Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sommet du Moléson

This week and next is a 2-week school break for Payton. I needed to get out of the house and so did Payton. I called up our friend Christa and asked her if I could trade her Parker for her two boys so that they, Payton and me could go on a day trip. She agreed.

I can see a mountain from our house and have always wanted to go to it. Today I did with the boys in tow. Today we went to the Sommet du Moléson.
The summit raises up to a height of 2002 m (6600 ft.) and offers a great view of the Swiss Alps, the Burnese Alps, the greater part of French Switzerland and even Mont-Blanc south on the Italian/French border. To get to the summit we first rode a funicular part way up and then switched over to a cable car. The ride up took maybe 20 minutes or so.
Up on the summit there are no trees, just grass. I don't think this is because of the altitude. It is probably due to wind and very little soil. It wasn't windy for us and was in fact a very nice sunny day. The observatory/restaurant is the jumping off point. From here there are trails following the various ridges and trails heading down the mountain in many directions.
You can see the observatory/restaurant above. The summit of Mt. Moléson is on the otherside and to the left. We headed there next. The path up doesn't look like much in the picture, but it was taking my breath away. Not so for Payton. He hoofed right up it talking to me and all the while eating a brownie.
The summit is clearly marked. I took a picture of all four of us. See, I really did go along. There wasn't some camera floating in the air following three boys around on a mountain top.
The picture above is on the far side of the summit. The little cross in the background is on the top of the cliff face you can see in the first picture. There is a narrow trail following the ridge down to it - if one wanted to hike there - we didn't. We had seen enough and wanted to go back down.

Down where we started our ascent was a toboggan run - Swiss style. We all wanted to ride. This run was more like a downhill roller coaster. Payton likes to go fast and a good thing too. So do I! I taped our second run down. Payton and I rode together. Devin and Lucas rode by themselves. We each got in four runs.

Before we leave the mountain, here are just a couple view shots from up on top.

On the way home we punched in a McDonald's command to the GPS. We were all kind of hungry. On the way there we passed by a lake with some ruins of some sort on an island. I thought it looked pretty cool so we stopped long enough to snap a few pictures. Afterward it was McDonald's and then home.

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