first fell in love with the Alps as soon as I saw them during a family
vacation trip in 1952. From 1968 until I got married in 1992, I visited
them just about every summer. From 1977, when I picked up alpine skiing
at a fairly advanced age, I started visiting the Alps in the winter
My typical bachelor summer vacation in the Alps looked more or less
like this: A two-day trip in my car to Switzerland followed by two weeks
of hiking in the Valais district in the southwest corner of the country
- mostly in Zermatt and Saas-Fee. During the years 1970 to 1974 I also
engaged a professional mountain guide to drag me up one of the alpine
peaks as a culmination of my mountain vacation. Before returning home
I often made detours to Italy, Austria or France for more conventional
These yearly mountain vacations also served as a kind of carrot to
help me follow a stringent program of running exercises in the spring
(three 5-km runs in the forest every week, at maximum speed of course!).
- It is no fun to walk in the mountains for many hours if you are not
in good shape, and at altitude it can get downright dangerous!
These pages give some general background information and impressions
on hiking and climbing in the Alps and describe some of my own "exploits".
I should emphasize that I am by no means an expert climber, so do not
expect any technical advice! But I would be glad if some of the photos
bring back pleasant memories even to accomplished climbers!