Down Mount Pilatus

Sledding down Mount Pilatus was so much fun!  At the higher mid-way gondola station, you just grab a sled from the pile and off you go.  There are a few signs, but essentially you are on your own.  We were told to just stay on the trails and eventually you will get to the lower gondola station.  Now, this wasn’t just a simple little hill.  Even if you are brave enough to go down the steepest trails, the ride could last thirty minutes until you get to the bottom!  Thirty minutes!

Now it did take us a little longer than thirty minutes.  Even though we chose the “easy” trails at first, the path was still pretty steep and very curvy.  However, Nicholas wanted a bigger challenge.  So Nicholas, Thomas, and I gave a “difficult” trail a try.  The trail really shouldn’t have been labeled “difficult” – “insane” might have been a better description.  It started off okay – it was steep but at least manageable if you dragged your feet once in a while.  The boys went ahead of me and apparently they took it a little slow.  I raced down the path, turned a corner, and then realized that it dropped straight down!  By that time I had picked up way too much speed, and I went airborn.  Oh, and I didn’t mention that I did this one lying on the sled face first (not feet first).  So the sled falls as I launched into the air – I guess I let go of it – and I landed on my stomach and slid about 100 yards down the hill.  I am sure you saw some incredible skiing crashes during the winter olympics.  The boys thought it was the most amazing crash they’ve ever seen (once they realized I was okay)!  We then looked further down the mountain, and the difficult trail just kept going straight down.  Not really meant for first-timers!  So we hiked back up to where we left the easy trail – and this took about 20 minutes because it was so hard to climb up!

Maria was way ahead of us on the trail, and she had gone down the entire trail by herself!  The heels on her boots ended up being really worn away from using them as brakes going down.  She wiped out a few times, and she has a nice bruise on her butt as a souvenir from her trip down the mountain!  She’s even shown it to a few of my female students – they all thought it was the darkest purple they’ve ever seen!  We won’t share a picture of that!  The boys were really worried about Maria since we were separated for so long.  And we eventually met her at the gondola station below.  It had taken us well over an hour to get down.  Maria went down the entire hill by herself!   

It was such a great run, that Nicholas and I decided to do it again.  We did it in about 45 minutes the second time without stopping.  My arms were really tired from holding on to the sled!

Here we are with our sleds:

      

A couple of alphorn players:

This made my day – a Saint Bernard on the way down!  (My brother, Tim, says that this is a Bernese mountain dog!)  Either way – still pretty cool! 

Nicholas on a flat part of the trail right before a big downhill run:

Nicholas and I with a downhill run behind us – it is a lot steeper than it looks!

A final look at Pilatus as we headed down the mountain!

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One Response to “Down Mount Pilatus”

  1. Tim Says:

    Wow. Wow. And wow, again. That would be absolutely incredible to do. Great pictures. I have one correction, though – I believe that was a Bernese mountain dog. Impressive, all the same !

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