Schilthorn: peak of James Bond fame, viewing place of a great section of the Bernese Alps and home to one of those rotating restaurants that makes food taste better because it is being eaten while moving in a circle, slowly. (Clarification: this is not, in fact, a picture of Schilthorn, it's one of the peaks that can be seen from Schilthorn)
The peak was yet another telecab up from our pension (2,970 meters at the summit). I am running out of adjectives to properly describe views of these mountains. Cool and pointy don't seem to be cutting it anymore. Unfathomable comes to mind.
From this vantage point, it is possible to see several prominent peaks: Titlis, Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger.
We doodled about the observation deck and allowed the mountains to pose with us:
Friends of ours that had recommended Mürren, had also mentioned something about a cool hike down the mountain.
They also mentioned something about it taking 5.5 hours and at one point clinging to a metal chain and hugging the bare rock face to avoid plummeting to their deaths.
We of course remembered none of the details of this conversation.
Did I also mention that I'm too cheap to buy proper hiking boots? And instead choose to wear my treadless, falling-apart tennis shoes while scampering about snowy, icy mountains?
It seemed like an easy enough hike…
it'll probably take us like 30 minutes to reach the bottom
(said my brain).
And on the way down we got to watch telecabs zooming up the mountain! Awesome!
So some hiking in a downward fashion occurred. Some picture taking occurred. Everything seemed good and tranquil and fun.
(pause for dramatic effect)
All of a sudden, the path was replaced with a straight drop. I think there were some notches that distantly resembled stairs, but the three inches of ice and snow covering them made it impossible to tell for sure. Anthony managed the descent because he is an adult who'd planned ahead and worn proper footwear. I figured I could save 200 francs and override the laws of physics with stubbornness and frugality.
I am an idiot.
What ensued was a ten minute battle of the wills in which I kept trying to inch my way down as my feet could not find one single bit of grip (coincidentally, I finally began to understand coefficient of friction about 7 years too late) and Anthony kept trying to derail my irrationally stubborn behavior by painting grim pictures of my death.
Eventually I had to admit he was right. So we turned around to head back up and all of a sudden it dawned on me how very far away the observation deck seemed.
The thing about hiking is, I really like going down. Going down is fun! It's what gravity wants us to do! Hiking downhill is the natural order of things!
But going up is expending energy that might better be used for napping, or eating or reading books. It creates entropy in the universe and makes puppies cry.
But there was no other option. So I resolved to do it as quickly as possible and began power walking my way to the top.
And a good thing too, because I turned around and saw Anthony coming up behind me and cajoled him into letting me get this shot:
After our ordeal, we decided we needed to eat lunch while rotating slowly and came up with a plan for getting back to our pension which still involved some hiking, but with a much lower risk of fatality.