Mountains shape my life. This is the story of how. And why that’s relevant. For me. Perhaps for you as well. Ok, here goes.
Canton Valais, Switzerland, July 22, 2018. Valais is the home of 41, 4000m (13.000ft) mountains. Ice and snow sea as far as the eye can see, imposing stone colossus, sleepy valleys – the Alps in superlative. A paradise for anyone who loves mountains. Another world, at least that’s how it feels. But maybe it’s the real world. Or rather, maybe it is there to remind us what is real, how to really live. We are 4 Austrians, 1 Canadian and 3 Swiss. With us are climbing harness and ice-axes, crampons and oatmeal, bivy bag and tuna cans and a whole bunch of motivation. We carry 20 kg rucksacks and the question of what these mountains can teach us about life.
Ahead of us lies 156 km (97 miles) trek across 4 mountain peaks, climbing about 10,000 meters up (33.000ft) and 10,500 down again. Of the 9 days, we plan 2 buffer days for recuperating our strength, for personal and community reflection, for prayer and exchange. Our way leads us from St. Nicholas in the Mattertal to Zermatt, from there to Mettelhorn Mountain, down into the valley at the foot of the Matterhorn and then up to Riffelhorn Mountain with its breathtaking view of the Gorner Glacier. Then it goes back down to the valley, from there then 41 km up to the 2700 m high Europaweg and from the cathedral glaci