Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sunday - Hike to Elsigenalp

Today was our hike to Elsigenalp. We had a couple of options for today. We could either take the low road, which was a 2 hour hike to the gondola and then ride the gondola up the mountain and walk down. Eight individuals chose this route. Or we could take the high road, which was a 3 hour hike to the mountain lake, and then ride the gondola down the mountain. Eight chose this route. I chose the latter. It was a beautiful hike, but challenging at times. But according to the staff, we moved quickly and actually arrived at the lake earlier than planned. We had the Danish group on our heels the entire time and so that kept us moving.

Once we arrived at the lake, we could either dig right into lunch or jump into the lake and take a swim. We arrived about the same time that the group arrived that walked to the gondola and rode it up. Since we were warm from our hike, many of us chose to jump into the lake. Although this is a manmade lake, it is still fed from glacier springs and it was cold. The water was so blue and clear. It was cold when you first jumped in, but you soon got used to it and several of us swam for a little while before getting out, drying off and changing clothes behind the trees. We ate lunch next to the lake and then slowly the groups moved to the restaurant that was near by.

While at the restaurant the clouds moved in and at times obscured our view. We had a couple of options from this point. Relax and enjoy the view, which several of us chose. Go to another mountain lake, three of the girls chose to do this. Or climb another couple of hours to the top of the mountain. Alice chose the last option. Because of the time and probably the clouds they made it within a few minutes to the very top and then turned around and came back.

While the other activities were going on, the first group that took the gondola up, left on their walk down the mountain. The rest of us chilled, literally at times, at the restaurant on top and enjoyed the view, when we could see, before taking the gondola down the mountain and then a bus back to Our Chalet. The bus ride was interesting as the ride down the mountain was on their narrow mountain roads. I am amazed at how well these bus drivers do. I would probably be rolling down the mountainside.

Once we returned to Our Chalet we had a little time to relax and chill before it was time for the last patrol duties. That night dinner was brats, mashed potatoes and peas followed by Mousse Straticolli, which was whipped cream with chocolate chips.

Our evening activity was a picture in uniforms of the entire group on the steps of Main Chalet followed by our final campfire and closing ceremony.

During the closing ceremony they recognized the people that completed the Our Chalet Challenge. We had 74 total participants during the week and over 20 completed the challenge. From our group we had 8 people complete the challenge: Angela L., Angela C., Analicia, Kelsey, Alice, Ashley, Brittany, and me. Then each group had one representative participate in the final candlelight and campfire lighting ceremony. Each person had a word to describe our time at Our Chalet and then added a memory that corresponds to the word. Kelsey was our representative. Finally we finished out the night with a variety of campfire songs, fun, laughter, hugs, goodbyes and even some tears. It was a great ending to our time at Our Chalet.

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