Mounting Pilatus

Gondola ride to Mt Pilatus

With movements restricted on and off the past few days due to inclement weather, I’ll reminisce on a perfect day atop Mt Pilatus, high above Luzern, Switzerland.

Rope ParkSonja’s good friend, Ruth Ott, Leiterin Personal (HR Manager) for Pilatus-Bahnen offered to take Sonja, Julie and I on a complimentary tour! After a breakfast of coffee and croissants we climbed aboard our little red bubble for the gentle gondola ride upwards through a luscious nature corridor; a serenade of Alp horns announcing our arrival at Frakmuntegg (1460m). We quickly rigging up with a safety harnesses to make our way through central Switzerland’s largest suspension rope challenge. We climbed and swung our way through the more moderate obstacles before tackling the hardest course: an exhilarating exercise of balance, strength and fear suppression, leaving muscles quivering at the thought of our looming 4pm Bikram class.

View to Swiss AlpsFeeling a little rubbery, we continued via arial cable-way to the summit. Drawn to the edge, you could almost imagine sitting with your legs dangling off the side of a cloud. A magnificent patchwork of blooming green, sliding grey and frozen white as far as squinting eyes could see. Opposite and competing for the jaw gaping view, Lake Luzern painted far below, with Luzern city and the many villages hugging its shores. As another ensemble of Alp horns and old time yodelers evoked images of long mountain treks and breathing in pure 2132m Swiss air, it wasn’t long before the gnawing emptiness in our stomachs awoke the need to fuel up with a hearty buffet.

Cogwheel Railway - steepest railway in the worldNot to be outdone, we descended the mountain in alarming style, gripped by the white fingered title, “steepest railway in the world”. The Cogwheel railway consists of single carriages inching slowly down a 48% gradient. Our wide eyes, reflecting alarming images of lines breaking, brakes failing and wheels flying off as we screech and plummet to our impending deaths; an enthralling pantomime for children looking skywards as parents shield their own faces in horror.

Alas it was not to be, instead balancing in a front row seat as we looked up, down and sideways, breathtaking beauty winding past our open windows, the cool air dancing on our skin, teasingly reminding us of the heat waiting for us in the mirrored torture chamber, far below.

Thanks Ruth for a wonderful day.

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3 Responses to Mounting Pilatus

  1. Yvonne June 29, 2009 at 7:23 am #


    The photos are stunning!!!!

    I always love coming to see where you are and what you are up to!

    Happy travels 🙂

  2. Matt June 29, 2009 at 8:10 pm #

    Thanks Yvonne, it’s really cool you’re dropping in regularly, your comments keep me going!

  3. RAM July 2, 2009 at 2:35 pm #


    Nice shots and great updates. Your becoming the Blog Machine. I just wanted to let you know I’m now 60 Sessions in 60 Days!!!!