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1) Leave your Manolo Blahniks at home and take good hiking-shoes instead, when walking in and around Muerren and especially the Schilthorn, where i saw that funny "trafic-sign" : Many of the paths are slippery sometimes, you will have to step through alpine pastures, solid rocks and loose gravel - all of that is not really a good place to show your latest fashion-shoes...
2)Be careful, when hiking at glaciers in wintertime : For some people it is not always easy to understand, why you would not be allowed to leave the marked paths on top of Jungfraujoch. You may see great crevasses there nearby and plenty of foot-prints of other tourists leading there as well...
I made my pics in a large distance !
Please keep in my mind, that any rescue-activities have to be payed by the incautious tourists, and most of the insurances will not pay anything, when you had left the ordinary mountain-paths !!
3)Some chocolate and an extra bottle of water makes always sense, because when hiking you never know how long you will have to wait for help in case of an emergency or when you are forced to get shelter in an empty mountain-hut because it is that foggy or raining outside that you cannot see, where you are going.
Bottles of the light PET-material are the best - you will not feel them, when they are empty, and you may re-fill them at many natural fountains on your way - the quality of the mountain-water is always excellent in Switzerland and the cheapest mineral water you may buy in a vending-machine is 2 sfr., mostly it is even more expensive.
Written Mar 2, 2006
Weekend snow slides in January 2005 killed at least five people and seriously injured about 10 others who strayed off-trail in Austria's Alps in search of adventure despite warnings that conditions were ripe for disaster. Heavy snow also fell in Switzerland.
Officials had raised the five-step avalanche alert to level four in recent days after a combination of heavy snowfalls, strong winds and subsequent mild temperatures made snow cover unstable and prone to breaking away.
Authorities recently launched a new service that delivers up-to-the-minute avalanche warnings via text messages. But frustrated emergency workers say technology is useless to those who ignore conventional warnings and take unwarranted risks just to descend mountains atop virgin snow. If they lack knowledge and the necessary background information, then it's just carelessness — pure and simple.
The recent avalanche was estimated to have spanned the length of three football fields laid end to end, and struck at an elevation of about 2,300 metres in an off-trail area popular with thrill-seekers looking for deep, untouched powder. Experts regularly warn that skiing or snowboarding off-piste in unstable snow can be dangerous and triggers many of the hundreds of slides that annually claim scores of lives in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
Officials monitoring avalanche conditions in the Alps issued a statement warning people anew not to venture off trails known to be safe, to avoid skiing or snowboarding alone and to approach all areas “with the greatest respect.” They also urged people to wear avalanche transmitters, which emit a high-frequency signal that can save rescuers precious minutes to locate victims buried in heavy snow and dig them out before they suffocate. A transmitter helped rescue workers swiftly locate a snowboarder buried in an avalanche in the resort of Zell am See, Austria.
Avalanches don't recognize national boundaries, so wether you're in Zell am See or Muerren, please be careful.
Updated Mar 2, 2005
If you are an American skiing in Europe the one thing you will not see in the Alpine backcountry, or off-piste as we call it, are signs warning you not to enter an area due to potential avalanche dangers. The majority of the ski hills, the on-piste areas are clearly marked and roped-in. You will often see signs adjacent to the marked piste indicating steep cliffs and/or crevaces nearby. However, if you choose to ignore the warnings you do so at your own risk. No one will stop you, but if you are injured you will have no legal recourse. In other words, you cannot sue someone for your own stupidity or bad luck, and that is just the way if should be.
You are advised to ski in pairs. To carry avalanche transceivers, shovels and probe poles. If you are ski touring or snowboarding where there is a danger of cravaces, you should also have an extraction rope and prusic ropes, and know how to use them. A knowledge of z-pulleys is also advisable. Self-help is best. Rescuers may be a long time in arriving.
If you trigger an avalanche and kill yourself, that is a risk you accept, if you ski off-piste. If you trigger an avalanche and kill someone else, you may be charged with criminal negligence. You put the lives of trained rescuers at risk when they have to launch a search & rescue mission to locate and extract you. If you are rescued, you may be charged in cash or credit card for the extraction, so it is advisable to also carry extra insurance.
So, think about it before you duck the rope and head out off-piste.
Written Jan 19, 2005
There are walking trails and mountain climbing areas all around Piz Gloria. I took some time to do a little hiking. I came across this warning sign on one of the trails. I thought it was hysterical. Unless you are a drag queen or some socialite with brain damage I can not imagine anyone walking in high heels on mountain trails at 10,000 feet. But I guess they felt it necessary to warn you not to walk here in heels.
Updated Oct 10, 2003
1 Review and 126 Opinions We stayed at Eiger Guesthouse for 10 days and were very satisfied. Reasonably priced with...