On May 13th I established a new personal record for the longest non-stop hike in my life. Not only it involved 52km and 12 hours of walking but also an ascent of 1500m up to Rigi mountain at the very end of the hike.
Me and my friend Ilya have participated in an annual Swiss event called Rigimarsch. It is a night time hike from a town called Bremgarten all the way up to the Rigi mountain. This year the event attracted 2112 participants.
Note how uplifted we were in the beginning:
The registration normally starts at 19:30. It took us about 40 minutes to go through the queue. Despite a lot people the queue was handled efficiently and everyone was friendly. I was surprised to see so many young people as well as older folks and 12 year olds. The biggest surprise was to see them finish!
The weather conditions were perfect. The air was warm during the whole night and we felt comfortable in t-shirts. The first 2 hours of the hike were accompanied by a spectacle of lightnings. Luckily for us it never rained.
The event was exceptionally well executed. There were people regulating the traffic on every intersection of the hiking path with public roads. The route was well indicated with small flags and lamps. It was impossible to get lost. Also, the line of hikers never broke so there were always people in front and ahead of us.
In case someone got tired there were 5 stops where you could take a break, have a snack and take a bus back.
From the 25th kilometer onwards we could see the mountain ahead in the distance. The peak slowly crept closer and closer as our elapsed distance accumulated roughly 40 relatively flat kilometeres. At that point I realized that we still have a mountain to climb. It was gruesome. I could only look at my feet and make one step at a time. I couldn’t dare to look up and see just how high we need to go.
The views were fantastic but I felt so tired I could barely continue. I recall feeling really sick and close to throwing up. The last 200 metres up to the summit seemed like eternity.
Note how tired we looked at the end: