The World According to Herr Willie – Mount Rigi in the Swiss Alps

2016-11-12 12

Vicuna is one of my best friends and wherever the wind takes him I will catch a paraglide to meet him. I did so, when he chased turtles in Polynesia and now, when he is digesting cheese in Switzerland. My prerogative was to hit a mountain on my birthday and so we did. We conquered the mighty Mount Rigi.

Credits: wil6ka

Switzerland is awfully expensive, so you better go far away on a mountain, where you cannot spend so much money. Unfortunately the way getting there isn’t cheap either. To reach Mount Rigi we embarked on a 2-3 hour train ride to Arth/Goldau in the south of Switzerland, close to Lucerne. Which was still ok, but the real price-bummer was the cable car going up Rigi. Of course it’s a monopoly, and the people living there try to exploit the mountain as much as they can. And by the way the Rigi Railways is Europe’s oldest mountain railways – there you go.

Credits: wil6ka
Credits: wil6ka

But sitting in this cable car offered great scenes. People from each corner of the world, Russians, Indians, Thai, Chinese and Canadians sat cheek to cheek on their banks and saw the mountains pass by. Very peaceful and picturesque.

Credits: wil6ka
Credits: wil6ka
Credits: wil6ka

In May it’s still very chilly on top of the Swiss Alps. I guess it never really is warm up at 1,798 metres height. People pour out of the cable car and stream to the various viewing points. Me and Vicuna always take a little time at this point. Let the sheep go pass by, looking for the right frame, waiting for the weather to change. The great thing of going together is always having a model. Sometimes for me feet are enough though.

Credits: wil6ka
Credits: wil6ka
Credits: wil6ka

When is the best time to on a mountain in the Swiss Alps? Good question, it depends on various factors. I guess it’s always the best time, when you are there. But especially if you consider photography you would have to take some facts in account.

Credits: wil6ka

What speaks for spring is, that you can both see the green grass and the white snow, which gives nice contrasts. The off-season is also regulating the amount of tourists coming on top and blocking your way for a photograph.

Credits: wil6ka
Credits: wil6ka
Credits: wil6ka

One thing that made me consider coming back in the winter time, were these amazing snow sleigh signs. Going on a sleigh is one of my fondest childhood memories and these graphic signs made me long for it. It makes it official and there seems to be some joyous curvy sleigh roads going down from the top. I wanna do it!

Credits: wil6ka
Credits: wil6ka
Credits: wil6ka

I discovered a few little Swiss huts on the mountain. We left the normal trail, walked knee high through the remainders of the winter snow, down to the the wooden structures, with snow on the roof. The combination was beautiful.

Credits: wil6ka

The snow was dripping and it was only a question of time until it was all gone in the sun, that became stronger and stronger. I love those moments of passing time. Sure in a year time there will be new snow, the circle is revitalizing. But for this very moment life and death are very close to each other. This is what creates a little drama in a picture.

Credits: wil6ka
Credits: wil6ka
Credits: wil6ka

I particularly value analogue photography on a mountain. I always like scope and the shades within large collective clouds way more on film. And a panoramic camera was made for these kinds of scapes. I especially like the revolving lenses as you can play a little with perspective and distortion. According to the weather I chose slide, x-pro or black and white and I was always happy with my choices. Eventually, that’s why I wanted to share these pictures with you.

Credits: wil6ka
Credits: wil6ka

For us it was the best possible day trip to Mount Rigi. Of course you could stay longer, you could even hike up and down and explore the various sides of the mountain. But as the walls are steep and a lot of the nature is in its beautiful natural state you definitely need the right gear and possibly the right expertise for this.

Credits: wil6ka

Sleeping on the top might be an option, or maybe not. Walking down to the cable car stop I passed a pretty hotel and a tiny bungalow, and saw a guy exiting. I asked him how spacious the little hut is. I got curious and asked him about the hotel rate on this exclusive spot. He said, that they rent only out to large groups.

Credits: wil6ka

And don’t let me lie, but the weekend was a slim 10.000 Euros for the premise. Well, I guess if you have everything, you could also take your giant family on a weekend to Mount Rigi.

Credits: wil6ka
Credits: wil6ka

The Swiss Alps are definitely a must, when you are in the area. Look for good weather and good companionship. Take an extra bundle of cash with you and a little pack of Swiss chocolate.

Credits: wil6ka
Credits: wil6ka

Oh, and don’t forget to take a few kilos of cameras and films along. You should be prepared for any kind of weather, but any kind of drama gives good motifs. Gruezi from the top of the world.

Credits: wil6ka

Read more of Willie Schumann’s (@wil6ka) travel stories on The World According to Herr Willie.

written by wil6ka on 2016-11-12 #places #mountain #mountains #winter #trip #snow #vicuna #wil6ka #switzerland #climate #the-world-according-to-herr-willie

12 Comments

  1. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    "Of course it’s a monopoly, and the people living there try to exploit the mountain as much as they can" same here in Gunung (mountain) Tangkuban Parahu, Lembang, Jawa Barat (West Java) which the right owned by North Sumateranese, Putra Ka'ban, younger brother of MS Ka'ban, former minister who sentenced in jail for corruption case. Luckily Putra Ka'ban got his right to run very famous tourist destination Tangkuban Parahu when his older brother, MS Ka'ban was still a forestry minister, so even we Sundanese people against him, he has legal right to make Tangkuban Parahu as a gold mining. Do not surprise if many blog talk about how expensive entrance ticket there especially for foreign tourist

  2. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    Was really a great day out on Mt Rigi!! :)))

  3. wil6ka
    wil6ka ·

    @vicuna we are the fortunate ones!

  4. lomodesbro
    lomodesbro ·

    thanks for sharing these wonderful landscapes with us

  5. juliabrummer
    juliabrummer ·

    congrats!

  6. stouf
    stouf ·

    @wil6ka @vicuna Nice to see you hanging out guys, I wish I was there with you! @wil6ka your photo collection of signs is growing well : )

  7. wil6ka
    wil6ka ·

    @stouf <3

  8. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    @stouf would be cool to hang out with you again!! :))

  9. ivaylo
    ivaylo ·

    Herr Willie knows best! Word!

  10. zhenyaetoya
    zhenyaetoya ·

    @wil6ka спасибо за очередную историю и череды твоих путешествий. Ждём следующую серию.

  11. wil6ka
    wil6ka ·

    @zhenyaetoya cpacibo drug - otschen6 ckoro bol6schsche istoriji budut :) @ivaylo @juliabrummer @lomodesbro <3

  12. shufi
    shufi ·

    I super agree that hiking trip is cheap but the gears & transport are quite expensive hahaha but I still do love hiking :D

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