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Intro to Swiss Mountaineering
The North Face, one of the most famous mountains in the world is located near the picturesque village of Wengen, Switzerland. It is one of the climbing world's Shangri La's with heroic and tragic stories of men and women climbing to glory or to death. I'm just a normal human so climbing any of it was far out of my reach, but what I could do, with the help of a local friend, was climb, in a somewhat tourist friendly way, a small little section of the North Face. You start by taking the Jungfrau train from Wengen. It weaves up the mountain at the most amazing angle and will go all the way to the top of the Jungfrau and into the permasnow. We get off a few stops early to join a path that takes you around the base of the North Face and too a sheer rock face with old metal laders and metal ropes drilled into place. These are the things that will help you to scale up this section. Even with a harness, a helmet and a lot of help from the ladders and ropes, this is still a pretty exhilarating climb for a beginner. Once you reach the top and take pictures overlooking a beautiful swiss valley in full bloom of summer, and take a moment to just feel awesome, you clamber down the scree under the glacier back to the train station. Beautiful, picturesque, fun, exhilarating. A wonderful way to experience the adventure and beauty of Switzerland.
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Countryside Winter Walk Near Wengen
We really liked Wengen. Not as touristy and overrun as Grindelwald, you'd be hard pressed to not find something fun to do here in the winter, no matter what your interests. For us, that meant winter hiking & walking. We left the town behind us and walked down a narrow trail, passing an old church and snowy fields for about an hour before coming across this great view over the top of a chalet in the farm lands. The Bernese Alps are in the background and it had just began to lightly snow. The view and silence were absolute bliss.
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