Hoofprints of the Stag

Hoofprints of the Stag

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Day 13: The Most Dangerous Thing

One time, one of my students asked me what was the most dangerous thing I'd done. I didn't really know how to answer them because I couldn't think of anything particularly dangerous in my life. If that same student asked me today, I'd definitely have an answer. 

I'd like to add a disclaimer at this point that dangerous is not synonymous with careless. One may drink to much and put himself in a dangerous situation as a result of carelessness, but in the case I am about to describe, great care indeed was taken. While the situation was dangerous, we took great care that no harm would come to either of us. 

The most dangerous thing I have done is this. Yesterday I, along with Ed, climbed the Brienzergrat, the most difficult mountain I have ever had to climb. South Sister pales in comparison to this peak, nay, this nearly insurmountable ridge. Firstly, it was a long road. It wasn't bad at first, but there were a lot of miles to log before even getting to the tough part. The tough part was a great steep incline, which Ed and I immensely struggled with for over an hour (after three hours of moderately difficult climbing). Not only was it steep, but it was also not an easy path. One wrong step could send you tumbling over, and the mud did not make it any easier to find decent footing. Ed and I did have a decent amount of water and food, but as we got closer to the top, the more likely it became that we might have to turn back or that we might even get stuck up there with few options. 

When we finally reached the 'pass,' which was practically a peak all its own, we now had to face going down just as steep of an incline down the other side. The path was practically nonexistent. Though there was no snow, the mud and the wet grass made it somewhat difficult. I myself fell down twice, which was a bit rattling, but in the end, we finally made it to Breinz. 

Before this intense hike, we enjoyed time in Solothurn after the Jura. From there we found a very clear and direct, albeit at times boring, route across the valley, passing through Burgdorf, Lutzelfluh, Langnau, and Shangnau. The journey has been quite wonderful so far, despite the few difficulties we have encountered. 

Today it rained, and we took it easy today, watching Roger Federer play in the Wimbledon quarter finals and win. Tomorrow we face the Grimselpass, the last big climb for us for most of the rest of the trip. 

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