Photo report - From First to Bussalp

This week we went to the Grindelwald area for hiking. Getting there wasn’t easy – a relatively long 4-hour train journey each way plus additional delays due to an accident on the tracks. The accidents seem to become common as the same happened the week before. Anyhow, Grindelwald is vast with hiking routes. I’ve been to Grindelwald several times before and even stayed overnight once. Our hike wasn’t difficult but very pretty. [Read More]

Photo report - Silent Nanztal Valley Crossing

This past Sunday I hiked a fantastic route together with my wife. It’s the first real hike this year and given the busy times it’s unsurprising. But it wasn’t just the first of a season. It was the most difficult hike my wife has ever completed and I was left totally impressed with her pace and endurance. Not only we walked for more than 15 kilometers but we also climbed almost a thousand vertical meters. For my wife, who normally prefers flat walks along ridges or lakes, it is a considerable accomplishment.

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First 4000m climb

I am not a peak collector by any stretch of imagination. Indeed I avoid “the best” like plague. I leave “the best” for the unsuspecting tourist crowds and boastful blabbers. But the fact is that I’ve climbed to the highest altitude in my life. And I’ve already paid my dues by feeling the wrath of Gods – reaching the peak left me untouched and the corresponding up-and-down motions were anything but mindful. Yet the purpose of this 2-day mountaineering trip has been fulfilled – I am now formally skilled in the basic skills of alpine walking and climbing.

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Samaria Gorge hike

Exactly two weeks ago I thought I was exhausted from preparing for job interviews (I will write a separate post explaining my study strategy). After all, I have been averaging 6-8 hours of algorithms and Java study almost every day for 2 months (I am switching careers and going full-time in software engineering). In reality, it was a virus that caused physical break-down, an eye infection and fever. In what can be described as the most spontaneous decision of my life I decided we need to take a short break and go to the sea. How spontaneous? I felt debilitating headache Monday morning and we flew out on Wednesday.

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Rigimarsch 2016

Another year, another Rigimarsch! Last year I’ve participated in an annual night hike up to the Rigi mountain. It was a tough yet exhilerating experience. This year I’ve repeated the challenge together with John.

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Mountaineering in Valais

There comes a moment in a life of a dormant adventurer when the curtains of undesired comfort are torn away and the world is finally seen through wide-open eyes, fueled by challenge and gore, excitement and joy. In this very moment feelings of inadequacy and out-of-placeness give way to sincere enthusiasm and appreciation and beauty of the world. I am boundlessly joyful to cross that imaginary line and thirstily imbibe from the cup of mountaineering and alpine beauty.

Such life-changing shift of perception comes from just a single adventure that I have had the tremendous luck to be a part of. Last Saturday I joined company of JD, Samuel and Clément to trek for 5 days through a mountain range in the French canton Valais of Switzerland, through ice, snow and rock. In the best tradition of Sergey the journey has been one of the hardest things he has ever done in his life.

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Going to a first alpine tour

I’m feeling excited because tomorrow I’m going on my first alpine tour. It’s a 5 day tour and we’re going to walk on ice and snow. We’re heading to region Valais which is not far from Mont Blanc that I had visited earlier this week.

Although I already have relatively lots of mountain/climbing gear I had to purchase new stiff boots and other stuff. Packing is in progress:

Let’s hope for good weather and some nice shots!