Into the Heart of the Alps

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A Taste of Grandeur

With only four days left to go before we board the plane, I am truly obsessed. Checking off things on the ever-growing to-do list, longer and steeper daily walks to affirm my readiness, and dreams about the wonderful food that awaits us.

Food Anticipation and Elevation Gain Angst

I think I’ve mentioned before that food is a huge motivator for me. Our training hikes have usually involved my favorite lunch

Chocolate first, before it melts! Chocolate first, before it melts!

-- cheese of any variety, some starch product (preferably a Roman Round), something healthy like an apple or cucumber, and … chocolate.

Thinking back on our previous hut-to-hut hiking experience, the food lives large in my memory. So, imagine my excitement, when I learned that most of the accommodations on the trail this summer will be “demi-pension” – a one-price deal including the bed, dinner of the day (appeteaser, entrée and dessert, sometimes including wine), and breakfast.

This summer’s part of the trek will be, on average, 3,500’ daily elevation gain. Day 3 of the trek will be almost 7,000’ elevation gain in one day!

Col de Turini, 7,000’ up
Col de Turini, 7,000’ up
For an AFib Survivor who could barely wheeze her way from switchback to switchback just two years ago, that is conceptually overwhelming. Which explains the focused training over the past several months.

I am so happy that the training appears to have paid off. Grandeur Peak (with 20-lb pack) last weekend – check. “My little mountain” (with 20-lb pack) more than once – check. Long steep uphills on my daily walks while talking and without being significantly out of breath at the top – check. Many many thanks to coach Bob and my various walk-and-talk friends for getting me to this fitness level.

Via Alpina Update

We leave on Sunday (6/26), flying to Geneva through Paris, then a local flight to Nice, then by bus to Monaco. One day sightseeing in Monaco and then we start our first 22 days on the Via Alpina.

The next posts will be wherever we find WiFi on the trail. We’re walking, we’re walking …

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