Uh-Oh Altitude

Altitide Sickness – a condition affecting some persons at high altitudes, caused by insufficient oxygen in the blood and characterized by dizziness, nausea and shortness of breath.
We took the train from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch  (3,454 meters/11,332 feet).  It is dubbed as ‘Top of Europe.”
The view is spectacular.  On clear days, you can see the Black Forest in Germany and the Vosges mountains in France’s Alsace Region. A range of winter activities are available at the Ski and Snowboard Park.
The train offers views of the Great Aletsch Glacier and there’s an Ice Palace and Sphinx Observatory up top. They have a large complex at the tip that includes: restaurants, an observatory, a research station, a small movie theater, the train station, a ski school, shops and observation decks.
It had stunning views, but we didn’t stick around and savor them.  He wasn’t feeling well (altitude sickness combined with congestion).  From the looks of it, he wasn’t the only one who wasn’t feeling tip-top.   Yep, that is someone’s puke in the photo below

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A Glorious Hike In The Shadow Of The Eiger

One of our favorite parts of Switzerland is the outdoors and the superb hiking.  When we hiked at the Matterhorn, I was stunned by its beauty.  In the Bernese Alps it was déjà vu all over again with sunny skies and gorgeous mountain views.
In warmer months, we fill our water bottles using these log fountains.

There were a couple of places where the trail was a bit slick (which is understandable when you see the above photo).  I only fell once.  Luckily, I have a bit of padding back there.  It softened the blow when I went crashing down.  I was a bit worried about falling and tumbling down the side of a mountain.  The Swiss like to use those hiking poles when they hike (or even walk on a flat trail by the lake in Geneva).  I might have to get a pair.    I don’t think they’d protect me from the falling rocks though.

I’ve loved cairns ever since we saw tons of them hiking Ben Nevis, but hadn’t seen such a pretty art installation.  Right on.

This is the iconic North Face of the Eiger with the town of Grindelwald below.  For a cool YouTube Movie of someone (not that guy below) climbing its North Face in record time, click here.  It’s Ueli Steck‘s Triple Speed Climbing Record.  He bested his own speed record for scaling the Eiger’s north face via the classic Heckmair Route.  This improvement is likely because he did not belay, instead he relied on a loop of rope that allowed him “to hook on occasionally,” and reduced the weight of his gear.   This isn’t his only big climb or big mountain; he’s kind of a maestro.   He also did speed ascents of the two other great north faces in the Alps, the Grandes Jorasses and the Matterhorn (completing the Grand Jorasses in 2 hours 21 minutes, and the Matterhorn in 1 hour 56) in record time.