Chamonix the Sublime
In the summer of 2010, two very cool things happened:
1. R. and I went to London and the Lake District on our honeymoon.
2. I made a return trip, after 22 years, to the two highlights of my first trip overseas at the (coincidental) age of 22: Chamonix, France; and Gimmelwald/Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland.
I’ve already written about the Swiss Alps. In this post, I’m gonna let the pictures do most of the talking, except to say that I hope it isn’t another 22 years before I return… Check out Chamonix the Sublime on 500px.
On a solo trip through the Swiss Alps, the author meets the shadow of his former self.
To become wise, one must wish to have certain experiences and run, as it were, into their gaping jaws. This is, of course, very dangerous: many a “wise man” has been swallowed.
- Friedrich Nietzsche
A grey fondue of storm clouds rolls past my hotel room balcony. Bad weather threatens to pin me for another day to this hotel room with a view steep-pitched to a valley in the Swiss Alps. While I stay warm and dry indoors, rain turns the mountain trails I came to walk, the ancient cow paths, the consistency of dung.There won’t be any parapenters today, either, brightly coloured lozenges of silk pirouetting to the valley floor. Tourists, many of whom, like me, come to these mountains for a bit of adventure, who otherwise pay to ride with these professional risk takers, are out of luck today.
A break in the clouds flashes a picture of the scarred valley wall and the chiseled summits of three fairytale mountains: Der Eiger, Die Jungfrau, Der Monch: The Ogre, the Maiden, The Monk. The parapenters and their passengers can pack it in when the weather turns foul like this. Climbers, on the other hand, must hunker down, and deal with what the mountain delivers. On these merciless peaks, a storm can mean real trouble. After all, like something out of Lord of the Rings, the locals call the north face of the Eiger “Mordwand,” murder wall. Read the rest of this entry »
My first Toronto winter in fifteen years!
… Just back from reconnoitring the ‘hood. This morning at 3am, all I could hear was the scrunching sound of rain turning to ice on tree branches and power lines. Now, at 11 at night, it’s the steady drip of that same ice melting off those same branches and lines. The sidewalks and streets are running with meltwater. Streetcars are once again rolling along Dundas and Queen.
A deep freeze is apparently on the way, down to -14 by Tuesday night, but for now temps are staying north of freezing. Hopefully this meltoff wiff help Hydro crews restore power to the 350,000 people in southern Ontario without power…