Bellinzona and the Tibetan bridge

A daytrip to the Italian corner of Switzerland, with a hillside hike culminating in a tremendously long suspension bridge.

The weekend weather forecast for Zurich and all of northern Switzerland was looking rather wet, but I really wanted to squeeze in one more hike before the fall chill sets in. An officemate suggested Bellinzona, the capital of the Italian-speaking corner of Switzerland – the canton of Ticino.  This small city is often overlooked next to its glitzier lakeside neighbor, Lugano, but has a lot to offer.  UNESCO recognizes its three medieval castles as a world heritage site, and the surrounding hills include a web of well-organized hiking trails.  Read on, and check out the photo gallery.

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Faulhorn

When hiking in the mountains one must occasionally have faith in the weather – starting out enmeshed in dense valley fog, only to climb into a spectacular day above the clouds.  This was one of those rare, magical days, when we topped a ridgeline and encountered a mountain view more spectacular than any I have seen in 45 years of hiking, with the major peaks of the Berneralps spread across the horizon above a sea of undercast clouds.  Breathtaking!   Read on for the full story, and be sure to check out the photo gallery.An ethereal landscape, above treeline but in the fog.

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Gandstock hike

The weather thus far in Switzerland has been spectacular – blue skies, warm temps, low humidity.  And this day, for my first hike, the weather truly delivered in top form.  I joined a group organized by D-MTEC, the Department of Management, Technology, and Economics, which is the ETH department where I sit during this year in Zürich.  The hike to circumnavigate a small peak named Gandstock was moderate in length and difficulty, covering 11.5 km (7.14 mi) in 4h55 at altitude ranging from 1610m (~5,280′) to 2167m (~7,110′), all of it above treeline.  Check out the photo gallery, and read on beyond the break.2019-09-14-71433.jpg Continue reading “Gandstock hike”

Presidential Sunset

Sunset views of the Presidential Range from Mount Martha, in New Hampshire.

On the night before the spring equinox I hiked with a dear friend to the top of Mount Martha in the northern White Mountains of New Hampshire.  We aimed for sunset, knowing that Martha has a spectacular view of the Presidential Range to the east.

The snow conditions were excellent, after a week of warm weather had consolidated the snow and a day’s cold weather had firmed the packed trail into a solid base that was perfect for micro spikes.  I pushed up the trail hard and fast, carrying a heavy pack with photography equipment, spare clothing, and a warm dinner, with a wary eye to the sun setting behind me as I neared the ridgeline.  I arrived at the summit 15 minutes before sunset and was pleased to see the Presies still fully illuminated, with the nearly-full moon rising above them.  The wind was dead calm, and the temperature a moderate 15 degrees.  As the sun’s orange globe glowed orange through the trees behind me, I quickly set up my tripod and started snapping photos of the Presies.

2019-03-19-65317We reveled in the beauty of the moment, as the sun set in the west while the white-capped Presidential peaks turned pink and the sky above blended into a gradient from purple to blue.  After about forty minutes we reluctantly turned and headed back down the trail, with the rising full moon so brightly illuminating the forest floor that we never needed headlamps.  A magical evening in an amazing place!  I’ve posted my favorite photos in this gallery.

Moosilauke in early winter

A gorgeous sunny day on Moosilauke, with an undercast across Vermont and southern New Hampshire. Deep snow, temps in 20s, no wind – amazing day!

I’d heard that the mountains were in “full winter conditions” already.  I finally had a chance to check it out today.  What I found was astonishing – deep powder snow like mid-winter, but in November!   (Ok, today is December 1st, but it’s also November 31st, and I’m gonna go with that.) Be sure to check out the photos, and read on for more!2018-12-01-61563.jpg Continue reading “Moosilauke in early winter”

Katahdin and the Northeast 111/115

Dave completes his NE67 and NE111 peak-bagging adventure with three outstanding peaks in Baxter State Park.

I enjoy hiking for the mix of natural beauty, physical challenge, and the fellowship of dear friends.  I was lucky enough to have all three components this weekend as I completed the New England 67 (NE67) and the Northeast 111.  Read on for the full story and check out the photos!2018-08-24-60207.jpg Continue reading “Katahdin and the Northeast 111/115”