If I was to write a recipe for a tasty week in Switzerland, here are a few of the ingredients I would start with.
- A mountain summit or two.
- A few rolled ankles.
- One pair of hiking poles.
- Two sunset missions to the peaks.
- One Via Ferrata. Add this one for taste.
- Many crunchy choc croissants.
- Soup and bread in a mountain hut. (My favourite meals of the week)
- Forest trails.
- Steep downhills.
- Alpine sunsets.
If you combine all of these ingredients (you can leave out the rolled ankles if you like), I guarantee you’ll be in for a great week in Switzerland. We combined the ingredients I listed above and whipped up quite the treat. This week can be broken into two parts. We worked with two different tourism boards, the Jungfrau region, and the Engelberg region. Both tourism boards gave us a list of suggestions which left us in awe and our legs slightly sore.
THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK
(Let me just go and check my strava, it helps me remember all the hikes and days in chronological order. The days have been so big that by night time they sometimes all merge together.)
It was only on Monday that we left our base in Fribourg. We have explored so intensely and filled our days so densely that our time in Fribourg feels like it was months ago. To go into detail about what I did this week would be ridiculous because we have done so much. Instead, here are a few thoughts from the week.
I have so many photos from this week that I will finish the text and thoughts of the week first before the rest of this blog turns into a photo gallery.
LOTS OF ELEVATION
This week was my biggest week of the year for climbing elevation, surpassing 5700m in elevation gain across our 70km of hiking. Most days we would be hiking for 4-6 hours, and out on the trails plus the additional 2-4 hours taking photos, visiting cozy mountain huts and taking in the unbelievable scenery. Alas, spending 6-10 hours in the mountains didn’t leave me much time to run. As I said last week, my running has dropped off in Switzerland but my time on legs has been at an all-time high. I’m looking forward to seeing how transferable the hiking is to running when I get back onto the roads and back into a more running orientated regime. I estimate we spent around 30 hours in the mountains this week. That’s living if you ask me! A highlight for me was when we made it to the top of the Schilthorn hike, the ‘007 Lair’ as we called it, to then sit down in a revolving restaurant with a bowl of warm pumpkin soup.
With the big inclines also came very steep downhill sections. Usually, my ankles are hypermobile and can handle most terrains, but this week they took a battering. One particular extremely jagged and rocky section got the better of my ankles. After going over it on in an awkward manner, it was definitely weaker for the remaining hikes.
CREATIVE SPACE AND MINDSET
That’s my running update. Outside of running, I’m really happy with where I’m at currently. Our routine has roughly been two days of hiking, and then one day of rest and editing. However, on the ‘rest day,’ we’ll typically go to the gym and run. The rest day also allows us to edit, write and work on projects. It’s a life balance that has made me feel really happy. After two big days of hiking we are typically exhausted, so the time spent on the computer editing is happily welcomed. However, after a day or two on the computer, we are stir crazy and ready to be back in the mountains. Our days editing and writing are intense but in a different way. They test our focus and stretch our brains.
PITCHED A BLUEPRINT FOR AN UPCOMING PROJECT
This week I pitched a new idea for an upcoming project, and it was received really well. I’m excited to announce it and roll it out very soon. You’ll definitely be hearing more about it and I hope you’ll get a chance to be on board too.
TRY NEW THINGS. KEEP TRYING.
Furthermore, this week has been one of my favourite weeks of photography to date. As a creative, I feel we are always looking to try and test new things. Sometimes, this can be very difficult. This year, I have struggled with my photo editing and how I want my images to look. However, this week has been one of my favourite weeks of photography this year. I’ve really felt in the ‘flow state’ with editing and my shooting/framing whilst out on the mountains. I believe the catalyst for this has been the 85mm lens I’ve been using to shoot with. Since I broke my camera and both lenses hiking on Hardergrat, I’ve been borrowing Jackson’s 85mm which has made me try new things with my photography. Using the 85mm 1.8 prime lens forced me to get into different positions, and understand different angles and compression. As a result, I’ve produced some of my favourite photos this year.
NEXT STOP ZERMATT
That’s an update from me this week! The next stop is Zermatt, and on Friday I’ll be racing the Ultraks Extreme! I’m a little nervous about it. It’s going to be super technical and unbelievably steep. I also bought a pair of Leki Hiking/Trekking poles. I’m rather uncoordinated with hiking poles at this stage and I know I’m leaving Switzerland soon, but I think they will come in very handy in Zermatt. I’m so excited to see the famed Matterhorn too, it’s been a moment in waiting.
Enjoy the gallery and notes below. If you have any questions about the hikes, ping me a question on my instagram or visit Jackson’s Blog www.journeyera.com. He has documented every hike we’ve done in Switzerland so far.
Live big and go after what makes your heart buzz.
A GALLERY FROM THIS WEEK
The first collection of photos is from the Jungfrau region. This is just a small portion of the ones we shot, and I haven’t even included Jackson’s.
007 Photos were taken from the top of Schilthorn. One of the James Bond movies was shot up there.
PHOTOS INCLUDE THE FOUR LAKES HIKE AND MOUNT TITLIS.
That’s all folks.
See you next week.