What Makes the Alps so Much Fun

Racing the Tram, and Other Pleasures of Alps Mountain Sports It is late September. I am pushing hard up the last few meters to Croix de Culet, my sweaty hand sliding over the chain that separates me from Champéry, Switzerland, a thousand meters below. In my heart I know I’m not going to make it. As I start to descend …

Understanding the Swiss Train System for Mountain Sports

Travelers using Swiss trains for getting around Switzerland. The Zermatt train station.

SBB CFF FFS—Nine Letters that make for great trail running The crowd is getting antsy. Agitated, almost. I can feel the tension rising in my own body. I wonder how this scene is going to end. It’s going to break one of two ways, and which outcome arrives is out of our control. In an instant, the automated sign flips. …

The Swiss Alps Hut System

Like most every American visiting the Alps for the first time, I simply could not believe the Swiss hut system. “Let me get this straight… I don’t have to carry a tent,  sleeping bag, stove, pots, food, etc…?” “Correct.” “That doesn’t leave much to carry.” “Correct again.” This is usually followed by a slow transition into “day packs” for “multi-day” …

Inspired in the Alps

“Oh My God! There are people running up that!” “Those are my boys!” To this day, my mom claims it was one of her shining moments. In a gondola car high above the village of Wengen, a fellow rider had shrieked after seeing two dots, steadily grinding their way up switchbacks in high Alp pastures. (In fact, it wasn’t hard …