Day 1: Monday 30th June 2014: Freiburg – Cabane Albert I, 2745m/9005ft

The alarm rings at 7am. I am awake already, the rain falls down heavily on the roof of Angelika’s sheperd hut. „I should have brought my rainpants,“ I think. Fuck! I can’t believe I’m having vacation. It doesn’t feel like it. It’s raining. It should be warm and sunny. I take the umbrella, step outside in my undies, my trailrunners and my puffy and I pee under the umbrella (never done that before haha :cP) Big Badger is going back and forth whether he should take grandma’s woolen socks or not. I say: „Hell no, you got 3 pair of socks already!“ So he leaves them there and we head over to Angelika to have breakfast. While I have breakfast and chat with Angelika, Big Badger arranges our membership with the „Bergrettung“. At least when I fall down a crevace, then they’ll come and save me and I don’t have to pay tons of money for an unwanted helicopter ride. At 8.15am Angelika brings us to the railway station. Ow fuuuck her car doesn’t start. Praise the fucking lord my car is there, so I give her the keys and off we go. It’s a bumpy ride with Angelika driving my car for the first time haha. In 4 hours the train takes us to Martigny, where we buy tickets for the Mont Blanc Express. I’m not used of speaking French anymore and I have a hard time finding my words.
First days of travel kinda always suck. I feel stressed and hungry. I know it will be better as soon as I start hiking. So I tell myself it’s ok to feel like this.

The Mont Blanc express takes us through steep valleys to Montroc-Argentiere. One stop before Chamonix. We get out and there we are. Mountains all around. The Mont Blanc is hiding in the clouds though. We hike along the road to le Tour where we wanna take the cable car to Col de Balme. I feel kinda outta place when we meet a group of hikers, all wearing heavy leather boots and long pants. And here I am with my trailrunners, my windjacket and my tiny shorts. This ain’t America, this is Europe, where everyone walks around in heavy boots, no matter whether it makes sense or not, Cuz that’s what you do in the European mountains: Wear heavy boots. Well, not me! Na a!
It’s a funny but expensive ride up to Col de Balme with the Cable cars (22 fucking euros). I’m not up to climbing 1400m/4593ft this afternoon. Besides it’s 3 pm already. 700m/2296ft of elevation gain is enough for this first day, right!? Now finally…. I hike! It goes up but the trail is smooth. I stop every 2 minutes to take picuters. It’s been 2 or 3 years since I’ve been in the Alps. These mountains are incredible. For a few minutes the Mont Blanc shows it’s summit. Hell yeah! We climb and climb till we reach the first snowfields. The view of the Glacier du Tour with it’s huge crevaces impresses me. Wow! After about 2 hours and a steep last climb on a snowfield, we reach the Albert I hut. They are renovating, but we’ve not planned on sleeping in huts anyway. We find a nice spot for our tarp on some rocks overlooking the glacier. The mountains and the glacier take my breath away. Then finally… we cook… dinner! I’m as hungry as a bear and we cook my dehydrated pasta with tomato sauce. Yummie! When we are done and have the clean the pot, I think of Tilt. How he and Mountain Goat took LNT very serious and would even drink the water they cleaned their pots with! I still can’t do it and I probably never will ;cP
It’s getting cold now pretty fast so I put on my down booties (yes!) and get in my sleepingbag. We take out our climbing gear for tomorrow and go through the procedure how to rescue someone out of a crevace. We repeat it several times and are so concentrated we almost miss an incredible sunset. Holy fuck, it’s as if the clouds are on fire! The need to poop forces me outta my sleeping bag and while I sit on my rocky outdoor toilet I watch the sun disappear behind the mountains! Life is good!

Day2: Tuesday 1st July 2014: Albert I hut- Col du Tour- Col de Balme- Le Remointsé: Chicken shit!

It’s a cold night, freezing! Praise the lord I brought the mothership! The first night outdoor I never sleep too well. I’m cold. I dream a lot. I wake up at 6am and the sky is clear blue. Yeah! When I look out from under the tarp I see huge mountains, massive snowfields and glaciers! We make oatmeal (seems like I’m not all done with it yet… turns out the european oatmeal is way less sugary than the american one! And tastes much better to me) and spoon it out of the pot while still lying in our sleeping bags. As long as the sun doesn’t touch my body it’s freezing cold. But we need to get up as soon as we’re done with breakfast. It’s time to go! We leave camp at 7.10 am and the first half an hour we hike across rocks till we reach the Glacier du Tour. We put on our harnesses, our lightweight crampons and tie ourselfs to the rope. I go first cuz I’m the lightest of the two and if I fall down a crevace it’s easier to pull me up again than the other way round. The first hour on the glacier gives us some nice easy climbing, nothing scary or dangerous. Then we get to the bottom of some huge rocks (might be Aguille du Tour). We get 3 routes to choose from. The left and the middle one seem very very steep so we take the right one. It’s the one I read about and should take us to Col du Tour (3400m/11154ft) and from there on to the Plateau de Trient. We start climbing. Big Badger takes the lead and kicks steps in the ice and snow. By now the sun shines over the glacier and the upper layer gets softer. The climbing is quite steep and a bit tricky so we concentrate and at about 10am we reach the Col du Tour. Only to find out there’s a huuuge edge of snow hanging over the col. No way we can get to the other side here safely. We climb the nearest peak to get an overview and see we should have taken the left or middle route to get to the plateau. Fuck :cP So now we head back down the steepy part till we reach the other even more steepy routes. We take the left one as we have seen people coming down from there. It’s steep as fuck. So steep that I get scared and ask mysef whether this is a good idea or not. What the heck am I doing? Risking my bones? Big Badger goes first till he reaches a rock from where he can belay me. When I reach the rock he climbs further up and I belay him from beneath. He reaches another rock and now it get’s hard. He doesn’t find a safe spot to cross and climb over the rock. I’m chicken shit and could have shit my pants. I don’t but hell I could have! When I see him struggling I yell „No! Let’s go back! This is too dangerous!“ He agrees the risk is too big. We’re not well enough equiped to master this challenge in a safe way. With no ice axe and no real crampons (let’s not speak of the hemp rope) this just ain’t smart! (But ya sometimes you gotta check out whether it’s doable with lightweight stuff.)So we go back down. ‚Go’ is not the right word though, rather I crawl down on all four, my tummy leaning agains the steepy snowy ridge. Big Badger belays me but my legs still feel like pudding. Holy shit! What the hell was I thinking? I’m grateful when I reach a safer part of the glacier and start apologizing to Big Badger for bringing us in such a nasty situation but also for not being able to get across the Plateau du Trient, so that now we have to go all the way back to Col du Balme and hike around it.He says it’s ok. It’s been an adventure and at least we gotta test the lightweight crampons and the sealskin socks we wanna take on the PCT.
We start descending and run down the lesser steepy slopes. It’s fun and I’m happy now we at least made it to the Col du Tour. But I also am looking forward to some normal hiking now haha. With a last look at the Mont Blanc we leave the glacier and the snowfields behind and hike back down to Col the Balme, where we started yesterday. After 7,5 hours of climbing and hiking we find a great spot to have lunch and we take a superduper long break. Hell we deserve it! I enjoy laying in the sun aaaah! Then clouds come and we get going. We both feel tired and our faces are sunburned (when the hell will I finally learn that I have to put on sunscreen from the first minute on? Now I’m looking like a lobster… again). We only hike for another 1,5 hours till we set up camp inbetween some lower bushes and scrub. It’s beautiful but full of tiny mosquitos. So I put on my heanet and feel like a moron :cP O whatever, I’m alive and happy! But what a day!

After another of my delicious dehydrated dinners I go to have a poop and while I sit there Big Badger calls me and points out a chamois on the trail. I try to get closer with my pants still on my ankles haha! It’s a beautiful view! No! Not my ass! The chamois I mean! When we go to sleep a little thunderstorm passes by, yet luckely only brings a lot of rain and just a few lightnings and thunder.

ya ya… I know… that rope…

Fuck you mosquitos!

Day 3. Wednesday 2nd July 2014: Le Remointsé-Les Grands-…- Fenêtre d’Arpette – Arpette: -600m/1968ft, ­+1000m/3280ft, -1000m/3280ft Beautiful flowers and buckets of rain

I wake with the sound of rain on the tarp. It’s 6:50 am and I tell Big Badger I give the rain 1 hour to stop. If it doesn’t stop raining in one hour… o shit… I’ll get out anyway. While I cook coffee and oatmeal the rain gets less. We pack our bags while it’s dry but both decide to put on our sealskin socks cuz the weather looks like it won’t be dry for long. So I also put on my rainjacket and start hiking. After a bit of climbing we reach a beautiful outlook on the Glacier du Trient. If all had gone as planned yesterday we would’ve crossed that Glacier way on top yesterday. But hell if there is something I learned in the last couple years, it is that nothing ever comes as planned. Still I keep on making plans and plans and plans. Stupid me!

It’s a good thing I put on my rainjacket right from the start cuz shortly after we leave it starts raining again. Damn! I sing „sun songs“ and ask for the sun to come out. Once in half an hour she answers my prayers and shows her face for one minute. But then the clouds cover her up again an let it rain rain rain.
We go down 600m/1968ft, a steep but beautiful trail, bordered with blooming flowers and wonderful herbs. I imagine on a sunny day it must be absolutely stunning. It’s beautiful too now but the rain makes it all so wet (duh!) and a little less warm and colorful.
After about 2,5 hours of descending we reach the river in the valley, cross it and take a break for a second breakfast. Well shit, it’s only day 3 and I eat like a giant already. I definitely need that second breakfast cuz 1000m/3280ft of elevation gain to Fenêtre d’Arpette is waiting for me. The rain keeps falling and falling, sometimes it’s just a drizzle, sometimes it comes down with buckets at a time. The trail is steep and slippery and muddy. We cross slopes filled with flowers and have an impressive view on the glacier. Then the clouds even come up out of the valley, blown all the way up to the mountain tops by a strong and cold wind. I’m hiking in my tiny shorts and am doing fine. My legs are the best rainpants anyway right?! Breathable, waterproof, windproof! What more can I ask for? It’s funny meeting other hikers, all wrapped up in rainpants and poncho’s and there comes that crazy girl with tiny shorts, followed by a dude with wooden trekking poles. I can see their eyes meeting my eyes first and then making their way down my body to my legs and I see the wonder and questions in their eyes? No rainpants? No boots? WTF?
50m beneath the Fenêtre I  start feeling cold so I put on my windpants and my gloves but it’s too late. My fingers turn white already. I have the Renaux syndrome whiche turns my fingers and toes into iceclumps almost as soon as they feel some cold. It hurts like shit. Why the fucking hell have I still not bought a decent pair of gloves? I promise to myself that is the next thing I’m gonna spend my money on! Cuz as soon as my fingers and toes turn to ice my fun is over. I stumble one with icy fingers and all of a sudden my bloodsugar level drops to what feels like zero. My body tends to do that and I get all moody and dizzy. I tell Big Badger to take out the candy out of the side pocket of my backpack and I just open my mouth and he puts in one piece of candy after another. Now I feel better and I can climb the last 50m to the Fenêtre d’Arpette. As soon as we get to the other side the wind calms down (jee wind is so tyring) and if feels a bit warmer, although rainshowers keep coming down. It’s a steep, rocky and snowy descend but we make it and have a quick lunch. After lunch the trail gets easier but I’m not concentrating and I twist my ankle. It hurts like hell. What the fuck am I doing? Really I’m such a dumbass. I should watch my steps, instead I twist my ankle. I give a big shout „Aua! I can’t go on! I can’t go on“. First I can’t stand on my foot but then after a while I can walk on it. Very slowly and I can’r roll it properly. Damn! I don’t want this to ruin our trip! I forget all about my knee pain cuz the pain in my foot is worse and I realise I too often take a painfree body for granted. I should be grateful, way more grateful for everything working well in my body!
I hump down the trail to Arpette and after crossing the most beautiful meadow filled with alpine flowers, we make camp. The meadow is an explosion of colors and life! O if only I could see this view on a sunny day. IF the weather is good tomorrow I’m gonna backtrack a bit. I need to see this under a clear blue sky!
We put our tarp next to the meadon inbetween some beautiful pinetrees. Everything is wet and damp but we don’t care. We have warm food and a dry sleepingbag!

Shit shit shit I pray my foot’s gonna feel better tomorrow!!!

Good morning sunburn!

O I know! My socks and downbooties are sexy as fuck!

Day 4: Thursday 3th July 2014: Arpette-Champex- Sembrancher- Le Châble-Loutier

Beautiful start. Sunshine. Blue sky. Backtrack to the meadow. OMFG! Beautiful! Flowers! Mountains in the back! Easy road to Champex. Cheese and chips while sitting at the lac. Mmm. What do we do? Easy trail to Sembrancher or mountain trail? Big Badger says I can take it easy sometimes. Especially with my hurt foot. But I don’t wanna miss the views on the mountain trail! Allright, I do not always have to be tough! We take the easy trail… Smooth, easy to Sembrancher. Resupply. Too many people and civilization for me. Let’s get out! Quick! Lunchbreak in a valley that would be absolutely beautiful if people wouldn’t have build roads and ugly buildings in it. Yummie lunch though. Bread. Cheese. Salad. 5pm already. Move on to Le Châble. Trail is just yuck! Dirt, noise,street, bah! Let’s take the bus in Le Châble. We have enough of this shit. Miss the bus with 10 minutes. Damn! La Vilette. Fuck it. Tourism. Cars. Let’s move move move. We put out our thumbs but the swiss people don’t seem to take hitchhikers.O well you fuckers, we’ll hike! Hard to find a campspot. Keep on hiking to Loutier. While the farmer still turns around and collects his hay, we put up our tarp in a secret halfhidden corner of his land. Only good thing in the evening: Cheese fondue with a the sun setting behind the mountains. Glad this day is over. Grateful for the sun though!!!

This part of the trail is just YUCK

Day 5: Friday 4th July 2014: Loutier – Fionnay – Lac de Louvie, +1300m/4265ft

I hardly sleep al night. The mice keep me up and I hear them nibbling and chewing. In the morning I find out they didn’t chew on any of my stuff. Guess my mind is playing tricks here. The few hours I sleep I have nightmares. One of my landlord throwing me out and one of Phoebe (my cat) being ill. I start packing my stuff at 6 am and by 6:40 am we’re up and hiking. Autsch, my muscles hurt. 2 hours later we arrive in Fionnay and have breakfast. I decide to go look for a public phone so I can call my parents and ask if all is well with phoebe. I ask in a hotel and the lady says: “No, there ain’t no public phone here.” But she’s very sweet and she ads: “But you can use ours!” So I call home and my mom tells me Phoebe’s got ill again during the night. Nooooo not again! My poor little Phoebe. 3th time in 2 months time. I worry like hell and there’s nothing I can do from here.
While I climb up to Lac to Louvie I think of her and pray that she’ll get better again. I love her so much. To the moon and back. She’s “as cat as can be”. Noone can handle her but me (which is rather annoying though!) Maybe she’s a bit like me and I’m a bit like her. We don’t like too many people around, rather have some space and some distance. It takes time to gain our trust!
The 800m (2624ft) of climbing are rahter smooth but it’s windy as fuck and that makes the ascent tricky. The wind would blow us off trail and into the deep (fuck it’s steeeep!) if we wouldn’t lean our bodies toward the mountain. Damn! Crazy wind!
After 2 hours we reach Cabane de Louvie and keep on moving around the lake, hoping to find a windfree spot for lunch. It’s undoable. Wind coming from everywhere. So we sit down and habe a quick tortilla lunch next to the lake. We decide to climb another 100m as it’s prohibited to camp next to the lake and we don’t want the hut owner to see us. So we continue hiking for another 20 minutes and BAMN! The most scenic campspot ever (I know I’ve said that several times already haha)!!!! A small grassy meadow with a little sweet mountain creek next to it and an amaaazing view on the Petit/Grand Combin and the Combin der Corbassiere. Hell yeah! Time for a well deserved laaaazy afternoon! I paint. We take silly pictures. See capricorns. Make hot chocolate. Observe the crazy mountain weather change every two seconds. And whoop whoop dinner is cheese fondue AGAIN! Damn Right!
When I go to pee before going to bed, I sit down behind a rock and to my left, just 20 m away, on a rock overlooking the landscape, 4 capricorns fight. It’s like a scene from the Lion King, except that I can’t remember any Capricorns in the movie haha.

Day 6: Saturday 5th July 2014: Lac de Louvie – Col de Louvie – Col de Prafleuri – Col de Roux – Above Lac de dix: 3 Passes a day keeps the doctor away ! Right!?

My face is coming off :c(

After a rainy night I wake up at 6:40 am. The sky is filled with clouds and the scenery from yesterday is gone. Though luckely in about the hour that we have breakfast and pack our bags the sky clears up a bit. We get going and are ready to hit the first pass of the day: Col de Louvie (2921m/9583ft). We climb through grassy wet meadows, along steeeep slopes and scramble over rocks. The sun comes out and the view is beautiful! A snowfield takes us to the pass…. almost…. it’s a fucking fake! It makes me think of Glenn Pass in the Sierra. I remember last summer so vividly as if it was yesterday. Going up from Rae Lakes. Tilt and GQ pass me at a little stream crossing. Then we reach the plateau of which I thought it was the pass. Well fuck! A fake! The last part of Glenn Pass was steep but I enjoyed the beauty and the company so much! Hell we had the best times of our lifes!
Anyway, back to the Alps. Another snowfield finally takes us to the real pass. 3 Japanese are having lunch right on top so we go a little further down to eat some snacks. 3 guys from Connecticut pass by. We’ll leapfrog with them a couple of times in the next few hours. Then we make our way down to the basin. Steeeeeep snowfields! Cooool! Unintentionally I fall down on my butt and slide my way down. Yeeeeeey! This is fun as fuck! We used to do this as kids when we’d be hiking in the mountains with our parents. The part between Col the Louvie and Col de Prafleuri is insanely beautiful. Clear blue icy lakes, snowfields, lots of sliding, huuuuge blazes, fun river crossings and a taste of what postholing means :cP This is preparation for the Sierra next year! Hell yeah!
On Col der Prafleuri (2987m/9799ft) we have another of our amazing lunches: Tortilla, hummus, sundried tomatoes, chips, yepppppp!
For a short time, when the Americans from Connecticut were hiking behind me, I feel as if I’m in America again. OMG! I can’t wait to fly back there and hike the PCT next year!
Big Badger hurts his leg while postholing and now has a nice bloody trophee on his right ankle… haha.
After lunch we make our way down to Cabane de Prafleuri (2624m/8608ft). I take a picture on the rock I remember sitting on almost 20 years ago. O those memories! I’m getting old ai ai. After meeting some crazy cool capricorns from really closeby and another fun rivercrossing we reach the hut. I’m getting all moody cuz I don’t feel like going over a third pass today. But Big Bader is right. It’s a shortcut that’s gonna give us a great view of the Lac de Dix… the lake I visited so often as a child. So I eat a Clifbar (a surprise snack from Big Badger…jihaaa!), get myself together and start climbing my 3th pass of the day – Col de roux (2804m/9199ft). It’s a muddy, steep and slippery ascent but I make it fast. So yey! 3 Passes today!!!
We hike halfway down to the lake and find a tiny spot inbetween rocks and stones to put up the tarp. We have an amazing view over the lake! Too bad most mountains are hiding in the clouds. I hope so much I’m gonna see them tomorrow.
I’m tired as fuck now. Time to go to sleep!

Now where the fucking hell is that next blaze???

Postholing shit
More postholing shit!

My favorite backpackers lunch: Tortilla with hummus, sundried tomatoes, lettuce and chips!
Day 7: Sunday 6th July 2014: Lac de Dix – Pas de Chat – Pas du Chèvre – Arolla: A trip down memory lane and up the ladders of Pas du Chèvre!

I wake at 5.45 am after a heavenly night of sleep. Sweet mary I slept like a baby. So that’s what it feels like being all fresh after a good night’s sleep! I wake just in time to see the sun rise on the mountain tops and a perfect clear blue sky greets my eyes! YES! I enjoy the early morning hours on a rock overlooking Lac de Dix. It feels strange to be back here again after 20 years. Fuck I’m getting old. The little girl back then didn’t know she was gonna hike the same hikes again, 20 years later, 20 years older. OMG she was only 11. So much has happened with that same little girl. So many bad things but thank god so many many good things too. She’s grown into a woman who loves to be alive, who is so grateful for all the gifts given by our great mother earth. She’s still the same little girl but she’s grown not only on the outside but mostly on the inside. I think she’d like what she’s become. She’d have no regrets. She’d wonder about a few things, but she would be proud.
As soon as the sun hits the tarp Big Badger gets up and we enjoy a superduper lazy sunny breakfast. Leaning agains a rock, overlooking the lake and the mountains. The air is fresh and clear and I feel like a newborn. This is heaven.
We dry our stuff that has gotten wet due to the dew and the windfree night. It’s as if a bomb exploded inside our packs and has thrown all of our gear in all four directions. It’s a beautiful mess!
We take it easy and when we leave camp it’s already 8.30am. We hike down to the lac and hike the path the little girl has hiked so often. She finds out the cool suspention bridge has gone and the water level is waaay lower than the one in her memories.
We make our way to Pas de Chèvre and I think “Shit, I was braver as a kid!”. The climb up to the pass is crazy steep, slippery, almost rock climbing. I lean my body towards the mountain and I wonder: “Fuck! I did this as an 11year old? That’s absolutely crazy!!!”
While peeing with my “female urinary device” (that are 3 words for kinda a simple plastic tube… Big Badger calls that thing “the pipinella” but I prefer to call it “the weewee”) I pee my pants and my hands and I climb on like a stinking skunk. Damn! Girl you got some practice to do. Sometimes peeing with the weewee works out fine, but sometimes…well… I pee allover myself… not good… really not good… ieeeeeeeeeh!
By noon we reach Pas de Chèvre and holy fuck fuck fuck. I climbed these ladders as a kid? WTF??? My knees shake a bit whilst climbing up and I tell to myself: “Don’t look down girl! Just don’t look down! Please ladders, don’t fall off these rocks, off this wall. Not when I’m on it!!!” I reach the top op the pass savely and I can’t believe I did this shit twice as a kid. Insane!
On top we enjoy our well deserved lunch and then we make our way down to the valley where we find a campspot inbetween bushes and pinetrees (o that smell reminds me of the Sierra!) and a gorgeous view on the mountains.
We eat chocolate mousse. Yummie! Tommorow we’ll make our way down to Arolla for a decadent breakfast! CAN’T WAIT!

The last Clif Bar I bought in Santa Barbara last summer. They are fucking expensive here in Europe and we don’t have Sierra Trail Mix!!!
Big Badger’s supercool selfmade lightweight trekking poles!

Day 8: Monday 7th July 2014: Arolla – Les Haudères – Evolène – La Villa – Pineforest above La Villa: Buckets of shit falling from the sky!

I wake with the sound of drizzling rain on the tarp…again! I look outside and only see clouds. Damn! I start eating all the rest of my food (chocolate and candy) cuz that’s what you do when it’s raining and you’re resupplying in the next village, 20 minutes down the trail.
I can hardly believe my ears and eyes when I no longer hear rain falling down and I see blue holes appear in the sky through which white mountaintops peak through. Jihaaaa… o and there’s the sun!!! O how I love the sun!!!
I get up, we pack our stuff and head down 20 minutes till we reach Arolla. I ask the man from the mountain equipment store if there’s a backery here. He says “No but you can get bread in the grocery store!” So we head over to the tiny store with overoverpriced stuff but we buy 4 croissants, 2 baguettes, chips and a glas of Nutella anyway. And then we sit down in front of the grocery store. I make coffee on our gas stove and we eat all of the croissants, one baguette and more of half a glas Nutella. Hell yeah!
After breakfast I head down to the public phone and call my mom to ask how Phoebe is doing and how the soccer world cup is going for the Belgian team. Phoebe is doing better and o well… Belgium is out…
After my phonecal we head down to Les Haudères and make our way to the Val d’Hèrens, the valley where I spend many summerholidays as a kid. We hike along and across the riverbed where the blueish-greyish glacier water finds it’s way down. It’s warm and sunny. Who would’ve thought that this morning?
We reach Les Haudères and hope to find a grocery store for a 3day resupply but na a… nothing! I remember from when I was a kid there was a Coop in Evolène. So we hike on hour down the road to Evolène. I hate roadwalking, but for food… I just have to… Yes we find a Coop in Evolène, not where it used to be, but hell we can resupply. First though I wanna walk through Evolène and let the memories come back. It’s been ages! I “remake” a picture we took 20 years ago with my family. I’m not sure if I get the right spot and position but o well… I’ll see when I go through the old family foto albums.
In Coop we resupply and -I know I’m strange- but I get all moody. I kinda hate resupplying for 2 persons. And I hate too many people around me being all nicely dressed and stuff. By the time we entered Coop it had started to rain again and that affects my mood too. When we leave the store it’s raining like as if it’ll never ever stop. Noooooo!
We head over to the bus stop hut to have lunch before hitting the trail again. The rain is falling down with buckets at a time. Fuck! We put on our sealskin socks (btw they don’t keep my feet dry in persistant rain… it’s a ripp off!!!) and our rainjackets and start climbing Col du Torrrent. 1400m/4593ft of elevation gain is waiting for us. After 10 minutes we are soaked. Damn I hate rain! We keep climbing and I think” Why the fucking hell am I doing this? This is supposed to be vacation!” So I think of Tilt and Mountain Goat on the Long Trail. They did it, hiking in such shitty weather, for 20 days, I can do it too!!! Though there ain’t no shelter waiting for me at the end of the day, just a wet and soggy tarp. So my motiviation isn’t too big but I hike on. We reach the beautiful pitoresque village of La Villa and keep hiking. About 1km further on there’s a sign to Col du Torrent. It’s a tiny steep wet trail that has turned into a little stream with tiny waterfalls. NO! Please not! We decide to follow the wider trail to the last pinetreeforest before we reach treeline. We start looking for a place to put our tarp. Hiking on just seems to make no sense with all that shit falling from the sky. Luckely we find a spot pretty soon. The pinetrees give some shelter but still the rain makes everything wet in no time and big drops splash down from the trees.
We get in our sleepingbags as quick as possible and only leave them to go peeing. We warm up the express rice we bought and lay down till the next morning.

Late afternoon. It’s raining shit.

Day 9: Tuesday 8th July 2014: Above La Villa – Evolène – Sion: How plans just never work out!

Early morning. Still raining shit!

I wake with the sound of rain in my ears. It has been raining all night. All of our gear feels wet and damp. Even our sleeping bags. I decide to wait till it stops raining and meanwhile eat chips at 6:45am in the morning. What else should I do? Problem is… it doesn’t stop raining! So now we gotta come up with a plan. I check the pic I took from the weatherforecast in Arolla yesterday. It says: Rain all week. Yesterday I was still convinced one shouldn’t believe the weatherforecast. But today it seems to be… eh ya… rather accurate. What do we do? Climbing 1000m/3280ft to Col de Torrent seems crazy in this weather. It’s gonna be icy cold on 2900m/9514ft and my hiking clothes are soaked already.
We decide to hike back down to Evolène, go to the visitor center and ask if there’s a place in Switzerland with better weather. This is gonna be the end of our Haute Route. DAMN DAMN DAMN! I’m sure we could make it but this weather just ain’t fun and after all these are our only 2 weeks of holidays this summer. We don’t wanna spend one week of it in the rain.
So I share one of my WISDOMs FROM UNDER THE TARP and I say: ” THE ONLY WAY TO THE DRY IS THROUGH THE WET!” (Hell ain’t I smart?) And we put on our wet socks and wet jacket and I wear my lovely beautiful trashbag rainskirt. In the pouring rain we head down.
The lady from the visisor center  looks at us with pityful eyes. “What??? You come all the way from Chamonix? Hiking?” Seems like she hardly believes it, she says we’re brave and she goes and checks the weather forecast. Alas alas it’s gonna rain all week in all of fucking Switzerland! “Alright, ” I say, “we’ll head back to Germany!” And I ask the hours from the bus. The lady says: “There’s one coming in 8 minutes, guess you’re too late for that one.” Hell no, it’s not. We say “merci beaucoup” and “au revoir” and run over to the bus stop. I even still have time to take off my dirtbag skirt (not sure the driver would’ve let me in haha) and a few minutes later we’re in the bus making it’s way down the Val d’Hérens to Sion. Fuck I haven’t seen the Dent Blanche. The mountain I remember best from my childhood.
In Sion we buy waaay too expensive traintickets to Freiburg and some cheese fondue from the last bits of our swiss money. And then, there we are… sitting in a train back home. Everywhere we pass the clouds hang low in the sky, big puddles of rain are on the streets.
Things never go as planned, I think, and I’m ok with it. We’ll come up with another plan for the rest of the week and it’s gonna be an adventure too. When one adventure comes to an end, planned or unplanned, the next one is already waiting in line. That I am sure of. So now I’m looking outside the trainwindow and wonder what is coming next.
I feel grateful we made it to the valley where so many good childhood memories were born!

Big Badger wants to document me eating chips too early in the morning. But hey it’s never too early for chips!!!
Putting on wet socks. Yuck!
Don’t see these shoes getting dry today…
O those trashbag rainskirts. Ready to hike the CATwalk!!!!
Still smiling cuz crying won’t help either :cP
Hikertrashhhhhhhhhhhhh
Taking the train in Sion. At least we have fondue :cP
A lazy day at Angelika’s in Freiburg
Our little thank you in Angelika’s guest book :c)
 AND THAT WAS IT! 
TIME TO GET READY FOR THE NEXT ADVENTURE!!!!
 
Love to all hikertrash,
Cat

7 thoughts on “The Walker’s Haute Route: Chamonix – Zermatt… or… How things never go as planned!

  1. Cat I loved the whole adventure! What's a good story without a few unplanned events right? Beautiful pics. Sorry to hear you guys got rained out, that is a bummer. Oh my gosh though, you guys look like you got so crispy burnt. It always feels so weird to go back to places you knew as a kid, they always seem to change so much. Makes me sad when I see how much places change. I was cracking up hearing you peed yourself! I just know I'd pee myself too those weewee things are crazy. Good name for the skirt by the way, your dirtbag skirt, hahaha. Sounds like you guys had a good adventure though which is what matters. =)

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