Sunday, 26 July 2009

Switzerland: The Eggerhorn

Eggerhorn
Eggerhorn
Today was supposed to be an early rise to catch a train and bus before ascending Sparrhorn at 3021m. I didn't fancy the journey time, though and for the past few years had my eye on another mountain closer to our base in Fiesch; The Eggerhorn, at 2503m, sitting high above Fiesch. In hindsight, the higher altitude might have been the easier option!


Steam engine at Fiesch Railway Station
Steam engine at Fiesch Railway Station
We took the bus to the village of Binn, from Fiesch Railway Station. on the other side of the mountain, and began our ascent from 1400m, through the welcome shade of a forest. The weather was hotting up now, and the constant climb was eased by the protection from the sun.

East from Eggerhorn
East from Eggerhorn
Diane on Eggerhorn
Diane on Eggerhorn

Once out of the forest, on a plateau known as Sattulti (2128m), we could see the range of mountains we had walked the previous two days. The climb continued, and the paths narrowed, winding to the summit of the Eggerhorn (2503m). Our stop at the summit was fairly short. It had been a hard climb of 1100 metres, but my mind was on the steep path down!

Eggerhorn and Aletschorn in the distance.
Eggerhorn and Aletschorn in the distance
Fiesch Glacier
Fiesch Glacier 
Cross on Eggerhorn
Cross on Eggerhorn summit
In a space of not even half a kilometre, the path drops over 200 metres on a dusty, crumbling, but deep path.

Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't have minded it so much, but throw the height of the landscape into the equation, I was overwhelmed! Each step down was a battle of willpower, and I'm grateful to Diane for being patient with me. True to form, when the scale of the environment changed, mentally, the going got easier even though the path changed very little.

Eggerhorn, from near Alpe Frid
Eggerhorn, from near Alpe Frid
We finally made it to the road below Alpe Frid, at 1889m, where we chanced upon a bus and saved ourselves an hour and a half walk into Ernen. Pleased I made it up Eggerhorn, but it certainly revealed my fear of heights!