Ramblers Walking Holidays

A Chance Encounter - Gerard Carson

Blog post   •   Aug 03, 2013 12:04 BST

I enjoy many fine walking trips with Ramblers but also do a lot of walking on my own and so found myself high up in very late snows in the Bernese Oberland. The late thaw resulted in the snow-clad mountains looking their absolute best and, of course lower down also resulted in an impressive profusion of wildflowers. The hillsides literally looked like multicoloured gardens and with attractive plants such as spring and trumpet gentians, alpine crocus, orchids and the like all common sights.

There was one problem though and that is some of the higher hiking trails, such as one of my favourites – the Eiger Trail that runs under the famous North Face – would normally have opened by now but they still remained stubbornly closed. And so I settled for a good second best in which I was doing a long descent from a neighbouring mountain and following a trail that ran parallel to the Eiger – it had great scenes, and those flowers everywhere.

Towards the end of my long descent I came across a group of walkers who had maybe more sensibly used a cable car to reach a mid-point and then to contour along a pretty level stretch that also gave access to all these lovely views, and that would take them on to a mountain train station. And I was really surprised to find this was a group from Adagio, Ramblers’ new venture. What a chance encounter. They were clearly having a great time as they ambled along a pleasant track and chatted away whilst also drinking in all these superb views, and I have attached a couple of snaps to show this is no exaggeration.

So it shows folk can equally enjoy these wonderful alpine delights without having to huff and puff up and down huge mountains like an old, and breathless, goat – like me! The fact the Adagio group was also heading on to a pre-arranged lunch at a pleasant alm before getting a train back from that station only added insult to injury!

But I am sure all this vigorous forging up and down mountains must be good for me and my increasingly arthritic joints? Well that’s what I keep trying to tell myself!

PS The Adagio group was very hospitable and did invite me to join them for lunch, but another long ascent awaited me and I had to press on. Yet more huffing and puffing! But it is always a delight when in such scenery.