Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Day 6: Run up the mountain and meeting up with the team.

Adventures of Roark, Tim and Michael:

We woke up a bit earlier today so that we could do a quick summit
before we were scheduled to meet up with the others in Lenzerheide
later that day. We ate a quick breakfast before getting out the door
just after 9. After a short drive through the mountains we saw the
peak rising out of the valley as we approached it. It wasn't particularly high but due to its steepness it had quite a prominence.

We arrived at the base, laced up our shoes, took a short look up and
then started slowly running up the mountain. We ran passed a couple of
hikers and then amongst the cows (along with their ever ringing cow
bells) before taking a short stop at a fountain to drink some water
(they have fountains everywhere in Switzerland, towns, hiking trails,
you name it). We then continued on our way until we reached the saddle
between the two peaks. The view from the saddle was insane so we
whipped out our phones and took some pano's.

From the saddle the path changed from being easily runnable to pretty
darn steep and while Tim did manage to slowly jog up, Roark sensibly
hiked the seemingly vertical hill. We then made our way along a short
ridge with nice drops on either side before starting the final ascent,
a short section of light scrambling which Coni lead us through.

We stuffed around on the top for a while, taking photo's and posing
with the South African flag before beginning our descent down a
somehow steeper side of the mountain. After winding our way through
the steeper section we found ourselves on a scree slope. This made for
a fun and fast descent once we embraced the slipping and sliding. By
now the path was no more so we made a bee line for the car park
through a short section of forest and then down through a steep, open
area. Tim took off like a hare and Roark followed in hot pursuit.
Maybe Roark was trying to run too fast or maybe it was bad luck but he
managed to sprain his other ankle and so had to limp home while the
others made their way to the car. Coni suggested Roark use the stream
to ice his ankle and when he tried the stream was much colder than he
was expecting and he struggled to keep his ankle in the water for more
than 30-40 seconds at a time.

We then made our way to a lake for lunch. Coni had packed a delicious
assortment of food: ham, cheese, fresh bread, watermelon, berries,
chips and chocolate biscuits to finish it all off.

We then took a swim in the lake. The water was refreshing as the
weather was quite warm. We swam out about 30m to a floating platform
where we lay for a good 30 minutes before swimming back to shore.

After quickly getting changed into dry clothes we were back on the
road to Lenzerheide. The three of us quickly dozed off, tired from our
earlier excursion and lack of sleep the night before. We woke up as we
entered Chur (apparently the oldest town in Switzerland), but more
importantly the place where we would collect a couple of maps for

We then stopped off at a Lidl (European supermarket chain) to get some
food for the week ahead.

From there it was a short drive over a pass to Lenzerheide where we
were kindly given free accommodation in Stephan's parents holiday

The apartment's are used primarily in winter for skiing so they were
mostly empty. We put our bags away and had just started settling in
when the rest of our team pulled in. After quick introductions,
goodbyes and thanks, Coni was on her way.

The journey of Christie, Carl, Kirsten, David and Karen

After 24 hours of travelling, 8 hours of trying to sleep on hard
airport floors and 8 movies we finally arrived at Zurich airport in
Switzerland. We collected our bags and went to the car rental shop
where we met our new American friend (Austin). We got our car and had
to squeeze 4 people into the back seat for the long trip to
Lenzerheide. When we finally arrived we were greeted by Coni, Roark,
Tim and Michael.

After settling in to the place we were staying Christie, Kirsten and
Carl decided to go for a little jog on the hilly roads to checkout
their surroundings. We ended our run at the beautiful lake where we
dipped our feet in the rather freezing lake. Kirsten managed to step
on something which would later cause her foot to swell up and turn a
little blue. Tim, Austin and Michael headed up the mountain to check
out a really cool waterfall and do a few controls on a rather outdated

After everyone had returned to the house,  except Austin, dinner was
prepared and everyone sat down to eat. The room fell silent, besides
for the munching of food and the complaints about the smelly cheese.

Just as we were about to send out a search party for Austin he glumly
came through the door to announce that he had lost Karen's compass
during the run and had gone back to search for it.

Then it was finally time to go to bed and for 7 people to fit in a 4
sleeper house, which left 4 people on the beds and 3 on mattresses.

Tim and Roark decided that they would put off sleep by going with
David to drop off Austin and Michael. This decision was mostly guided
by the fact that the Americans had WiFi, so we managed to post a blog
and post an update on facebook. David was also trying to do some admin
but couldn't connect with his laptop. This meant that we left a bit
later than we would have liked and only got to bed just after

Quotes of the day:

"Wow, it's light until it's dark", Christie.
" Welcome to the future", Michael : the cool beds that fold up into a
" You have 24 hours to live",
Roark (as Kirsten's foot turned slightly blue )

Hoppla of the day:

- Kirsten standing on something in the lake and her foot swelling up
and turning blue (not really that blue)
- Austin losing the brand new compass he borrowed from Karen.

Illegal moment of the day:

Piling 4 people into the backseat of the car

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