Woken up by the church bells – again – Bowe and Naomi tackled breakfast duty while the boys researched activities for the day. We found that there was a way for us to ascend to the top of a 3000m mountain using a large gondola lift that was located at Col du Pillon, a small base camp at an altitude of 1500m, a one hour drive from our Gryon. We decided that the attraction and views should be worth the hefty 80CH (about $80) per person tab and we decided to check it out – but not until Keane and Bowe duked it out at the foosball table!
On our way we stopped by a Micros supermarket to pick up some provisions and snacks for the road so that we would not have to buy an expensive lunch on the mountain. Without any crazy off-the-road adventures, we arrived at the “Glacier 3000” cable lift with 20 minutes to spare to buy tickets and use the restrooms before boarding the next gondola.
The ascent up the mountain was epic with panoramic views all around. Towards the end of the ride, we were pulled above most of the surrounding mountains, which once passed gave way to more distant snowy peaks of the 4000m giants. We could also see hikers down below attempting the 4.5 hour steep hike from Col du Pillon to Les Cabanes – a stop where we also changed to another gondola, bound for Scex Rouge - our final destination.
The top of the mountain was covered with snow. To access a mountain-top trail, we had to take a ski lift down from the main gondola's drop-off point. Then, after a mandatory snow fight, we went on a mile walk through the blinding snow to the Diablerets peak. The temperature was around 6 °C (about 42° F), and the snow was slowly beginning to melt, making it quite a workout to push on, our feet sinking a little bit with every step.
At least half an hour later, we arrived at the Quille du Diable – the devil’s pin – a large rock on the edge of a cliff, with a view of a beautiful valley. The boys went around the rock and explored the cliff’s edge, while the girls sat down in the sun on the benches of little mountain restaurant.
Back at the mountain-top restaurant, we ordered some beverages and a delicious pastry and took more pictures. Soon enough, the wind picked up and the sun became overcast with clouds. We immediately felt the icy air penetrate our thin layers of clothing and decided to head back. More and more clouds descended, and we started getting worn out – we also noticed that due to the altitude we would run out of breath faster than usual.
Almost back at the lift, Bowe, Keane, and Karol decided to make a short detour and have a sled race (there were no winners as all three were disqualified for terrible riding form).Before heading back down in the gondola, we went up to a lookout point that was accessible only by a 108m suspension bridge. Unfortunately, at this point we were in the middle of the clouds and could not see farther than 20ft in front of us!
Having taken in some amazing views earlier, we were not too heartbroken – we also caught some more panoramas once the gondola descended a bit and we came out from under the clouds.
n tie It was about 4:30 pm and we headed back to the chalet, making another stop at the grocery store. For dinner, Bowe planned a corn chowder, which was accompanied by a delicious green salad, and followed by a desert of strawberries and fresh cream. The kitchen crew really outdid themselves this time!
After dinner, Karol, Michał, and Naomi snuck out to the bar the brothers discovered the night before, where we caught the second half of Sweden vs. Germany. Keane joined in time for the last few minutes of the game but was able to catch all the replays and analysis after. Soon, we headed back home, the 20 minute walk taking only half the time as crisp air propelled Naomi to move faster than ever – for once it was the boys who had to keep up!
Back at home we realized that we all got sunburned at the glacier! In the cold we did not feel the sun as much but it certainly left its mark on us! Another full day coming to a close, we snuggled up in our bunk beds, ready for the tolling bells to wake us up in the morning.