Wednesday, April 12, 2006

My wife flashed before my eyes! read it right. She did. This past Saturday, April 8th 2006, Vonessa fell off of Lower Switzer Falls. I guess you could say she slid off the falls...and well...into my picture frame. She is located in the upper right portion of the above photo. It was one of the craziest, surreal moments of my life. To see my hiking partner...the woman that I falls. Unscathed. I think she only broke a few finger nails...seriously. See above photo. ~ Shawn

Oops. I didn't mean to fall. We have actually hiked up this waterfall before so while Shawn was happily snapping away (he has the heart of a photographer) I thought I would join the picture to provide some perspective. The picture is taken exactly as I started to slip. I slipped then free fell into the snow temperature water. What a surprise. My life didn't flash before my eyes but I definitely knew it could have been a serious thing.

To reach the falls you hike about 2 miles into the San Gabriel Mountains criss crossing the stream as you go. The hike is fairly easy. The day was beautiful and we were having a blast rock hopping across the stream...balancing across down trees...and working our way to the falls. I highly recommend the trail....but be careful.


Monday, April 03, 2006

You know the rule of threes? Not the comedy rule but the marketing rule. We saw a picture of the Haute Route in Adventure magazine. Then the route described in a 2001 Mountain Travel Sobek catalog (from 2001 ironically) and then somewhere somehow in a Great Hikes book (which I wish I still had but somehow don't). Of course it wasn't, 'oh, this is the third time we have seen this trail, let's research'. It was more the illogical 'we must do this.' Pretty sweet Swiss Alps advertising. (FYI: This map includes all of the Alps not just the Swiss part)

So what is the Haute Route? Anyone reading this from Europe may laugh at the idea that this question needs to be answered. Laugh away. And if you can, laugh in the many different languages we don't speak while you are at it. Anyway, the Haute Route is essentially a hike from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn. And for those Disnleyland fans, yes the Matterhorn roller coaster is suppose to be an imitation of this Swiss Alp mountain. We're not talking Everest (29,035 feet) or not even McKinley (20,320 feet in Alaska). Mount Blanc is a modest 15,771 feet and that monster is the highest in the set. Hiking the Haute Route will take about 12 days while hiking 5-8 hours a day. Now do you understand why I say we're crazy?

Announcing: My crazy husband and I are going to hike the Haute Route in August of 2006. This is a blog of our preparation and our travels. Enjoy.