpine lake in Switzerland.
Truly. I’m not joking about this.
Go ahead – look it up online. It’s called Oeschinensee.
And this was my view of it. If there hadn’t been a sign, I probably would have walked right by and never noticed.
So – let’s talk about today. Three other couples were staying at the mountain hut last night. We talked about today – about the high point of the traverse. Hohturli is the pass that inspires fear, awe and tingling nerves in hikers. It’s got it all: ropes, chains, exposure and, of course, amazing views. We all wanted to do it. The weather forecast was not good.
We woke up this morning and chatted at breakfast. It was even foggier than the day before if that was possible. Everyone had decided not to go. I was still iffy. When I was packed, I looked out the window and thought, “hey! The clouds are lifting!”
And so I went for it. Thirty minutes after setting out, the clouds swooped in and I turned around. As the innkeeper has said, if it starts raining down here, it will be snowing at the pass. And if there was going to be snow, the risk factor goes up a ton.
I got back to the hut to find all the others ready to head down to Griesalp to the Bus station. I joined them. It had begun to pour.
We got on the bus and then the train to Kandersteg, which is the next port of call. And so off to a hotel room and Plan B. This involved catching up on the internet, a hot shower, drying my stuff, lunch, a really good long nap, a restocking of chocolate and a hike up to the lake.
It’s amazing how fast I can go when all I have to carry is a lumbar pack. I made the 3 hour return trip in just over 2 hours and I’m talking about 600 metres elevation. I noticed that my foot and knee both felt better too so that’s good news!
Feelings about missing the pass: disappointment but not too much and it lasted only a short time. Weather will get you in the Alps. I remember 4 years ago – 4 weeks during which half of the days were rain. You adjust. Simple.
It’s life, right? It’s not about your circumstances, it’s how you respond to them.
And so I’ve had a good day. I had a nice chat with the young couple from Scotland. She said that her father had done this route 30 years ago and they were determined to do the exact route he took, which involves the “original” Via Alpina. The last 5 days have been changed since then. The two Swiss couples at the hut agreed that the original route was much better and explained that the re-routing had to do with a resort that wanted inclusion. So- having read all the info on what is now know as the “alternate” route, I’m definitely going to do it. It’s more challenging, more elevation, longer days – but it sounds ever so much nicer.
I’m really looking forward to the Bundesschrind pass tomorrow ending in Adelboden. Some rain in the forecast and still cool (the high today was 13) but it looks like improvements are on the way.
Feeling at peace. What is, is. And that’s perfectly perfect.