COVID-19 My Coronavirus Mount Everest Climbing and Fundraising Challenge

Wiebke

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Sorry for not posting more stops on my still ongoing journey running up the one stair in my home and working my virtual way up the Swiss Alps - although not very much longer as I am now in the highest mountains of the Alps.

Tonight I am lumping together some neighbouring peaks in the Bernese Alps to make up for my silence; they are all part of the Aar massif, which lies between the Jungfrau massif to the southwest and the Gotthard massif to the southeast.

1595545335030.png
Firstly there is the Schreckhorn ('Horn of Fright') at 4078m; it is the most northerly of the Alp peaks above 4000m. The peak lies kind of in the backyard of the Jungfrau massif and can be seen from the Eismeer railway station of the Jungfraujoch railway (see picture below). It was first climbed in 1861.
1595545294017.png

Its close neighbour, the Lauteraarhorn at 4042 m (the 'Pure Horn of the Aar massif'), was mistakenly climbed in 1842 in an attempt to conquer the Schreckhorn. No gps or even really good maps in those heady early days of climbing where no man had stood before, so we shouldn't hold it against them! :yikes:
1595545552038.png

The third peak is the Finsteraarhorn (the 'Dark Horn of the Aar massif'); the highest peak of the Bernese Alps at 4274 m (and surpassing both the nearby Mönch 4107 m) and the Jungfrau (4158 m). It is also one of the most prominent peaks of the Alps that tower over their surroundings.
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You may recognise some of the names on the map below from my climbing journey. I have started out in my home patch, the Oberbaselbiet in the top left, visited Lake Constance on the top right, have climbed the Säntis in the Alpstein (when you go right down from the lake); been on the Rigi by wiggly Lake Lucerne (remember Seelisberg on Lake Lucerne, too?). I have passed the Brünig pass to the south of Lake Lucerne to get into the Berner Oberland (the Bernese Highland with Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald and the Jungfrau massif next to the Aar massif and the Gotthard massif).
In the Southwest near Geneva lie the highest peaks of the Jura mountain chain. Les Diablerets is part of the Waadtländer Alpen at the eastern end of Lake Geneva.
At the southernmost tip I have visited Monte Paradiso on Lake Lugano and the Versasca valley with Sonogno village.
The Engadin Valley (Maloja, St Moritz and S-chanf) with the Bernina massiv and Pushlav valley is the most southeasterly part of Switzerland.
For the grand finale I will be heading right to the bottom of he big 'belly' into the Mattertal where the highest Swiss peaks ( the Walliser Alpen) are located.
Switzerland always reminds me a bit of a kangaroo heading towards Austria; the Engadin being the head, Geneva being its tail and Lugano the foot of its back leg, and Wallis/Valais the bulging pouch.
1595547721629.png
 

Posyrose

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Sorry for not posting more stops on my still ongoing journey running up the one stair in my home and working my virtual way up the Swiss Alps - although not very much longer as I am now in the highest mountains of the Alps.

Tonight I am lumping together some neighbouring peaks in the Bernese Alps to make up for my silence; they are all part of the Aar massif, which lies between the Jungfrau massif to the southwest and the Gotthard massif to the southeast.

View attachment 149042
Firstly there is the Schreckhorn ('Horn of Fright') at 4078m; it is the most northerly of the Alp peaks above 4000m. The peak lies kind of in the backyard of the Jungfrau massif and can be seen from the Eismeer railway station of the Jungfraujoch railway (see picture below). It was first climbed in 1861.
View attachment 149041

Its close neighbour, the Lauteraarhorn at 4042 m (the 'Pure Horn of the Aar massif'), was mistakenly climbed in 1842 in an attempt to conquer the Schreckhorn. No gps or even really good maps in those heady early days of climbing where no man had stood before, so we shouldn't hold it against them! :yikes:
View attachment 149044

The third peak is the Finsteraarhorn (the 'Dark Horn of the Aar massif'); the highest peak of the Bernese Alps at 4274 m (and surpassing both the nearby Mönch 4107 m) and the Jungfrau (4158 m). It is also one of the most prominent peaks of the Alps that tower over their surroundings.
View attachment 149045

View attachment 149046

View attachment 149049

You may recognise some of the names on the map below from my climbing journey. I have started out in my home patch, the Oberbaselbiet in the top left, visited Lake Constance on the top right, have climbed the Säntis in the Alpstein (when you go right down from the lake); been on the Rigi by wiggly Lake Lucerne (remember Seelisberg on Lake Lucerne, too?). I have passed the Brünig pass to the south of Lake Lucerne to get into the Berner Oberland (the Bernese Highland with Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald and the Jungfrau massif next to the Aar massif and the Gotthard massif).
In the Southwest near Geneva lie the highest peaks of the Jura mountain chain. Les Diablerets is part of the Waadtländer Alpen at the eastern end of Lake Geneva.
At the southernmost tip I have visited Monte Paradiso on Lake Lugano and the Versasca valley with Sonogno village.
The Engadin Valley (Maloja, St Moritz and S-chanf) with the Bernina massiv and Pushlav valley is the most southeasterly part of Switzerland.
For the grand finale I will be heading right to the bottom of he big 'belly' into the Mattertal where the highest Swiss peaks ( the Walliser Alpen) are located.
Switzerland always reminds me a bit of a kangaroo heading towards Austria; the Engadin being the head, Geneva being its tail and Lugano the foot of its back leg, and Wallis/Valais the bulging pouch.
View attachment 149050
Wow amazing progress @Wiebke

The fourth photo reminds me of Everest....it won't be long now.

I had to sit on the floor in the middle of an aisle in Aldi due to crippling back pain on Friday, so have taken a short break but plan to resume tomorrow.
 

Wiebke

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I have passed the halfway mark up Mount Everest in 14 weeks of climbing!
(4424m or 14514.44 ft; mark passed on Friday)
1595798826491.png
Panoramic view of the Everest Range from Pikey Peak, 4065 m)
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anyway, I am celebrating the halfway mark in style on the summit of the Matterhorn (4478 m), which I have reached on the day after yesterday evening as the most suitable place for this achievement. The most photographed mountain of the world is one of Switzerland's highest peaks - although we are sharing the summit with Italy as the border runs along it. You can't really knock around Switzerland without bumping into another country sooner rather than later!

But we've cornered the chocolate side of the mountain (quite literally in the form of toblerone)!
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PS: I have been cheating with my favourite flavour of Swiss Lindt chocolate; if this isn't the time for some proper Swiss chocolate, when is it? :D

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Englishman Edward Whymper managed to get to the top on his eighth attempt in 1865 together with a team of three other Brits and Swiss father and son team. Surprisingly, they found the assent on their new route from Zermatt pretty easy, but tragedy struck on the way down when one of the team slipped and pulled another three comrades with him; Whymper and one of the Swiss guides managed to secure themselves and anchor the rope, but it unfortunately broke and the four men fell 1000m (3000 ft) to their deaths. Three of the bodies were eventually recovered by that of Lord Francis Douglas has never been found. Whymper and the Taugwalders got down but accusations that they cut the line in order to save themselves continued to dog them for the rest of their lives.
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(Picture Gustave Dore, who never saw the Matterhorn)

Until then deaths had been astonishingly rare in the race to conquer the Alps that was mainly driven and dominated by English mountaineers but the assent of the Matterhorn and a rising number of fatalities in the following years marked the end of the golden age of Victorian mountaineering.


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Since then, the Matterhorn and the Alps have been climbing countless lives; on averages about 20-30 people die every year. It is a sobering statistic!
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Anyway, onwards and upwards! I am still on track to stand on the summit of Everest before the end of the year!

Anybody who would like to sponsor my current achievement with a donation to TEAS sanctuary, who are still in desperate need to pay their eye watering monthly vet bills for keeping their dental piggies in trim will have mine and Debbie's eternal gratitude!
The Excellent Adventure Sanctuary – Providing life-enhancing care for Guinea Pigs with extra needs (please gift aid)
 

Posyrose

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Fantastic work @Wiebke . You are making good time, you'll get there before Xmas at this rate. Half way up Everest is an amazing achievement and you've even done it without ropes, crampons or ice axes!

You've found some truly spectacular pictures of the Matterhon and I love the Toblerone. Now is definitely the time for Swiss chocolate!
 

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Well, I've developed the habit of going up the stairs twice each time I make a cup of tea or coffee, while waiting for the kettle to boil; this means I have less to do each time, so I can usually do it, even if I have to haul myself up. I drink lots of coffee, so this is working well.

I've made it to the most Southerly mountain either @Wiebke or I are likely to go - Kerguelen Island in the sub Antarctic. It's in the Indian Ocean at about 50° S. latitude, halfway between Australia and Africa. It's extremely remote and mostly an Antarctic research station now.

images (3).jpg

I've made it to the top of Mont Ross, 1850m.

images (2).jpg

For a modestly high mountain, it's surprising that it was only conquered for the first time in 1976, when a team made it to the top on their fifth attempt. It is heavily glaciated and where the rock is exposed, rotten. Bad weather is the rule.

This being Antarctica, it comes with some interesting local fauna
images (5).jpg

Here's a picture in Summer to end with

images (4).jpg
 

Wiebke

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I have to wave a sad goodbye to Switzerland (or in Basel dialect 'Aadye' = adieu) as I have now reached the highest point at 4634 m.
It also the highest peak in the huge Monte Rosa massif of which the Matterhorn is also part. Again, we have to share with Italy...

1596063027703.png
The backside with its shrinking glaciers
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The Swiss side of the Monte Rosa peak has been renamed 'Dufourspitze' (Dufour Peak) in honour of the general in command of the Swiss army and state in WWI.
1596062811085.png

The Swiss don't have a standing army although every man used to be called up for military training and yearly or twice yearly retraining. Failure to do so would land you in jail. This has been changed to the choice between a longer civil service or a shorter military training. It is also no longer custom for every man at serving age to have his gun and uniform at home - there were very, very few shootings over the years. My brother still kept his gear including the gun in his cupboard at home and was responsible for its maintenance. It made for quicker mobilisation and assembly at any needed point of the border in past ages before fast transport.

In another quirk, the Swiss parliament will only elect a general to lead the mobilised army in times of war as well as being head of state and leader of the parliament (normally the supreme power) during the war - a bit like a Roman dictator was the temporary single head of state in its early years. In peace times there is a corps commandant in charge of the small bunch of professional officers, the training/retraining of recruits and logistics.
Since the short cival war (Sonderbund) between the conservative Catholic cantons and the progressive mostly reformed cantons in 1847 century (the reformed cantons comprising all the large cities, economic and manpower won out very quickly) which led to Switzerland moving from a loose association of mini-states (the cantons) to becoming a single state with still rather independent cantons (police, health and education are still cantonal and can vary massively) but with a single currency (the Swiss franc), foreign policy and the army being centrally administered since 1850. Earlier on during the Napoleonic wars around 1800 parts of Switzerland were temporarily annexed and the rest became the Helvetic Republic which was modelled after the French Republic until Napoleon's defeat.

Since then the army has been called up only twice, during WWI (General Dufour,) and WWII (General Guisan, only the 4th Swiss to ever hold this rank) in order to defend the border against any invasion. The plan was always for the army to use the Alps as their last defence position if the Lowlands proved indefensible.

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Only one Alps massif left to tackle - the Mont Blanc not far away on the French/Italian border!
By the way, a massif is a huge mountain with a number of distinct peaks; you only find them in the higher mountain ranges of the world.
 

Posyrose

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I have to wave a sad goodbye to Switzerland (or in Basel dialect 'Aadye' = adieu) as I have now reached the highest point at 4634 m.
It also the highest peak in the huge Monte Rosa massif of which the Matterhorn is also part. Again, we have to share with Italy...

View attachment 149546
The backside with its shrinking glaciers
View attachment 149548

The Swiss side of the Monte Rosa peak has been renamed 'Dufourspitze' (Dufour Peak) in honour of the general in command of the Swiss army and state in WWI.
View attachment 149545

The Swiss don't have a standing army although every man used to be called up for military training and yearly or twice yearly retraining. Failure to do so would land you in jail. This has been changed to the choice between a longer civil service or a shorter military training. It is also no longer custom for every man at serving age to have his gun and uniform at home - there were very, very few shootings over the years. My brother still kept his gear including the gun in his cupboard at home and was responsible for its maintenance. It made for quicker mobilisation and assembly at any needed point of the border in past ages before fast transport.

In another quirk, the Swiss parliament will only elect a general to lead the mobilised army in times of war as well as being head of state and leader of the parliament (normally the supreme power) during the war - a bit like a Roman dictator was the temporary single head of state in its early years. In peace times there is a corps commandant in charge of the small bunch of professional officers, the training/retraining of recruits and logistics.
Since the short cival war (Sonderbund) between the conservative Catholic cantons and the progressive mostly reformed cantons in 1847 century (the reformed cantons comprising all the large cities, economic and manpower won out very quickly) which led to Switzerland moving from a loose association of mini-states (the cantons) to becoming a single state with still rather independent cantons (police, health and education are still cantonal and can vary massively) but with a single currency (the Swiss franc), foreign policy and the army being centrally administered since 1850. Earlier on during the Napoleonic wars around 1800 parts of Switzerland were temporarily annexed and the rest became the Helvetic Republic which was modelled after the French Republic until Napoleon's defeat.

Since then the army has been called up only twice, during WWI (General Dufour,) and WWII (General Guisan, only the 4th Swiss to ever hold this rank) in order to defend the border against any invasion. The plan was always for the army to use the Alps as their last defence position if the Lowlands proved indefensible.

View attachment 149547

View attachment 149549

View attachment 149550

Only one Alps massif left to tackle - the Mont Blanc not far away on the French/Italian border!
By the way, a massif is a huge mountain with a number of distinct peaks; you only find them in the higher mountain ranges of the world.

Sorry that you have had to leave Switzerland, but it does mean you are climbing ever higher towards your target!
 

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Posyrose

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I've been making good progress and need to post some of the places that I've now passed.

Here is another Canadian lake, but I had to include it as it is so beautiful. It's Moraine Lake and is 1884m

moraine-lake-aerial-moment-banff-alberta.jpeg

I won't reach the mountains encircling it for a while, as they are over 3500m.

dq8rbyc6y6a11.jpg

Another place I'd like to go.

Tomorrow's mountain is one I've actually been to the top of - I don't think there will be any more of those!
 

Wiebke

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I've been making good progress and need to post some of the places that I've now passed.

Here is another Canadian lake, but I had to include it as it is so beautiful. It's Moraine Lake and is 1884m

View attachment 149673

I won't reach the mountains encircling it for a while, as they are over 3500m.

View attachment 149674

Another place I'd like to go.

Tomorrow's mountain is one I've actually been to the top of - I don't think there will be any more of those!

Well done!

No mountain climbing for me either but virtually or by train or cable car!
 
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