AUSTRIA/SWITZ MOUNTAIN MADNESS
K’s KRAZY TRAVEL BLOGS 2012
June 15th Sitting in theTrain En Route to Zurich.. thinking of YOU
Interesting Escapades in the Mountains!
Usually I do not feel the desire to write a little BLOG..since I come to Switz. (this spot) every year and pretty much do similar routes and climbs (with some changes).
I usually get the Mountain hostel Dorm room all to myself but not this time…had to
share…He’s Nathan a young north Carolina boy..who ended up being a great hiking
partner for one hike. Man the Mountain hostel sure know how to put on a good Breakfast spread! Part of the big reason I keep coming back there. The Big Blue building at the base of the mountain.
Reuniting with my sweet Bavarian Blonde friend Simone for one day of insane ness! Our first and last training together before our 200km mountain race in 3 weeks Swiss Iron Trail-…the thought of it…is kind of funny as I have no idea what to
expect…how it will be done. Would we actually need to sleep during it etc… running through mountain trails through two nights will be interesting….I am audaciously curious I found something that stopped me dead in my tracks on the streets of Grindelwald (near Interlaken)…yes my friends..there in the window of this clothing store..lay wooden like Disco Balls..all made of wood! I had to find out where to get one…as I was not leaving this town without one..and get it I DID! No sparkles on this baby though! Yes I have been lugging this damn thing around…when you are obsessed with something..those things don’t seem to matter…
The Baren Trek (translated Bear Trek) – 130km winding through the Berner Oberland Alps – I had a desire to do a chunk of it..despite the bad weather coming this way.
Part of the trek was to hike up to a HUT at 2200m and stay the night…I had walked by this hut many times but have never stayed. I arrive there around 8pm at night..sopping wet from a day of hiking in the rain. What an awesome place with a Loft bunkhouse for us. The owner Claudio’s brother lives in Listowel and has a huge sheep farm – both owners of the Hut have been to Kitchener…Huhhhhh? Now I have a reason to visit the action packed town of Listowel!
As I woke up from a magical night sleep in the Bunk Loft….I was called to the window by my new Colorado friends..We were completely immersed in SNOW…well it looked gorgeous…I knew there is NO GOING on the route I was to do…I wolfed down a good ol swiss breakie..and made my way back down the mountain…wearing I think every piece of clothing I had..snow, rain..mud… Have been having great sleeps (with crazy dreams!)…only waking up once…but feeling fatigued and wiped everyday..Espressos are looking good ALL THE TIME…I know I had to be patient with adjusting and training at higher altitudes but its’ a bit of a KICK IN THE
PANTS! THE MAD COW – I asked for Adventure! Be careful when you ask for adventure…you just might get it! In the little swiss town of ADELBODEN, I leave my hostel like Hotel early in the morn to head up and over the mountain to the next village called LENK. Wish I would have made a huge DOGGIE BAG at that breakfast buffet! I must have changed 10x on this hike…coat
on then off …HARD rain, light rain and then SNOW, wind..you name it! Towards
the top I lost the trail and had to make my own…I was sopping wet, cold and
hungry…after I inhaled a salad and more…I blazed down the mountain and into the
line of fire of a few moody cows or bulls. One was heavily staring at me as I
ran down the muddy trail towards him. So I stopped and walked..but he was not
letting me get by…in fact he charged right at me..I decided to stay put (since
this happened to me before..everyone told me to stay there and show them who’s
boss). Well let’s just say that did not work and I he ran towards me and I was
head butted by this animal..Aggressive was he!! I was not horned but those sharp
things were coming close…he did it again and again and then I ran..he chased
me…and if you can believe it..we were going back and forth behind a tree (like
if you were playing tag with someone…he would not stop pursuing…so I ran hard
back up the trail…came back down a bit to try again. He was looking up at me
and Growling (do Cows Growl???..well this one did)…let me say there were about 5
others with him. So I started to talk to him and tell him how nice I was and
that I just want by…Another plan, I had to quietly go off to the side as close
to barbed wire fence as possible and get by them….all of a sudden..I heard the
cow bells dangle! I never imagined that sound to frighten me…as it always was a
peaceful sound at sunrise in the Alps as you awaken…These guys…all of them came
bounding toward me as I scaled the barb wire fence…they came right up to it,
backed off and came right back…I thought they were going to jump it and come
after me…they were all pretty pissed at me!
Well I did make it down…rain rain rain…and figured out it may have been my ORANGE bag cover… - maybe to them that was like red and they were charging me like in the ring!
Decided to head back to Austria (ahhhhhhhh) - and had a good plow up the Mountain and down again before my train left….First sunny day in awhile and holy cow…the difference is incredible…
My first 10 Days
OK hugs and kisses and yodels to you all!
Non Stop Mountain Training and LOVIN IT on the BIG 4!
June 15- 21st This was a GO NUTS time to train train train and climb climb climb….at the same time scoping for good people and spots to take my group to.
There is nothing like the feeling of feeling exhausted and super fit from the Mountains! Mixed in with that is a ton of delectable bread, and double espresso Macchiatos and the occasional Knodel! Which is balanced out with a good night dose of Salad – they have the best mixed salad here…I cannot go a day without that…Love itTHE BIG 4
are the main Peaks I take my Groups to and the ones I train on and climb the
I never get sick of the BIG 4! Seegrube, Reiter
Spitze, Griesskogel, Stubai Valley
I invite you all to come
over and allow me to escort you up these mountains….
1st - CLASSIC TIROLEAN COMPLETE!
Well the first 10 Day
Adventure of the summer has finished and was a most awesome trip! My two girls
who became Tirolean Madls very soon, were pretty cool to play
We had a taste of everything on this trip including
many peaks reached (always had to do a Handstand at the top), challenging trails
travelled, crazy downhill running, dancefloors danced on (we did SILENT
DISCO!), beautiful breakfast indulgences, schnapps tasting, Espresso stops,
Mountain Hut stay, Farmhouse stay, Motorcycle ride up the mountain, Mountain
Yoga and Lumberjack Bootcamp, Paragliding…YOU NAME IT!
the girls went to Vienna and Venice….for a little more relaxing
Will miss those Madls!
wait for my next 10 Day Group starting July 12th OH the BEST IS YET TO COME
Just ordered my GOPRO head camera too….Really high
July 4th - SWISS
IRON TRAIL!!! (race from July6-8th)
Check out cool
videos on http://www.irontrail.ch/
Hmmm I wonder why, the harder something looks, the more I
want to do it. It is hard to fathom that it is here…this crazy good sounding
Mountain Extreme Race I registered for a while back. I sit here in my favourite
Innsbruck Café – Segafredo – Can’t resist those double espressos! on my 2nd
full rest day (they are hard to do!) It is a day and a half away…and it is crazy
to think it will be all done on Sunday. A huge part of me is excited, another
part feels so tired, another part says Whooooooaaaaa. I just want to DIVE IN
and experience it and FINISH IT.
202km, 15,000m of
elevation, climbing and running through the night…fending for ourselves with
maps etc….Soooooooo coooool….Can’t wait to report about it on Monday…I will
probably take that day off…
To the most awesome
adventure I go!
TIROLEAN MAGIC GETS EVEN CRAZIER IN THE ALPS
SWISS IRON TRAIL July 6-7
Wow this goes way back…a month ago! But I still remember clear as day that exhausting climb up to 3000m in the middle of the night in rain/sleet/snow…. With my partner Berthold…. This amazing guy would not leave my side after running together from the 30km
mark….he says you don’t want to be alone in the middle of the night up there so
we will partner up….
First of all, due to weather..the race had been delayed until 4pm (from 8am)…We were all pumped and fired up ready to go and BOOM…had to wait 8 hours…NO way I could go back to sleep..i went off in search of a Swiss Phone SIM Card…while my buddy Simone (who LOVES sleep) went back to the campsite for some ZZZZ.. Yes we had tented it the night before..and I am learning ..I am not so fond of that…seems so much harder to organize yourself. I’ll take a hostel or a Haystack any day over that..and that hardass surface (because I forget a mattress) I can feel the next day! I must be allergic to camping a bit because I always have puffy eyes
and face the next morning too!
For the upcoming Transalpine Race in September…we are going LUXURY baby..I am booking simple B n B’s for sure…I think I will avoid the tenting and the Gymnasium Camps and be the PRINCESS
OK now back to Swiss Iron Trail….Boom! the gun goes off at 4pm and sends us off high into the Alps to tackle in the night …the thought of doing 160km (it had now been shortened due to weather) seemed a little bit unreal BUT ONE STEP AT A TIME BABY……I think my steps were a little too hurried at one point as I fell flat on my face at the 5km mark….hit my knee hard on a big rock…It swelled up pretty fast…so we found a cold river to dunk it in for a bit and I got it taped up a bit at the first FOOD STATION.
I was having a sluggish run so far and actually enjoyed my long stop at the FOOD STATION getting taped up and slurping the soup and more! A while later running through St. Moritz – el Ritzo place – Berthold and I had to run a long flight of stairs which felt like ..I had never done stairs before…they were brutal and we still
had over 120km left to do…Yeah!
We do these races for many reasons including enjoyment..connecting with others, love the challenge etc….but I’ll tell you the SPIRIT in the air of brother and sisterhood is awesome. On the long trek up to 3000m, in the dark..the cold really set in..we could see the lit up Mountain Station and a array of lights snaked up the
mountain. I was suffering…feeling not strong, breathing hard, cold, etc….that
station seemed far away…even if it was a couple hundred metres away. As B and I
were nearing the top we heard a man behind us moaning and groaning….a mixture of
exhaustion and cold…he was sooo cold…He kept moaning and B helped him off with
his wet mits and gave this man his own mits that he needed! Wow…I saw this
everywhere though…people offering there own stuff to help out others….another
great guy gave me his dryer gloves and well. Next year I am investing in a very
expensive pair of waterproof, warm mits! I don’t care if they are $200…they are
By the time we blasted through the door of the Mountain Station at 3000m…it was packed of people…then I hear this Karrrrrriiiiieeeee ….Simone my darling was sitting on the ground giving me the look of death….I AM DONE…she said and a lot of others were pulling out of the race too! After warming up in there for awhile …it was so hard to get going again…They put those who were continuing down the mountain in a couple groups ..so I joined a grouped of 7…I had to continue to as far as I could. I did not feel strong but I knew I could handle the cold…..So we trucked it down the mountain….and a couple hours later…the whole race was called
off….they had to retrieve everybody that was still high up in the mountains.
Part of me was disappointed but a big part of me was grateful…
2 hours later we arrived back at Camp….almost 60km covered…an experience never to forget…that was my SWISS IRON TRAIL….
Livin' Adventure has had one WILD summer so far! 3 Adventures in June-July that were truly incredible and now more of my own Mountain Madness!
Livin Adventure gave birth in 2012 with one wonderful woman, named Helena, who dove into the 10 Day Adventure. We have been close friends since and Tirol, Austria had such an impact on her (the place, the people...everything) she has also returned for another two weeks last summer. That's what happens here, people must come back!
In summer 2011, the 10 Day Adventure had 3 people...Lynne, John and Chelsea
In summer 2012, 9 new people were here to experience the Magic of Tirol and it's mountains but especially the people...
CLASSIC TIROLEAN -
for 19-26 yr old was a BLAST of fun with Reannan and Valerie. A supreme mix and taste of everything Tirol has to offer for these Madls (girls in Austrian
Dialect). Included in the 10 Days were many stunning mountain hikes, Lumberjack
Yoga and Bootcamp, a little bit of Schnapps, a Silent Disco dancing night,
paragliding...even a hot sun bathing hang out by a mountain lake....Miss you
TIROLEAN MAGIC - took off with 4 fabulous men, 1 swedish goddess, myself SHERPA 1 and Simone who is SHERPA 2. I couldn't have dreamed for a better mix of people in which we created an instant FAMILY! It was MAGIC...It all started with the clanging of Espresso Machhiatos in SHERPA 1's Fav Cafe in Innsbruck, called SEGAFREDO. The welcome day finished with the clanging of Schnapps glasses at Franz and Vroni's Silberanch ...then another, then another...Franz just ROCKS! Here the 'on our knees' laughter began..and didn't stop the whole week. That was the best part! Along with the instant friendship and non stop laughter we enjoyed the following:
- grunting it out on some long steep climbs that were breathtaking,
- spontaneous Dancing spurts with DJ Stevo and Harbear down the mountains and in the Hut rooms
- sprints in flip flops to the train and/or bus stations
- luscious Knodel, snitzel and a Radler
- having SHERPA 2 – Simone Huettl from Bavaria as our Personal Schnapps and celebration HOST
- and she wins the big PRIZE for world’s BEST SHERPA (so attentive, patient and a bundle of laughs!!!….I know Harry would agree.
tons of Personal Reflections and unforgettable AHHHHH moments
Tirolean Magic finished it's 10 Days with a MOUNTAIN RACE - called KARWENDEL BERGLAUF - this is a Mountain Run competition that is approx. 11km straight up the Mountain...with our finishing shute being a 500m long Tunnel....it is steep, challenging and an exhilerating experience! The best part was watching my two boys run through the finish Shute - Stevo and Mikey! Sherpa 2 - Simone came in strong just ahead of me...Harry was our incredible support and photographer for the whole event!
Whenever I think of our time together...I cannot wipe the smile off my face. I am truly blessed to guide and PLAY with such a crazy good group!
Adventure #3 - Kress Kreation
- A Father and Son create an unforgettable Birthday Present in Munich, Tirol, and
I met Will and Jack (11yr old) for the first time at the Innsbruck Airport on the first day of our 5 Days together. Incredible down to earth people! Will and Jack had flown in from Wisconsin in their private jet and had invited me to start our Adventure with a 90min flight over all of the Alps ! Whoaaa How could I turn that down!- Dolomites in Italy, Swiss Alps (we saw the Matterhorn sticking right up through the clouds) and back over the Austrian ALps into Innsbruck (that was a white knuckled experience bouncing back into Innsbruck Airport!)...Of course the day finished with Franz's birthday party and much food and...well...welll Schnapps!
Then we did a Lantern Hike on the streets of Rietz (Base Camp for Livin Adventure)...perfect it was...the end of the first day. It was exciting to see
an 11 yr old so excited to be in the mountains!...and it is amazing what one can
do in 4 full days....a hike with the sheep above Innsbruck, a visit with Benno
and gang in his sheep's Hut..high above Rietz after a couple hours hiking, and
A two day Hut to Hut hike in the Stubai Alps - one of the days over 6 hours hiking over steep, rocky terrain, past sheep, glacier lakes and hundreds of Inukshuks (not sure how to spell). Jack even has the Tirolean Record at the Nuremberger Hut (Stubai Alps) of drinking 5 Hot chocolates over a couple hours! + 1 more for breakfast the next day! Congrats Jack!
When asked what do you want for your birthday present, Jack responded, I want to go to Germany! He is a history buff...and Will and Jack also had the opportunity to hang out with Klaus...the infamous lumberjack/forest ranger of Rietz..who is History obsessed!
In summary..I could never have dreamed of a better outcome for all 3 groups! I have this strong feeling that ALL OF THEM...at some point will be back to Rietz and Tirol...a seed of something WOW was planted in all of them. In fact, Paul, one of our boys from group 2 has returned NOW....only 3 weeks after his return to Canada.
Some words from
.'And, I for one, feel blessed in knowing some of the most kind and unselfish people I would ever have wanted to be with. Because, without you, I truly believe my horizons I attained would not have been possible - you ALL gave ME the courage, the time and the space, to take back myself - a person I loved and lost so many years ago - I am so truly grateful. My heart pours out and my eyes well, while I write this, because .......................... I have finally come home.'
I will leave my story at that...
I wish the best LIFE EXPERIENCES to you all and look forward to seeing many of you next year with SHERPA 1 and SHERPA 2 - LIVIN ADVENTURE in TIROL