2017-05-24

Rigi Marsch 2017

They say a good mountaineer needs good short term memory but terrible long term memory. By this measure I'm superbly qualified. If I remembered how challenging it was the previous years, I'd probably not have signed up for my sixth consecutive Rigi Marsch ;-) Alas, I did. And not only that, but I also managed to recruit a whole bunch of first timers to this organized 50km and 1500m hike through the night from the village of Bremgarten up Mt Rigi.

Levan, Alexandru, Ben, Ronny, Helmut, Sören, Christian.
Levan, Alexandru, Ben, Kristoffer, Ronny, Helmut, Christian.

After two months of baby induced lack of sleep I didn't know whether hiking for 12 hours from 8 in the evening to 8 in the morning would be easier (because I'm used to not sleeping much) or harder (because I'm not sleeping much). It turned out to be harder. Who would've thought? It was a real challenge staying awake at times.

The dark shadow looming at the horizon is our destination.

We started as a group of eight: Alexandru, Christian, Kristoffer, Levan, Helmut, Ronny, Ben and me. We lost Christian at the second checkpoint. We somehow failed to communicate properly and he went ahead without us while we waited around looking for him. So he soldiered on alone through the night and made it to the summit a full hour before the rest of us - congratulations!

Another one down.
Lake Zug.

Ben dropped out at the third checkpoint at two in the morning. The rest of us stuck together and reached the summit at 8 in the morning. It stayed so warm throughout the night that many people wore shorts and t-shirt all the way. As usual the organizing committee did a fantastic job, the route was prepared perfectly and shuttling everybody back via cogwheel train and busses worked flawlessly. Thank you very much!

Mission accomplished.

Congratulations to the gang! It was an honour suffering with you. Now let's forget all about it and do it again next year!

Hardcore Helmut chilled at our place for a few nights and is biking (!) back home to Stuttgart as I write this. Speaking of hardcore: every year I'm impressed by the fitness of the Swiss. I understand there's self selection and survivorship bias at play here, but still. 2000 people, of which 1650 reached the summit. Including guys like this 80+ year old grandpa who wasn't just hiking the thing but running. I wanna grow old like that guy.

Thanks to Kristoffer for allowing me to use the photos he took with his Pixel phone. I want one now!

After recovering for a bit Anita, Helmut, Leonie and I hiked up the Albis mountain behind our house on Friday. It was a test whether Leonie would be happy in a baby sling for hours on end. She was! Like a total champ she slept most of the time and gawked at the trees for the rest. Well done girl - the foundation has been poured ;-)