I booked my tickets to Geneva on September 20, 2022. For the
second time ever, I splurged on business class on the way over, this time British Air
using American Airlines miles with the absurdly high surcharges.
With all the other airline frequent flier devaluations, this is one of
the few remaining ways to fly business class at anything less than full
fare. I booked British Air economy plus on the return - I was too late to find business class.
On April 17, 2023 at 1207pm, Kent texted the group: "Dusty, cow
fighting in Saas Fee is on August 6. If I'm near there I'll make
a point to try and see some of that."
And just like that, I knew that I would be watching cow fighting in
Saas Fee on August 6 whether Kent was there or not.
One of my plans was to see Swiss National Day - August 1 - somewhere
cool. I'd seen it in Martigny with Kent in 2014 with some of the
greatest fireworks ever, but the fireworks are cancelled pretty
permanantly many places nowadays - thanks global warming! I spent
forever researching Swiss National Day events in small towns
all over the Alps, and wasn't able to find anything about Wengen.
For a while I had reservations in Thun since I figured the fireworks
would be nice over the lake. Finally I decided that any time
spent outside the mountains is a waste, and on June 25 I booked a not
very cheap single room in Wengen for three nights at the Hotel Regina,
gambling that Wengen would have something fun to do on Swiss National
Day whether I could find it online or not. I've never stayed in
Wengen, rooms were already pretty picked over. I kept checking
back, there were no other options, I was happy I had grabbed
anything. (While in Wengen I learned that the website for Wengen
is https://wengen.swiss - they announced several times that any updates
to the Swiss National Day schedule would be posted there.)
Another plan was to revisit Macugnaga, Italy and see the Monte Rosa up
close in morning light. I'd seen Monte Rosa in 2015 for a single
magical afternoon in afternoon glare and wanted to see it again.
There are few hotels or airbnbs in Macugnaga open in the summer, and
most want a deposit. Finally on July 4 I found Casa Alpina De
Filippi on booking.com. Even better, it was in Pecetto which is
at the base of the lift I care about, instead of Macugnaga which is a
kilometer down the valley.
A stretch goal was to do a loop over the Alps through Italy - Zermatt,
the new in July 2023 Matterhorn Alpine Crossing, Cervinia, Aosta,
Courmeyer, Mt Blanc, and Chamonix. All that is highly weather
dependant. While I booked hotels for every night of my first week
in the Alps, I didn't book any hotels for the second week of my trip
other than my last night in Geneva.
Thursday July 20 I bought a new Gregory Focal 48 - half the weight of the monster 75 liter pack I was carrying before.