Sunrise over the clouds

It was half an hour after midnight this Friday morning when I woke Dad up. I had slept for 7 min since Thursday evening, too excited by our upcoming adventure. Shortly after one we were in our car heading east towards the village of Fiesch in upper Wallis some 160 kilometers from home. Dad had booked us for a sunrise tour up on Mount Eggishorn, almost 2900 m above sea level. In all we were a dozen or so, including two alpine horn musicians that were to entertain us and the surrounding nature. It was well below zero when we arrived at the peak at 5 a.m. with clouds filling up most of the valleys around us.

Looking north with the rising sun 45 minutes later, the mountains of Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch were greeting us above the mighty Aletsch Glacier, 23 kilometers long and 900 meters deep in its thickest portion. This is the biggest glacier in Europe and moves downwards with a speed that varies between 8 and 200 meters per year depending on where you measure.

Towards south-southwest, some 50 kilometers away, were Matterhorn (left) and Weisshorn (right) colored pink by the first rays of the sun. And we could even see Mt Blanc in the far distance, some 200 kilometers to the west.

When the sun rose above the cloud cover to the east it was time for the last concert before we headed down for a well deserved breakfast.

Dad had booked a table at Baschi's restaurant, our favorite eatery in the region at noon, so we had plenty of time yet to spend somewhere. What could be better than going up the Nufenen pass, almost 2500m over the sea level to study some industrial architecture in the majestic landscape along with many hundreds of bicycle riders participating in the annual Berne to Andermatt 200 km race. They had started about the same time as we started our ascent to Eggishorn in the early morning hours. The race includes all the major mountain passes in the region (Grimsel, Nufenen and Gotthard). Even thinking of participating made us tired. Do you think we slept well once back in Pully at the end of the afternoon? You bet!! Stay tuned for more!!

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