Sunday Morning~Still Walking
The route becomes more and more magnificent the deeper into the Alps we get. The experience gets richer with each new friend we make sharing the adventure. The guidebook didn’t mention wading through glacial waters up to our knees, but we saw no other way over. We hadn’t accounted for the exceptionally warm day and the late afternoon crossing. The glacier was melting and the stone bridge covered with, what I considered, a mini waterfall, made the frigid, toe-numbing, slippery crossing necessary. There was teamwork involved as not everyone had water shoes. There was much cheering and encouragement as each one made it across. No injuries (well, I slipped and banged my knee, but that was nothing compared to the potential). Lots of problem solving and bonding, and made for great story-telling at dinner that night.
There was an ascent this week that was the scariest I’ve ever done. There was much discussion of it the evening before and I was a little intimidated, and the looming storm didn’t help. A choice of ladders to the top with a 3,000 foot drop underneath, or a near vertical scramble up slippery rocks with a 3,000 foot drop underneath. Hmm, choices choices. We started up the rocks, then opted for the ladders. That’s how scary the rocks were. And I love climbing on rocks. We were surrounded by thick clouds, in the rain, and though the ladders looked foreboding and definitely not OSHA approved, I wanted up and over that pass. The cloud made the drop to your death less visible, so that was good. My friends went before me and I told myself I had no choice. I couldn’t sit there in the freezing rain. Stare at the rock face. Count the steps. Four ladders attached to the rock, straight up. They did have little platforms to step onto between each one. That was a nice touch. And allowed the terror to subside for a moment.
We all made it, of course. Cheers, high fives, then let’s get down off this peak. And we did, to a warm, dry hotel. A hot shower later and dinner in front of the fire with more stories to tell, the wine tasted sweeter.