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CaptainVertigo
2012-10-26 22:02:00
"The View from Hotel Todiblick" from CaptainVertigo Contract pics
Picture: The View from Hotel Todiblick (Contract pics)

Donner und Blitzen
I have experienced thunder and lightning twice on the mountains. 1980 was the first time. A pair of us left Galway on an Interail expedition. We got as far as Switzerland where we went looking for a mutual friend who was working in the canton of Glarus, above Linthal, in a place called Braunwald. I can't remember what happened about the friend but Gerry and I ended up becoming farm labourers for a dairy farmer called Herr Streiff (as in "trouble n...") We lived in a real Swiss mountain chalet with the Streiffs and their eight kids. The mountains were amazing, especially when we got up in the morning in the high "Alphut" after a night sleeping in the loft over the bull (with his big bell) and the calves (with their little bells), and saw the mountains bathed in a red glow. (The cows, with their medium bells, were outside!) On Sundays we treated ourselves to a beer and chocolate at the Hotel Todiblick. Anyway Gerry became disenchanted after a few strenuous weeks and decided to move on. I stayed to earn a bit more. Then one Sunday night I was up at the Hotel Todiblick late and began the long walk back down the mountain paths to Streiffs. That's when it happened. Lightning like jets from flamethrowers. Massive claps of thunder. Everything lit up. Mad mad mountain music echoing and re-echoing between the mountains.. Drama on a massive scale. Fear for one's life. Shock n awe. It was one of the great experiences of my life: terrifying while it unfolded, but quite magnificent, on the grandest scale imaginable. The combination of mortal terror and stunning beauty is a heady mix which, when it ends, leaves one drained but strangely at peace. A bit like... a good Late Late Show.
The second encounter with lightning was on the Turks during a pewter dark day. Not as dramatic as the first, but memorable for its own reasons. I was co-leading a group of Navan Trekkers on our October weekend away when the skies darkened and all hell broke loose. We were on the bare rock summit of Knocknahillion and everyone dived (I refuse to say "dove") for cover, and trembled. My leadership was challenged by one of our elders who thought we should "get off the mountain in a hurry", fine in theory but utterly impossible in practice. I was getting ready to shoot him to steady the nerves of the rest of the crew when suddenly the explosions stopped as quickly as they had begun. One of our lady members piped up cheerfully: "Here comes the sun!" And guess what? I began to sing: "Little darling it's been a long cold lonely winter..." and one or two joined in, and then we all sang heartily "Here comes the Sun" and it was quite wonderful. I'm sure our ancestors had many a close shave with the elements, and in their own way, celebrated their good fortune when the sun shone again. Wandering about the wild places gives us a special way of connecting with those who walked before us.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JfgzMu2yHI
The October Mounta.. by wicklore   (Show all posts)


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Track
Picos de Europa
peter1 5 hours ago.
I can say with certainty three things: the ascent was not 3266m, given the peak is only 2503m; secondly, I will be back walk, Len: 13.9km, Climb: 3266m, Area: Spain, Cantabria ()

  
Forum: General
Found
des carroll 8 hours ago.
Hi folks. A pair of walking sticks were found in Seskin, Glen of Imaal near Fenton's. Would the owner please phone 086 8607393. If you do not get an answer, please leave a brief message with a pho...

  
Track
Sail Mhor
Peter Walker 2 days ago.
After a week of blazing sunshine in the Peak District overwhelmingly spent swimming in the pool, lazing by the pool a... walk, Len: 11.3km, Climb: 833m, Area: Sail Mhor, Loch Maree to Loch Broom (Bri

Summit Summary
Knocknabro East Top: Drought made difficult ground trek possible
Collaborative entry Last edit by: CaminoPat a day ago.
Knocknabro East Top is best climbed as part of a good loop walk, taking in the West and North-East tops of Knocknabro. This summit is best reached firstly via Knocknabro West Top and then onto the...

  
Summit Summary
Knocknabro North-East Top: NE Top Revealed
Collaborative entry Last edit by: CaminoPat a day ago.
This summit is best reached via Knocknabro West Top. Park at laneway to old farmhouse now in ruin at W15905 83498. Room for 1-2 cars to park. Climb gate at entrance and follow post and wire fence ...

  
Track
Coastal Dublin - Donabate to Malahide
Onzy 2 days ago.
Circuit of Broadmeadows Estuary from Donabate to Malahide walk, Len: 12.9km, Climb: 115m, Area: Dublin Islands (Ireland)

Summit Comment
Knocknabro West Top: A Long Hard Slog
CaminoPat a day ago.
Park at laneway to old farmhouse now in ruin at W15905 83498. Room for 1-2 cars to park. Climb gate at entrance and follow post and wire fence heading north until W16029 84252. From there head acr...

  
Track
Tour d'Oueil-Larboust (Pyrenees)
David-Guenot 2 days ago.
How to turn a "GR de pays" which is usually completed over two or three days into a challenge walk. A solo tri walk, Len: 45.9km, Climb: 2128m, Area: France, Occitanie ()

  
Forum: General
Bushfires in Dublin/ Wicklow July 2018
Trailtrekker 5 days ago.
To answer your question, you are good to go. Happened to drive the length of the Military Road last Sunday. As of that time all the fires were north of the Sally Gap. I am not aware there having b...

Summit Comment
Binnion: Hills, radios and lost leads
eejaymm 2 days ago.
On the 14-07-18 Ian and I headed out to Donegal to climb Binnion in North Donegal. It's a 1 pointer for SOTA (Summits On The Air - a Radio Amateur programme to get operators out portable) but had ...

  
Track
Near Beinn Ghobhlach, Loch Maree to Loch Broom (Britain)
Peter Walker 4 days ago.
walk, Len: 10.9km, Climb: 739m, Area: Beinn Ghobhlach, Loch Maree to Loch Broom...

  
Summit Comment
Gleninagh Mountain: A sweeping vista of the Aran Islands, Fanore Beach and Galwa
Damian120 a week ago.
This hiking trail up over Gleninagh Mountain serves up a great example of the typical Burren limestone Karst, following traditional old and now disused green lane-ways. Elevated mountain paths for...


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