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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My Bond Weekend

For my dad's 60th birthday, i thought he should be treated like James Bond. Without the dazzling suits, flashy cars and sexy girls. Instead i put him in a not-so sexy harness, crown him with a helmet. The only Bond association really, is achieving greater heights. Literally. 

Hear him scream.
The Gorge Adventure (CHF 135) from the Alpin Center is a dynamic Fixed Rope Route that challenged me but didn't break a sweat. I didn't break a sweat because the Zermatt altitude plus the air among the gorges (Furi 1865m - Zermatt 1620m) was cool despite being summer. While i don't have a fear of heights, i found it challenging in the beginning because i was fearful of falling off! The adventure starts off with navigating cliff faces while attached to steel cables. However, it was no easy feat. 
Navigating the cliff faces was the hardest. After i got over the initial fear, it was a breeze. Because of our small group, we took time to admire the imposing rock formations and the floods of water running underneath. 

The highlights of the traverse are three abseiling passages, three flying foxes (of which the longest is 80 metres), and a pendulum swing (video above). It takes some balls to jump, a lethal injection of adrenaline.
The pendulum swing.

Flying across gaps.
Having visited Zermatt from above, it was a really nice experience seeing it from a different angle. 
Zermatt Matterhorn in Spring (May).
We stayed dry with the Gorge Adventure but it was a wild wild wet adventure canyoning in Mt Blanc. I had never tried canyoning before and it was SO MUCH FUN. I got to know about it because a friend did this as a Bachelor's Party idea. 

We did our adventure with OXO and the guide (forgot his name) was fantastic and handsome too. He even did a twirl and skip (show-off!) as he came down one of those waterfalls, a pity i didn't catch it on camera.

Not knowing what to expect of canyoning, we were instructed to get changed on the road.
Dry suits were provided to keep us a little warmer.
All geared up!
There are various levels of canyoning. As it was my first time and my dad is 60, i went for the 2 hour journey with maximum abseil heights of 25m.
My dad was such a trooper. The youngest was 8, it was a great family activity as well as couple bonding.

Photo bombed by the 8 year old sliding off.
Consisting of abseils, sliding off rock surfaces and jumping off cliffs, it was pretty damn exhilarating. Just what an adrenaline junkie need!
Even though it was summer, the water was cold enough to give a brain freeze but thankfully, i only start feeling it nearing the end of the journey.
She looks like she's feeling his head for fever.
For 60 euros, canyoning is definitely a must-try for the gutsy when in Mt Blanc. It is a popular activity during summer so it won't be as pleasant when the area is congested. We were lucky because we managed to be the first group so we were always ahead of the crowd. Observing the other groups waiting, i reckon our guide from OXO was the best! He was the only one with alot of flair in executing many of our slides and jumps. Just watch the video below, in the last frame, we slide down the rock surface LIKE A STAR.


Marvin said...

Mount climbing is another good form of outdoor activities as it builds up patience and rushes adrenaline, not to mention requiring full concentration.

Kudos to your father, at his age still enjoying energy intensive activities.

Your articles makes mount climbing sounds like fun.. :)

Xtine said...

Thanks Marvin. I don't think the typical mountain climbing is too adrenaline too. This is totally different!

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