Mount/Klein Titlis, Switzerland

March 14, 2002

The train's got a cute toot-toot whistle and it's a fine feeling -5c on the peaks today. The slope here is for expert skiers that spurt out and down the slopes and shrink away quickly. I'm hiking to the glacier. I think I'm the only one going on foot.

The snow is pleasant. It's so cold, it's a dry powder that doesn't stick to my pants or boots long enough to melt. The start of the walk was great, I was beating the forecasted bad weather, and while not good enough for pictures, I could at least peer down to the mountain towns where the lifts change (it took one train and three lifts to get here).

Then I feel the wind. Actually, it felt like being sandblasted as frozen snow bits were blown into my face. I relived my self by turning backwards. Ready to face the ice again, I turned around. This time, I could feel it less in my face because it was targeting my eyes as well. On with my hood and I continued wishing for wrap around sunglasses.

There are hardly any skiers now. I've made it just less than half way and see the ski patrol has closed the trail due to weather. Staggering winds, pelting ice and the possibility of snow blindness have me over ride my adventurous self and head the closure notice. Huffing back, my lungs and heart start working overtime, yet I'm not pushing hard. It must be the lack of oxygen in the air. Aborting this mission at 10,000 feet was the right decision.

At least I touched the mountain top snow.

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