Climbing the Oberaarhorn

climbing the Oberaarhorn

As part of our Way Up project in the summer of 2016, we climbed the central Swiss Alps Oberaarhorn, 3630 meters, from the Oberaarsee near Grimsel Pass. This is an absolute classic easy alpine summit, with great views of the Berner Oberland’s highest peak, the Finsteraarhorn, a hut for overnight or lunch, and what interested us most, all types of terrain, …

Trail Running Ticino’s Monte Zucchero

Running Ticino's Monte Zucchero

Stop and Smell the Goats Janine spreads a map on the dinner table between plates of polenta, pizza, and pasta. “I found a loop for us,” she says, tracing the route line. Tomorrow looks like a long day … even without the option to add an extra ridge … if there’s time. Dan and Janine had recently hiked the Via …

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Hiking the Via Alta Verzasca

Hiking the Ticino Via Alta Verzasca

  It used to always annoy me when I lived in the US and heard Europeans say that they were not very impressed by the American mountains. In truth, it was the sky they came for, or more accurately, the size of the sky – big. Sure, the Alps are tough competition when it comes to comparing mountains. In terms of …

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The Hardergrat to Brunig Pass

Trail running the Hardergrat

Making the Hardergrat Harder! If more is better, then more of the Hardergrat is, well, really hard, and for sure even better. Together with my good friend Brody Leven, we just did the Hardergrat to the standard endpoint of the Brienzer Rothorn Station. But, instead of eating ice creams and hopping on the old steam train to escape the ridge, …

The Alps Vertical Reality Strategy

Whatever you do, Don’t Look Up Going light and coping with big vert in the Alps Forty miles into Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc’s “little sister,” Courmayeur-Champêx-Chamonix last year, I came across a fellow runner, sprawled out on a boulder. He was immobile, eyes closed. His arms are in an odd, torqued position. It reminds me of an illustration in an EMT …

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Hiking the Dossen from Rosenlaui

There is simply no way I could title this “Running the Dossen”. Yes, there is a great section to run, but this is most certainly, “Hiking the Dossen”. Hands are even involved to get to the top, but we’ll get to that. In 2015, Janine and I hiked the 3138 meter Dossen from Rosenlaui and loved it for its setting amongst glaciers …

Hiking the Saas Fee Glacier Trail

If ever there was a trail that crammed all the experiences of a week long hiking classic into a one day excursion, Saas Fee’s Glacier Trail is it. The trail was opened in 2014 as an official extension to the very popular trail from the Plattjen gondola station, just above Saas Fee, and the Britannia Hut. With the extension comes an entry into …

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The Üssers Barrhorn Highest Trail in Switzerland

When you arrive to the summit after climbing the Üssers Barrhorn, at 3610 meters, you have reached Switzerland’s highest point accessible by an official trail. But this won’t be what’s on your mind. Instead, you’ll be processing what you are standing amongst; flowing glaciers, towering peaks, and perfect views of some of the biggest peaks in the Swiss Alps. The phrase, “This is …

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Hiking or Trail Running Lauterbrunnen to Kandersteg

Two of the most dramatic landscapes in the Swiss Alps are connected by a trail you’ll never forget. On that trail are 3 huts offering overnight stays and good food. From that trail are views of glaciers, 4000 meter peaks, the profile of the Eiger’s north face, and arguably the most scenic alpine lake in Switzerland. I had actually done …

Climbing the Lagginhorn

The 4010 meter Lagginhorn, above Saas Fee, Switzerland, is the only Alps 4000 meter peak that is possible to climb without worry of glacier travel, crevasses or technical climbing. Thanks to these characteristics, we put it at the top of our list for our The Way Up project. The Lagginhorn, while still an alpine summit, is possible in running shoes. Not only running shoes, …

Creating your own Alps Classic

Trail running in the Swiss Alps

We keep a to do list for days when we don’t have to shoot photos for work. These are the days we typically explore the mountains surrounding where we live in Interlaken, especially areas not so popular. Today we found a tour that certainly qualified for not popular, mildly dangerous even, and far from “classic” status. It was superb in every way, …

Where to see the Alps Glaciers

Seeing the Alps Glaciers Glaciers are without a doubt one of the most spectacular features of the Alps. They are also one of the most clear indicators that climate change is very real. Where they once cascaded down into villages, now the Alps’ glaciers are primarily found very high or hidden in the deepest shadows. As the very nature of …

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Hiking the Hardergrat Switzerland

Last summer, Janine and I posted a story about our experience on the Hardergrat (aka Brienzergrat). In German, a “grat” is a ridge, while Harder is just a name. However, in this case it is appropriate – it is indeed a hard ridge. It is also one of the best experiences I have ever had in the mountains. The blog about our …

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Chamonix to Zermatt Glacier Haute Route Hike

In 2003, we hiked the Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route, on trails, up and over countless passes, for a Backpacker Magazine feature. Ten years later, nothing much has changed, yet everything is changing. We’re still making photos of mountain sports and living in the Alps, but the mountains we work and play in are very much different than just ten …

The Disappearing Glaciers of Switzerland and the Aarbiwak

A few days ago we headed into a part of the Swiss Alps that has continual comparisons made to the Himalaya. It is one of the more remote corners of the Alps with few reasons to go beyond exploring an entirely alpine world. If a 7-8 hour walk up a long, glacier filled valley sounds good to you – the …

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The Hardergrat Interlaken Switzerland

Hiking the Hardergrat. Interlaken, Swiss Alps

Last week an article came out at National Geographic, The World’s 20 Best Hikes, as chosen by some leading figures in the Outdoor Industry. With our photo as the lead, I checked in for a look. The trails, unlike so many “Best Of” lists, were a welcome mix of classics and lesser known, off the beaten path destinations. A trail, …

Trail Running Pfunderer Höhenweg

The Pfunderer Höhenweg / Alta Via di Fundres Late in the fall of 2008, we found ourselves looking at one of the best ridgeline trails we had ever seen. We were trail running in the Zillertal Alpen above Bruneck and wanted to see a summit we know locals frequent for post work exercise, the Sambock. Once on top, the trail …

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Huayhuash Trek, Peru

It just kept coming into my head. “You can’t always get what you want…” Mick Jagger was along for the ride. For us, this was Peru’s Huayhuash Trek. We knew we were starting out on the trekking shoulder season, but when our guide and donkey driver, Epi, showed up in knee high rubber boots for the eleven day trek, we feared …

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Mountain Hut Culture

Mountain Huts and the European Mountain Culture Undoubtedly, one of the greatest pleasures of living in the European mountains is the huts. Anyone that follows this site, or our Twitter feed, has seen a trend; the use of huts and all the amazing experiences that they allow. I am still not so sure Americans understand the concept. From people seeking …

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Hiding during Ferragosto

To me, the word “Ferragosto” makes me think of ringing cellphones, family squabbles and lots of dark, tanned skin being shown off on the decks of huts. Just what is this Ferragosto and why hidding during August? For American readers it is really only a useful term for trivia board games, but if one is planning a trip to the …