Tom Van Maarseveen
Yesterday evening we were given a breifing on what the conditions of today had in store for us and I think it is fair to say not one of us were prepared for what the experience that we had lined up.
As dawn broke on Château-d’Oex, we all had to somehow figure out how we were going to fit five layers of thermal clothing on our bodies to resist against the -35°c temperature along with the 60kph winds that come hand in hand with glacier Les Diablerets. We didnt know what to expect from a name like Les Diablerets which also meant «Devils Glacier », all we knew is that it towered over Château-d’Oex at 3000m altitude and was a mountain not to be reckoned with.
As we got to the base of the mountain and were given our mountaineering equipment, the cold really started to step in. We boarded the cable cars, which brought us to the top of the ski runs from where we began our ascent towards the summit of Les Diablerets. During the trip to the summit we experienced mountaineering at its finest form. Although it was tough in some aspects, it was well worth the climb due to the breathtaking landscape, the fresh Swiss air and the pleasure of group bonding.
For all of us, the view from the peak was unbelievable, really marvelled at the beautiful environment that surrounded us. As we descended from the glacier and got closer to the cable cars, we were faced with one last hike up the ski run. Turns out, the forcasted 60kph winds turned into 80kph and when compiled with the beyond freezing temperature we all were put to the test to push our limits.
Apart from freezing the majority of our apendiges, almost being blown off a ski run due to gale force winds.
In the evening after dinner, we attended a conference by none other than the shark expert himself, Michael Scholl, about sharks conservation and their behaviour which is commonly mistaken.
Overall the day was both physically and mentally challenging so we are off to bed to rest up for tomorrows excitement !