June 08, 2019

One afternoon in the early 90s

Ranking just behind the heroic team ascent by the Laird and me of Tamalpais - conducted, let me remind you, without the use of artificial oxygen and entirely by fair means - and my terrifying solo and near-bivouac on Mount San Bruno, is my solo effort on The Rigi a few years before, which has unaccountably been overlooked in the literature of alpinism no doubt due to the petty jealousy of lesser men.

In a nation crowded with peaks, The Rigi stands alone near Luzern, its forbidding massif surrounded on three sides by water:

Rigi, the Queen of Mountains

Mountaineering snobs tend to downplay the significance of an ascent, however, because the peak is 1,800 meters, not the 8,000 preferred by the Himalayan crowd, and possibly also because the primary route to the summit is paved.

I'd like to tell you I went up that ridge, I really would

Doesn't matter at the top though.  You have as good a view as any in Switzerland, and that's saying something.  And, doesn't a mountain deserve consideration on its own terms, without all this quantification?  We all know K-2 is the tougher climb, so why all the bragging about Everest?

Anyway, The Rigi was a fine place to be on a nice day, and I climbed it.  By fair means, without artificial oxygen, and without a commercial guide or the assistance of sherpas.

Of course if you'd like a commercial guide those are available, but the cognoscenti will likely look down on your achievement.



Blogger VMM said...

Looks nice but the for the fact that it's littered with dead bodies.

June 8, 2019 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger The Other Front said...

You gotta watch out for those tour buses.

June 8, 2019 at 3:45 PM  

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