So I find myself in Lauterbrunnen: adventure hub of Switzerland favourite destination of Japanese tourists and base jumpers.
I don’t know how I got it in my head but from somewhere a voice saying “robin, you are a backpacker in this crazy place. It is your responsibility to engage in a daring, adrenalin fuelled activity”(my head voices are quite specific in their expectations). So, obviously BASE jumping. Har har. No. But rock climbing with the added benifits of steal rungs fit into the path sounds doable right?
All ready to go. There are 7 of us in the group plus our crazy French guide. A Dutch father and daughter, couple from the states (who were by far to relaxed through the whole climb) and a mom and daughter from japan. Guess how old the mom was? (The lovely lady standing next to me)
Starting the climb I’m super nervous and in entirely positive it’s all in my head, there are some big steps down and the trail is muddy in places but it’s not crazy difficult or demanding. Yeah, I got this, it would be nice if thecuple behind me were slightly (at all) worried but no.
45 minutes in I feel ok. This whole via feretta thing is pretty fun. So I keep telling myself. I’m enjoying trying to rearrange my nerves into agreeing with what my mind knows to be true.
Then we come up to The Silent Corner. Metal bars for hands and feet set into a sheer cliff face. Well, there are some beautiful views although it’s best to take only tiny peaks and focus instead on crossing the gap 3000 meters above the valley floor.
We all made it across successfully, the last half of the climb was more relaxing. Only the tightrope across a waterfall, suspension bridge, and zip line- so nice because you just get to sit there and look down as you slowly drift across thin air.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so released to come to the end of a hike. I know I can face some fears. I’m getting better at trusting myself to take on what scares me but after this experiment I can say I prefer adventures that are… Hmm less adventurous? Although, maybe I can work up to it. The cute Japanese lady didn’t let anything slow her down-she’s 69 years old and went first on the bridge across the waterfall