…of the alpthal.
it’s perhaps a little known fact that if you plummet from a mountain face that you (or rather your body as you, hopefully, will not be aware to the outcome) arrive naked at the next (and, may i say, probably last) point of contact: the sheer wind force will tear off anything you are wearing, rucksack, fleece, pants, the works. thus, this morning i take an extra long shower and make sure my underwear is in good order — my wife of 20 years has decided that we assault the matterhorn of the alpthal, the [grosser mythen].
[grosser mythen]: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mythen
the weather is rather nice, cloudy with the occassional sun burst and we take the 10:35 post bus from einsiedeln station to the very end of the alpthal, to brunni cable car station. the grosser mythen rises imposing above us, or rather me, as mrs d is not that impressed (“we’ve had steeper stuff in [valais]” — yeah, well…
the first bit from brunni up to holzegg is quite easy actually (no, we didn’t take the cable car, we did walk), just a nice hike up to the head end of the cable car line. it’s past holzegg that the fun really starts. my vertigo was roaring to kick in, i was determined to make it to the top, mrs d was revving her engines and roaring to sprint up the mountain. we decide that mrs d should just make a go for it and i’d take it slowly, concentrating on the path itself.
where the route starts climbing up the flank we find a sign: dogs to be taken on a leash, kids to be roped on, hiking shoes mandatory, only for skilled hikers when wet — the path itself though is rather well-maintained and easy to walk, it’s just the sheer drop of hundreds of meters that’s feeding my vertigo. criss-crossing the mountain side the path winds up and up. grosser mythen is very popular mountain and we are certainly not alone (so much for the solitude of the swiss alps ;-): frequently i have to “pull over” to let fellow walkers or walkers coming down pass.
half way up a couple with a black shepherd dog is coming down the path. the dog seems to like the altitude and exposed nature of the path as much as i do — it’s always staying close to the rock… “sensible dog”, i think and continue. most of the way is really not that bad, by concentrating on the path and trying to mask out the “void” i manage to get up. the last 500m though present a challenge: a path with nothing really on _both_ sides connects one part of the mountain to the other and then winds up an increasingly narrow ridge which eventually widens to accommodate the summit hut-cum-pub…
…i do manage that bit and finally reach the top of grosser mythen! pheeew. quite a walk for me. my vertigo tried to have a field day, but luckily didn’t succeed 🙂 the view from up top is breathtaking: a fantastic 360° panorama across the swiss alps!
after a soup and a beer we start the descend. mrs d, as always, has no problems with vertigo, i slowly shuffle my way past the nasty bits. once the ridge stuff has passed, i’m fine and manage to maintain a good speed down to holzegg. on the way down i pass a german walker with walking sticks mounted horizontally on his backpack and repeatedly stabbing his fellow walker; then a group of apparently ultra-conservative christian women in really long skirts pass up, one of them commenting of the “dangers of walking sticks” which is a bit funny, as the long skirts are probably more of a danger to themselves than any of the walking sticks.
from holzegg we walk via _zwischuet mythen_ (in-between mythen) back to brunni and take the post bus back to einsiedeln.
an adventurous but nevertheless very nice walk!
interested in the walk? here is the [googleearth KMZ file](http://d2h.net/blog/stuff/2007-10-28-climbing-grosser-mythen.kmz)