runventure

Alone in the Mountains [Schonbielhutte]

schonbielhutte
There were only a few hours between my "I should go somewhere" thoughts and my "hop on a train" actions but I did do a little Google'ing to get a feel for the trails in the Zermatt area. The Schonbielhutte was on my radar but the hut's website was very vague about when it closed for the season. I checked with the Zermatt Tourism Office but the woman simply read me the website...super helpful. Or not. So, when I came upon the sign that said "Schonbielhutte 1h 25m" I decided to check out the hut for myself. Worst case scenario, the hut would be closed and I would be hiking along remote mountain trails next to the Matterhorn on an absolutely gorgeous day for another three hours. Best case scenario, the hut would be open and I'd get to spend another night in the mountains. (more…)

By Heidi Kumm, ago
runventure

Escaping Zermatt

zermatt
Zermatt is a tourist city, there is no denying that. The moment you step off the train you feel the "tourist vibe" humming around you. The people behind the desk at the tourism office have a rehearsed spiel, the streets are teaming with selfie sticks and each little shop has its own carousel of beautiful postcards. Personally, I am not a fan of the "tourist vibe", as hypocritical as that may be. The cities that have grown to accommodate tourists always feel stifling + staged...but they grew for a reason. The mountain trails + wilderness surrounding these kitschy tourist cities are stunning. And the true perk of these overgrown cities? Most tourists stay in the cities, or at least close to them, leaving the more remote + challenging trails empty for people like me! (more…)

By Heidi Kumm, ago
friends + feelings

Currently.

A lot has changed over the past two months, but at the same time life feels very normal. Weirdly normal. I'm living in Switzerland, working for a couple I've only known for a few weeks, living in a hostel with a revolving door of strangers and grocery shopping with Google Translator in hand. (more…)

By Heidi Kumm, ago
travel thoughts

Chalet Martin: My New Home

About two weeks ago I lugged my over-sized duffle bag up a gravel trail to Chalet Martin, the hostel that would become my home for the next three weeks...or two months. I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. I had "met" the owners via WorkAway and we'd both agreed to commit to at least three weeks of a volunteer exchange -- I helped out around the hostel [changing beds, basic housekeeping, etc] in exchange for a place to stay. As I walked in the hostel reminded me of the farm house I grew up in -- a mud room for shoes + gear and cement stairs that led up to the creaky wood floors of the main level. I was home. (more…)

By Heidi Kumm, ago
runventure

The Chrinnenhorn Summit

I have done a terrible job of planning ahead for any part of my Switzerland wanderings. The actual events of my life are rarely planned beyond the upcoming 12 hours. Heck, prior to showing up at Chalet Martin I'd usual start my day with no real plan for where I'd lay my head that night. It was freeing, liberating. Waking up in the Glecksteinhutte was no different. I got up, ate breakfast, stared out the cabin window...and made the impulse decision to do a day hike up one of the "alpine mountaineering" trails leading to the peaks surrounding the cabin. (more…)

By Heidi Kumm, ago
runventure

A Night in Glecksteinhutte

My first day in Grindelwald was supposed to involve a long hike up to Steckhornhutte with a relaxing night surrounded by mountain views. Instead, the city welcomed me with rain and eventually storms that drove me right off the mountainside and into a “meh” hostel on the edge of town. The hostel’s kitchen was laughable and I didn’t even bother with the shower...but I did get a 6 bed dorm room all to myself and celebrated with a full 9 hours of drool-on-my-pillow sleep. Yup, I know how to have a good time! (more…)

By Heidi Kumm, ago
travel thoughts

Exploring the City of Zurich

I'll be the first to admit I'm not the best person to go to for city exploration advice but...I did spend an entire week in the city of Zurich so I did find a few cool places worth checking out, even if you swear you're not a city person. Plus, I took photos and am always looking for an excuse to share them! These are the areas I visited while wandering around the city of Zurich... (more…)

By Heidi Kumm, ago
runventure

The Trails Above Zurich

trail-running
I’m always quick to say “I’m not a city girl”...and I think that is a true statement. Cities make me uncomfortable and I find them to be very overwhelming. They are complex with varied rules, confusing signs and hundreds of people to watch you flounder about. I get nervous and awkward in cities, there is no doubt about it. However, I still managed to happily spend 7 days in Zurich, Switzerland. (more…)

By Heidi Kumm, ago
trails + tents

Starting the Tour du Mont Blanc Trek

When the Columbia crew left Chamonix on Saturday afternoon I packed up my Ultimate Direction Fastpack, stowed away my big Columbia duffle and headed for the train station where I hopped on a train to Vallorcine and immediately hit the trail following the Tour du Mont Blanc trail. I spent my Saturday afternoon/evening hiking against the flow of UTMB 170km racers doling out “great job” and “keep it up” along with many claps + smiles that I hope were encouraging. I was headed to Trient, the 120km check point of the UTMB where I hoped to crash at a hostel after catching Amy [the Runner's Roost MUT Team coordinator + a major, level-headed enabler for my first ultras] as she came through. (more…)

By Heidi Kumm, ago
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