Alpine Adventure Day 28 - Running Up Scex de Marenda In The Clouds

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Monday 22 August 2016

Alpine Adventure Day 28 - Running Up Scex de Marenda In The Clouds

I know many adjectives but I doubt that any if them can truly do justice to the magic, mystery and marvel of our hike this morning. Stepping off the early bus from Grimentz to the Moiry Dam just after 9 we were struck, as always by the brilliant blue of the water and the crispness of the air but it was just a shadow of what was to come later.

It was fortunate we had sun as we set off across the dam to begin the 800m ascent to the summit ridge of the Scex de Marenda at around 2900m. It was a climb we had done 2 years earlier and had found memories of it cropping up ever since, hence the reason we had picked it out for this, our las full day in the Val d'Anniviers. Yet we also felt a little nervous at the rapidly gathering clouds, some darkening, that were still blocking out our destination from sight and crowding most other peaks as well.

Still we set off...again not hiking but jogging up the hill with just a small pack and minimal gear. We had opted to trail run today as we had enjoyed it so much en route to Roc d'Orzival 2 days earlier and were keen to again.

The signs suggested 2 and half hours and we arrived at the summit in just under 1 even including the many photo stops. The ascent had been very special, one moment in a cloud, the next on far reaching green hillside overlooking a glacier, then back in a cloud again with just the clanging of cow bells for company. Similarly the final ascent was marked by the stark contrast between the clouded, zero visibility sheer drop on one side of the ridge to our left clashing with the sweeping panorama's to our right.

It really was magical effect and as we sat at the summit with the sight of majestic 4000m plus peaks and their glaciers coming and going from view, including the distant Bernese Alps to the north as well, we found ourselves contemplating the how quickly perception can change even when the underlying facts do not i.e. what you see is not always what you get.

In total we stayed at the top for well over an hour in blissful isolation with just the clouds, breeze and view for company until we began our descent. It was another swift one varying between rocky tracks for 4x4's and steep, boulder strewn hiking trails but by 1pm we were at the Bendolla cable car station and by 2pm were eating our first meal of the day...having skipped breakfast to go running! Plus there was another bonus, the parcel of extra supplies from home had finally arrived after almost a week stalled in Swiss customs..... Maybe the month long supply of spare rectal catheters for my Peristeen kit had confused them?

We chilled out writint for a while in the afternoon (and laundered our one outfit ready for our Egypt exciting) as rain arrived, but it cleared by the evening when we headed down for an hour in the tennis court. Now neither of us play tennis and with exhausted bodies weren't in the best place to learn, but with a free court booked and free racket loan all courtesy of the Liberte pass we wanted to have a go.

As it turned out we invented a whole new game....try and hit the ball as close as possible to your opponent. Any shots that require use of legs to return loses a point. Still, the people on the court next to us were very good and worth watching.

Which bring us to the end of the day. Tomorrow sees us head back to Geneva in the evening for a flight to Egypt on Sunday which is exciting, but after a day like today it is still very hard to look forward to leaving Grimentz.

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