Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Boisterous Night

The Hotel Post in Sulden, Italy sent us this photo of the Ötzi crew posing in front of the mighty Ortler peak. At 3905 m, the Ortler, or Ortles in Italian, is the highest mountain in the Eastern Alps outside of the Bernina Range. The Hotel Post also wrote a nice piece about our group on their blog. Fortunately, it's all in German, so here's a brief translation.

'American tour operator Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures recently brought a delightful group of guests to stay at our hotel. The group had just come over from the Hintergrathütte in pouring rain. Following a bit of relaxation in the hotel wellness center and spa, the group enjoyed a boisterous night at the hotel bar. The group hit the trail the following day in the direction of the Payerhütte/Trafoi under bright, clear skies.'

A boisterous night at the hotel bar? Indeed. With RW Guides Daniel Sundqvist and Porter Teegarden at the helm, we're not surprised. Those two love a good tea.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The 10 Best of Everything



Wondering where to hike? The Huffington Post recently published a slideshow titled, "16 Best Hiking Destinations.” The post adapted their story from National Geographic’s extensive compendium, The 10 Best of Everything. To our delight, National Geo lists Cinque Terre, Bhutan and, of course, Switzerland, all within the top ten.

Check out what they wrote about the Cinque Terre. "Footpaths cross the terraced slopes of the Riviera di Levante to hamlets with pastel-colored buildings and contrasting shutters and lead to brightly painted boats in small harbors. Walk past trattorias and a solitary abbey to a rocky promontory with the sea always in full view and a clear sky overhead. Along the route, there’s Ligurian cuisine, including characteristic Italian pesto made from locally grown basil—a source of particular pride among chefs and restaurateurs from these neighboring villages, each one claiming the best recipe. Sciacchetrà is a rare, crisp, fragrant white wine, a specialty harvested from the Cinque Terre’s terraced vineyards."

About Bhutan: "Ancient citadels rise on the horizon. Buddhist temples and carved wood farmhouses are discovered along fertile valleys. Swiftly flowing rivers dash across an open landscape, the snowcapped Himalaya towering in the distance. The journey in the Kingdom of Bhutan leads into the heart of a modern-day Shangri-La. There is a warmth and hospitality to experience in local culture, customs, and ceremonies. Travelers have only recently been allowed to visit Bhutan, and tourists to the country are still limited to a fortunate few. From vistas overlooking the Punakha Valley to the intricately patterned Thimphu weavings, the walk has beauty in this peaceful realm."

And about Switzerland: "Spirits soar a the sight of the alpine landscape; and what better place to walk than over breathtaking mountains. Venturing into two culturally distinct regions and hearing three languages along the way, you can experience variety, wilderness, and Swiss hospitality. Look over the Lauterbrunnen Valley, framed by five summits, ancient glaciers, and mountain ranges that seem to extend forever. There is no better way to end the day than by sharing a fondue and cornichons, topped off with a bite of chocolate."

You can view the full slideshow by clicking here.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This Is What It's All About


A group of hikers descends a hidden valley in the Swiss Alps. Cowbells tinkle. A goat bleats in the distance. The smell of damp earth and raked hay permeates. A voice rings out from the hillside."Buon Giorno!" A lone glacier eats away at the earth's crust. The mountains begin their journey to the sea. Time passes slowly. The hikers continue to descend. Tonight they'll rest in the tiny village of Soglio, a Roman village filled with tiny alleyways and cobblestone roads.

Image: By Ken Fuhrer
Taken during the Engadine Summit Series. The glacier in the background is called the Bondasca. The mountain range is the Sciora.

Friday, September 03, 2010

It's Always Nice

...to see our guests having fun in the Alps. This morning's note comes from a guest on our Jubiläum 2.0.

Hi Peter. We're having a fantastic time in Pontresina! We had a little weather today, so there was snow on the way up toward the Segantini Hut. You would have liked that.

As this picture shows, Daniel thought it would be more interesting to find a new route up. I always thought you were supposed to be roped, but Daniel encouraged me to solo climb.

Best,

Don(and Susan)

Climb on Don. We're glad to hear that Daniel, our resident Bergführer, offered to show you the ropes. Or not.