A homecoming: finding serenity in the Swiss Alps
I carefully put one foot in front of the other. I tried not to look down to my right at the shear rock face falling into the valley hundreds of meters below.
I was on a trail to the peak of Mt. Pilate, a famous tourist destination above Lucerne, in my home country Switzerland.
The narrow trail was about a meter wide and followed rock band across the northern face of the mountain. Trying to steady myself I grabbed a rock, that looked like a good handhold, only to realize it was loose.
When I let it go, it fell over the edge and I never heard its impact.
Dominating the foreground is Mt. Pilate, the mountain that would push my hiking skills to the limit a few days later.
Roger, my friend and avid mountaineer, suggested to take the gondola to the mid-station to shorten the ascent. The trail crossed a lush alpine meadow where cows greeted us with their bells. They followed our path for a while as we made our way to the base of the towering-rock wall we had to travers. Roger pointed out a small band of rock, indicating the trail. I laughed nervously, thinking he made a joke.
About half an hour later and no longer laughing, it took all my willpower to continue. Overcoming my fears and reaching the top I was rewarded with a spectacular view of the snow-covered mountain range to the south and a sea of fog to the north.