2013-09-05

The Great Pilatus Traverse

After the week's disappointing start, and Jaron had gone home, I slept very badly. Tossing and turning all night. I was frustrated and well acclimatized and well rested from our long night in the bivouac. I felt like a coiled spring needing release for all the stored energy.

Lake Lucerne.

Lacking a partner for climbing or high mountaineering (glaciers) I asked Anita to drop me off on her way to work. She did and I started up towards Mt Pilatus from the town of Horw at the shore of lake Lucerne.

Military and Tourist Center on the top of Pilatus (2128m).

We had agreed that Anita would pick me up again after work around 20:00 (long day!). That gave me about 11 hours. I set out at a brisk pace and beat the posted time to the summit (5:15) by 1.5 hours, despite taking a detour over a small side peak. The summit houses a huge Hotel and military radar installations and is crawling with fat tourists in flip-flop sandals. I refilled my water bottles, watched a couple of Alphorn musicians for a while and continued on along the ridge.

Looking back on the ridge.

It would turn out to be a real peak-bagging day. It was hot and the ridge essentially deserted once I'd left the throngs of tourists behind at Tomlishorn. I didn't stop for another break for the entire rest of the day but kept checking off peak after peak until there was nowhere left to go but down.

Only in Switzerland: Bunker on the summit of Mittaggüpfi (1917m).
Summit book in the bunker.

I chose the long way down through the fairy tale like forested valley of the Chli Schliere (where we went Canyoning). It seemed like I had the entire valley to myself and it was absolutely silent while the sun went down - not even the otherwise ubiquitos Swiss cow bells could be heard. Beautiful. In the end I started running for short stretches of the way to be in time to meet Anita in Alpnach Dorf and to avoid having to use my head-torch in the forest.

Best of all, I'm not even sore on the morning after. Yay training! It's getting there...

2590m up, 2540m down, 35km, ~65.000 steps

  • Klimsenhorn (1907m)
  • Esel (2118m)
  • Oberhaupt (2106m)
  • Tomlishorn (2128m)
  • Widderfeld (2076m)
  • Mittaggüpfi/Gnepfstein (1917m)
  • Stäfeliflue (1922m)
  • Blaue Tosse (1802m)