Thursday, 29 August 2013

Switzerland - Day 9

Woke to a nice sunny day which was fantastic and we decided that today would be a good day to try to reach one of the local peaks. I had wanted for some considerable time to revisit First which lies to the west of our campsite. There is a cable car which runs up to a point at way of the ascent called Obere Allme and from there a steep path leads to the summit of First.

After a leisurely breakfast we walked over to the cable car station and enjoyed the ascent, the paragliders were making an early start and there were also a number of people climbing on the Allmenalp Klettersteig which though one is permanently anchored to the rock face still looks pretty precarious to me and I don't think I'll be giving it a try any time soon!

The ascent to First is quite steep from the go and after negotiating a few of the early sections we came across something we really haven't expected to see here, a pair of very friendly and healthy looking donkeys! These 2 characters were obviously used to people passing their way and showed an unhealthy interest in contents of our rucksacks, it seemed that our sandwiches were a far more attractive proposition than their past year. Passed a very pleasant few minutes here before pressing on into an area where the track became considerably steeper.

At about this point Lorena didn't seem to be going as strongly as previously and after a fairly short while it became apparent that the summit wasn't for her today. We had a conversation about the best approach to take and agreed that the descent down to the cable car station was perfectly safe and that Lorena would go back down and wait for me there whilst I carried on hopefully to the top.

Unfortunately by this time the weather had closed in considerably and many of the peaks were shrouded in cloud with just short breaks allowing glimpses of what would have been a magnificent mountain panorama. In spite of the weather, though it was still drive, I decided to continue on to the summit and after about an hour I arrived on what seemed to me to be a pretty precarious summit ridge. Turning south I headed towards the summit and arrived there at approximately 14:00 hours.

There was little to be seen from the summit so after taking a few photographs I started to make my descent. Part way down I met a family group, 2 adults and a group of children of various ages. We chatted for a little while but I must confess that I was somewhat concerned for their safety as they did seem quite ill-prepared should the weather had turned against them and the children did seem very small to be walking in what certainly wasn't there natural environment. I hope the trip went well and that they descended safely.

In good time I arrived back at the cable car station to find Lorena chatting with a Swiss couple, she seemed to have had an enjoyable couple of hours and a good feed on Rosti and coffee. We once again enjoyed the descent in the cable car and headed back to the campsite picking up a few supplies on the way, another very enjoyable day.

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