Vertigo

There are some impressive rock faces in the Bernese Oberland, and some big falls to be had if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. I have never thought I suffer from vertigo. A number of years ago now, I climbed one of our local peaks, the Monch, and but for the summit ridge, it didn’t seem too intimidating.

This evening though we watched a film about a free solo climb of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.  At the end of the film, a long lie down might have been a good idea but, at that point, even the bed seemed vertiginous.  

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                         Eiger north face

It is almost beyond understanding how humans push the boundaries of the possible. The biggest challenge here, indeed almost anywhere, is the Eiger north face.  The first successful attempt on this vertical rock face, in 1938, took three days.  In the early 2000s revered Swiss climber Ueli Steck climbed the north face in under three hours. 

Back on terra firm, or at least the snow on top, a sunny day with a few clouds brought great skiing conditions, allowing 10,523 vertical metres in 22 lift rides and 56 kilometres travelled.

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