Day 11: Lucerne/Zurich (22 Mar) #3

I reached the peak station, Rigi Kulm at nearly 12 noon, though it certainly didn’t look like noon up there. There’s nothing but clouds in all directions, and it was an endless, unbroken sea of white clouds. Also, it was pretty misty when I arrived, but slowly cleared along with the clouds as the wind picked up.

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Misty misty. Blue coaches were going down to Arth-Goldau, while the red ones that I rode up in were to Vitznau.
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I can barely see anything through the white shroud.

Snow! Heaps of snow! Merlin knows I haven’t touched snow in ages; the closest thing I got to was the ice in my freezer back home. Needless to say, the adrenaline charged snow junkie (me, heh) went ahead and threw a few snowballs around.

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Pixie dust, lots of em!
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The hotel and restaurant at Rigi Kulm was closed until April, though toilets are still available (the green blocky building on the left side of the picture).

At 1797m amsl, Rigi Kulm is the highest peak of Mt. Rigi. Where in Malaysia can you get snow at 1800m? We barely had any ice on Mt. Kinabalu’s peak, which tops out at nearly 4095m. There’s also a large communications (I think?) antenna at Rigi Kulm. I was a little baffled by the appearance of a rock with Chinese letters carved into it: 峨嵋山, marking Mt. Emei in China. So, what’s the rock doing here?

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Apparently, Rigi and Emei has some sort of partnership, sister mountains if you will, between them. Interesting tidbit: The distance between Rigi and Emei is 8013km, and I’m assuming that it’s measured in straight line distance.

Other than that, it’s a waiting game; walking around and waiting/hoping that the clouds will clear to afford a magnificent view of the valley below and the mountains beyond. As aforementioned, weather wasn’t the best on this day, but it could have been much worse. I spotted some foot trails going down one side of the mountain, but they are impassable and barely visible with all the snow heaped on them, even though I wouldn’t want to try them in summer either.

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It was really cold up there, with the windchill and all. I had to keep my gloves on all the time as the hand warmers weren’t generating enough heat to keep my fingers flexible. It was also the only time that I brought out my scarf to use.

 

Sure enough, after about 20 minutes of waiting, the clouds started to roll away, and voila! Magnifique!

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Starting to peek through…
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A little more…
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Oh my! What a picturesque scene!

It began to progressively clear as the minutes ticked by, but I was hard pressed to catch the 1pm train down to Arth-Goldau. Missing it meant an extra one hour wait at Rigi Kulm, and I hadn’t had my lunch yet. So after a wee bit more of fun in the snow and photo ops, it is time to go back down!

 

 

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Yes, that is me. Quit laughing.
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The Rigi Kulm ticket office. It was unmanned when I was there, but there’s a hot water dispenser in there available for use.
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One last shot before going down.
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