Saturday, October 30, 2010


It was a good thing we went to visit the old town of Rapperswil. The big clock on the medieval church reminded me that not only was tomorrow Halloween and spooky, but that the clocks were changing to winter time! A very beautiful place on the Zurich lake. Sometimes we forget to stop in places and just drive past them. I cannot wait to come back here when it is warmer and check out their rose gardens. They plant over 16'000 roses and have about 600 different types!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Grindelwald pass-time

I was so psyched! I took the kids to a curling class! I would describe this sport as the equivalent of pétanque, bowling, archery and house cleaning on ice rinks. You have to sliiiiide the rock to the center of the bull's eye. Certainly don't try to pick it up, as it weighs more than most people! And you definitely do not want to break one, as it will cost you CHF 700.- to pay for a new one. This is serious business! Oh and it is slippery and cold too! I recommend this to anyone who has the time to try it. The kids actually did not look at their phones or games for the hour we spent here (well, maybe there was no wifi connection on the rink!?!)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kleine Scheidegg

From Lauterbrunnen we rode the train up to Wengen and on up to the Kleine Scheidegg to be overpowered by the North Face of the Eiger. Wow! It really is impressive! I was looking for the 'window' where climbers go. I only saw it once we were on the Grindelwald side. The Monch & Jungfrau were looking gorgeous too wearing a fresh layer of snow.
There was lots of fresh snow here. But we still went for a wander and made a cute snowman. The weather was cloudy at first, but cleared up. Interestingly enough it stayed clear until we boarded the train to descend to Grindelwald.
I am not sure if the dog drank what is in her barrel or if the tourists just tired her out with all their petting and photo taking! This part of Switzerland is on its off-season at the moment, getting ready to rock n' roll for winter, so travelling around at this time of year is a bit tricky sometimes. Regardless, there were lots of people around.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Is that the Matterhorn?

A perfect bluebird sky! We took the train up the Gornergrat and checked out all the fresh snow. I wish I would have had my snowshoes with me!! The views from up here are just amazing. I got some great views of the 4000 meter peak I had gone up earlier this spring on the border with Italy, the ParrotSpitz.

The Gornergletscher is the 3rd longest in Switzerland, I have to admit I am not sure what the 2nd one is...does anyone know? A picnic in the snow and a few snowballs later it was time to go back to Zermatt where the streets had turned into perfect ice skating rinks!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dumpin' in Zermatt!

Soooo much snow falling in Zermatt! It was difficult to walk around. So took refuge in the Zermattlantis Museum. Really interesting place to spend time. Tells the history of climbing the Matterhorn. Take the time to check out their shoes!! Yikes!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

CherriesWalks in the city!

A week of fabulous weather in Paris, cold but sunny. It was interesting to have 41 kids to keep an eye on. The metro system has never seemed quite so vast... And crossing streets with lights can get exciting too. It is definitely easier to walk looking behind me in the mountains, here I was walking into happy Parisians.

The Only real guiding that required my Mountain Leader knowledge was when I climbed down the 700 steps of the Eiffel Tower!
Very odd looking vegetation in Paris!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Orientering course


What a perfect day for orientering, it was snowing and foggy all day! Wet maps, compasses, rapex's and cold fingers.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Champex Lac Belvedere

Fall is just sooooo beautiful! We hiked up in the forest poking what in French are called 'pet de loup' mushrooms to watch the spores float in the sun. The fun part of this hike is seeing so many different types of pine trees and being able to differentiate them by the time you get to the top and eat some wild blueberries! The view down onto Champex is impressive as are the views back towards Verbier and the Pierre Avoir, including the Combins & Vélan. The hike down gets a bit steep and slippery on the pine needles, but it ends just when it should, as it is tiring to think for every step! Apart from a squirel we didn't see any wildlife. Just a gorgeous day to be out!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

St.Moritz & Corvatsch

We locked up the bikes, put on our doudounnes and took the lift to the top of the Piz Nair above St.Moritz. There we were above the cloud cover with a view of all the grand Piz summits above 3000m. We could see the Suvretta Pass in the clouds so hung out for a coffee in the warm sun before heading down to bike to it. Funnily enough we were warmer up there than down below! The ride was AWESOME!

We rode down a single track 1000 meters to Bever, through rocks and pastures. The valley was definitely one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The larches are changing colors and breathtaking. The water running in the rivers is remarkable green-blue (not really sure what any of the colors were!) It was like riding through a caleidescope!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Silvaplana to Bernina Pass

Off we went for 8 hours of non-stop adventure mountain biking. We left Silvaplana and rode through the gorgeous forest of golden larches and reddening myrtilles bushes up to the Bernina Pass where the cloud cover got so thick we didn't even realize that there was a lake next to us. Thanks to the map and the dam we knew it was there! We rode over the dam instead of riding down to Poschiavio in the white-out. The descent into Pontresina was beautiful with views onto the Morterasch glacier in the sun. The people around here are not kidding with their paths, I have never seen or imagined anything quite like this. They are definitely made by the Swiss - they have removed every rock and root possible! I still managed to fall over though... Then we rode by the lake in St. Moritz in the freezing winds that make it so popular for kite surfing in the summer. We quickly got away from the lake and rode in the forest above - adding a few more huffing & puffing episodes to an already long day. Epic!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bivio to Rocabella summit

Woohooo! After 3 hours in the car all the way around Switzerland in the fog we had to stretch & get some air. We hiked up to a summit at 2727m with amazing water flowing all over the ridges and glaciers to be glimpsed through the near V-shaped valleys. Absolutely the place to have an intense geology course where you can see limestone & granite summits and the action of glaciers and permafrost without needing to imagine it all.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Château de Verbier

What a view back into the upper val de Bagnes!
Here is a spot in Verbier that is often overlooked and completely missed by most people. Even following the signs it is not obvious to everyone, and one can easily wander right passed it! The château was not a castle, but more of a look-out tower over the valley and the 360 degree views are astounding. All that remains today is a re-built rock wall of ruins. The hike is fun on the ledge between St. Christophe Chapel and the Pierre Avoir.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Col de Mille over Bruson

Ahhh, the hills were alive with the sounds of blueberry bushes hibernating. Gorgeous day with the Foehn (warm wind) blowing. The Rogneux was freshly snowed on from this past week and looking happy to see us at its base. The cows were taken down and it seemed quiet hiking around without the sound of their bells.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Gentiane picking - Gentiana lutea

So today I did not go home to pick the grapes of my childhood, but chose to make a new kind of booze: gentiane! We set off early and drove up above tree line to find where the yellow gentiane grows. Funily enough it grows in Verbier thanks to the Pierre Avoi which is limestone and this plant that can attain 2 meters is a fan of limestone.
We got out the pick-axes and dug out the roots which can weigh up to 7-8 kilos. They are hard to extract whole as they break off easily. Once we decided we had enough to go blind with, we cleaned them and cut them. Then we filled up a 60 liter bucket with them and put a hermetical lid on them. In a few days we will cover them with water and a bit less than a kilo of sugar. They will bathe in a shady spot till February when they will take a trip to the distillery and be made into the alcohol. And voilà, santé!

I kept some roots to dry out and make into powder for teas. Medicinally this queen of sourness has been traditionally used as a general tonic and stimilant for the stomach. It contributes to our natural defenses and builds up our white blood cells. It is used for gastric troubles and loss of apetite, or to revive a tired organism.

Friday, October 1, 2010

CherriesWalks at the New England Patriots Stadium


Am not sure when this was taken, but it is a keeper in the Hall of CherriesWalks t-shirt photos!
Qu'est-ce qu'elle est belle la belle soeur! I sure hope the team you were rooting for won Steph! Thanks!
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