After Volker and Anita arrived from Germany on Thursday we went for a short hike over Uetli on Friday to have some food at the Google office and spend the rest of the day in the spa. The spa occupies a building that used to be the Hürlimann brewery. Thus it features an interesting architecture with the hot tubs placed in underground dungeons where the beer kegs used to be. It also sports a huge pool on the roof with a fantastic view over the city of Zürich.
We went to see the Avengers in 3D afterwards. Pretty unremarkable and boring movie. I just wanted to give 3D another chance, seeing what all the hype is about and updating my dated experience with it. Didn't convince me at all. I found it blurry and inconsistent. Didn't add to my enjoyment at all. Ah well. Maybe we just have to learn how to use the medium properly yet?
On Saturday Volker and me set out to climb Säntis. Anita stayed home sick (3D motion sickness? };-> ). We made good progress for the first 10km or so up until around 1700m. The snow cover got really thick at that point. We were actually sitting on the roof ridge of a building having a rest. Still we pushed on. The sun was scorching hot and walking on snow felt like being under a magnifying glass or walking in a parabolic mirror. The snow was correspondingly bad: wet slush that got worse and worse the more the day progressed. Despite using our snow shoes, ice ax and walking poles as best we could, progress was slow and dangerous. We crossed some avalanche areas and triggered some smaller snow balls ourselves. It was really tricky not to slide down the steep slope and go over the cliffs at the end. We did actually fall and slide a couple of times but managed to stop after some meters every time. Just minutes after we witnessed a spontaneous and quite big rock slide on the opposing mountain face a boulder the size of two human heads crashed into the snow a mere two meters in front of me. Maybe we weren't really supposed to be here. Early afternoon, from an altitude of 2080m we decided to call it quits and turn around. Descending was even more tricky than going up, but we made it back down to safety. Beautiful day and fun tour - although pushing on would have been suicidal. 23km, 1300m.
We went climbing in the gym on Sunday. Volker flashed a 7a which I repeated and we solved some tricky/interesting/fun boulder problems. I think Anita might have enjoyed the slack line more than the climbing ;-)