Eight Days Until Switzerland…

by Lauren on July 1, 2011

I’m going to attempt a summit of the Matterhorn in Switzerland. Phew! There, I said it. I’ve been hesitant to declare it out loud, unsure that my training will pay off, that the weather will cooperate, that my ice axe will support me… but I’m ready as I’ll ever be and more than excited.

These photos were taken on a recent training climb of Mount Washington in New Hampshire. Training has amounted to many hours on the stair climber, with 3 lb Scarpa mountaineering boots and a weighted pack, weekly yoga sessions for flexibility and balance, interval training, and daily strengthening exercises in my office (shhhh, don’t tell my colleagues). Weekends are spent in the great outdoors, putting it all to the test.

Some have joked, “You mean the Matterhorn at Disney?” or “Why not just go there and kinda hike around it?” and simply, “Why?” Well, because it’s there. It’s big. After seeing the intrepid Holly Morris climb the Alps during an episode of Globe Trekker, I was hooked. The fact that no one I know has done it makes it all the more appealing. It’s a large, imposing mystery, waiting to be tackled.

Early lessons learned: stay away from snorting moose, like this one above. Though he was a little guy, he was still many times my size. I wonder what critters will appear on the trail tomorrow. It’s back up to New Hampshire for another, hopefully sunny, day of training.

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