Climbing Mount Rothorn in Switzerland [plus Video]

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I love the mountains, and I love hiking in the mountains. And despite the love-hate relationship I have with the actual act of climbing; I love the exhilaration of pushing my boundaries and reaching summits (and then, of course, making it back down to tell the story).

So on arrival to the cottage that is part of my house-sitting gig in Switzerland, I was delighted at the sight of a mountain range within spitting distance of my backyard. I immediately honed in on what would be my first summit attempt in Switzerland.

This post was originally published in 2012. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.

Mount Rothorn, in the palm of my hand

On Hiking Solo

I’ve never done any serious solo hiking in the mountains. So I was trepidatious about taking on Mount Rothorn (or any mountain) on my own; from being nervous about encountering a crazy shepherd who would hold me prisoner in their mountainside farmhouse, to fearing a simple slip and incapacitating ankle twist, I was aware that I needed to be extra careful when hiking solo.

So in addition to the standard provisions and foul-weather gear that accompanies me on any mountain hike, I had my phone with the various Swiss emergency numbers programmed, and I was sure to let a few people know where I was going so they could send out the cavalry if I didn’t return.

the hills are alive

On Fitness and Practice

The last time I was in an alpine environment was almost a year ago in Ukraine as a side-excursion while amidst the Ultimate Train Challenge.

Despite being horribly out of practice, I always seem to think I can summon up some sort of deep inner strength to get me to the top.

As if physical fitness levels and recent practice with long upward hikes are somehow irrelevant to the mission at hand.

Swiss Alps as seen from the summit of Mount Rothorn

On Having Maps

Oh yeah. Maps. I had none.

I did, however do a little research online, and I could tell there was a route to the top. (That’s good enough, isn’t it?!)

About Mount Rothorn

Given (or despite) the above debilitating factors, Mount Rothorn was a good choice of endeavour. I was assured by a few people that the path was very well marked, cell phone reception would be available the whole way up, and best of all – there was a gondola available to assist my journey back down.

With these elements of civilization, I felt relatively comfortable in tackling Mount Rothorn as my first solo summit attempt.

a "civilized" mountain top

But enough of my written diatribe about the event. I promise you’ll find much more entertainment dedicating the next five minutes to watching this video of my slow ascent up Mount Rothorn – and slow descent into insanity – including an awesome time lapse of the 1,400+ metre descent, and a messy outtake at the end.

Click here to see the video on YouTube

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6 thoughts on “Climbing Mount Rothorn in Switzerland [plus Video]”

  1. @Escaping Abroad – The latest update is that the weather has finally turned! We’ve got some nice sunshine and warmth which has made Switzerland even more beautiful!
    I’ve been traveling solo for a few years now, and there are moments of loneliness, but I’ve largely appreciated whatever alone time I’ve gotten. Many places I travel to (especially if I’m volunteering in trade for accommodation) have active communities that make it easy to make friends.

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  2. Looks like a great area for some more hikes!
    Being in the mountains is the best. Some great pics you got there of an amazing scenery. Nice shoots and movie!

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  3. @Cybiont – Thanks! It was a wonderful trip to the mountains, and the views were totally worth the effort! πŸ™‚

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