Thursday, October 02, 2008

One Last Swiss Hike

The morning after a cold night sleeping in the unheated hotel, I had a nice last visit with the wedding guests at breakfast. Most people were going hiking from the hotel that morning. I took the first van shuttle down to the Talstation.

Two buses and a few train connections later, I arrived to Einsiedeln, the site of the fast mountain bike race called Iron Bike, 101-km with 3,600 m elevation gain (12,000'). I was meeting up with Sandra Tschümperlin who was the 3rd place women finisher at Tour-Trans-Austria. Sandra raced the 77-km version of this race and came in 2nd. Not bad for her first year of racing. Ironbike is a race I'd like to go in sometime.

The next morning, Sandra took me up the local mountain Grosser Mythen 1,902 m/6,240'. It was a well trodden path that lead up the steep switchbacks on a rocky trail. Every path is marked with a yellow sign indicating the walking time to the next village. The red sign marked the route of the Ironbike race which went by the base down a technical rocky descent.It felt good to do something different when Sandra gave the option to hike or ride. The sunshine made the hike pleasant. We passed many people on-route similar to the masses that climb up the Grouse Grind in North Vancouver.

At the top, we took a break at the "restaurant" for some delicious pumpkin soup served in - a pumpkin!
The 360 views showed endless rolling farmland and mountains with villages all over. On the descent, Sandra had a bound in her step with me hurrying to keep up with much less bound. My legs were abit sore the day after from the steep descent.

Spent my last night in Zurich with Alex and Ruth. It was nice to chat about the wedding and their upcoming trip to Nepal. I was filled in the translation of Alex's wedding vows and they were similarly touching as Ruth's.

The view from my airplane window upon landing near Edmonton. Downtown visible in the far upper left side. I was trying to describe to my European friends how flat it is at home with riding square grids for training. The pilot announced that the temperature was 27C. I thought he was mistaken though surprisingly correct for Oct. 1! Nice!! and the leaves are still on the trees!


JAC said...

Nice pics Marg!

Hope things are going well!

Truly admire your adventures!

JAC said...

Just 2 more weeks or so till La Ruta.
I'm getting that taste in my mouth for some good'ol Costa Rican air.
Can't go though... Caribbean islands or bust for me.

Which btw reminds me, I was having a chat with someone on
Supposedly they do have races on some of those islands.
Now how cool would it be to have a staged race in the Carribean on a different island every day.
Pure joy that would be.

Hope all is well.


Hobo said...

5-day mountain bike Cruise stage race --- awesome idea!!