Playing Tourist


I have spent the last seven weeks settling into life at Chalet Martin in a small town in the Swiss Alps. I’ve slept in the same bed, cooked in the same kitchen, stashed my shoes on the same shelf + shopped at the same market for almost two months. It’s like I’ve been legitimately living in a tiny mountain town in Switzerland…exactly the experience I planned for when I left the States. It’s been nice. It’s gotten comfortable. It’s time to change. Yea, I know. Why fix what’s not broken…but I’m almost out of time to wander Europe so rather than stick to the comfortable I’m headed beyond the borders of Switzerland. This morning I packed up my Ultimate Direction backpack with a few layering essentials and headed for the airport. I’m headed to Austria for a few days then popping over to the Czech Republic for nearly two weeks. For the most part, I’ll be playing tourist. First in Vienna, Austria where I hope to spend a little time exploring the city with a day trip out into the country side. … [Click Here For the Full Story]

Tour de l’Argentine


One of my questions for Merlin while coordinating my WorkAway plans in Gryon, Switzerland was “how’s the hiking + trail running in the area?”, turns out Merlin was not lying when he said the options are endless. From the day I arrived the Tour de l’Argentine has been mentioned by multiple people, yet it still took me about 4 weeks to actually get out there and run/hike the loop. It did not disappoint! And I really should have done it earlier because now I really want to summit l’Argentine but I’m running out of time! Great Source for Route Detailsm + Map: Wanderland Total Distance from Chalet Martin, Gryon: 25km/15.5mi Route from Chalet Martin, Gryon: Gryon > toward Solalex > trail to Bovonne > La Matte > toward La Vare > Col des Essetes > Anzeinde > Solalex > Gryon — these signs are on each sign post along the trail, it is very easy to follow — I left the chalet just before 9:30am on a Tuesday morning with my fingers crossed for good weather — the forecast threatened … [Click Here For the Full Story]

Peaks + Valleys


What do you do when the clouds take over the mountain? The same thing you do when it’s a beautifully sunny day — you get your tush outside and find trails to explore! I’ve done a fairly good job of winning the fight against the snot factory that took over my sinuses but the weather has not been very good at supporting my quest to spend all my free time outside. Rather than greeting me with sunny skies and tshirt temperatures it’s been doling out lots of chilly clouds. But I am nothing if not persistent…clouds or not, outside I went! I spent so much time frolicking around in clouds, breathing in all their foggy goodness, I started to feel like we belonged together…we were getting along so well! After a few days of heading up the mountainside in hopes of finding sunshine above the clouds I gave up and headed into the valley. During my first week in Gryon I hiked through Les Gorges with Caroline on our way to our night at Cabana Plan Neve and was blown away … [Click Here For the Full Story]

Take It Easy


Every time the seasons change I get sick, without fail. Sometimes I blame it on airplane cooties [like that time I nearly died from a ferocious head cold + sketchy stomach flu the week I got home from South America] but really, I think my immune system is just a big wimp that sucks at fighting off the bad guys. And I don’t care how old I am, I will always imagine white blood cells shooting sticks at these nasty germs like they do on the Magic School Bus >> [and, yes, I watched that entire episode after I found it!]. Last week my body did its lazy thing and let the cooties win. I didn’t feel like crap, I just sounded like a preteen boy waiting for his voice to change while mass producing disgusting snot. It was super attractive. It also made swallowing and breathing a miserable task. Rather than stick with gung-ho plans to go frolicking in the mountains I took it easy. Lucky for me + my “but, I’m in Switzerland, I must do things” thinking there are … [Click Here For the Full Story]

Stories of a Hut Guardian


I think I have snagged my last two SAC hut stays of the season…snow has arrived and I am not prepared for legitimate winter mountaineering in the Swiss Alps. Sure, I’m a little bummed I won’t be huttin’ it anymore but I randomly picked some pretty amazing huts for my last trip! And I really do mean randomly, I have no idea where my Google search started but it ended with me reserving beds at Frundenhutte and Bluemlisalphutte…two of the only huts who still had guardians in October. My plan was to take the train to Kandersteg then spend two nights in huts — first Frundenhutte, then Bluemlisalphutte — before taking the trail down in the Griesalp and hopping on a train back to Gryon. This was probably the most planning I’ve done on my Switzerland trip, ever. Luckily it all turned out, even though the weather decided to play with me the entire time!   When I arrived in Kandersteg it was beautiful — sunny skies, snow-capped mountains and rushing rivers all around. I was delayered down to just … [Click Here For the Full Story]