Open Thread, Thursday 4 April 2013

North Face of the Eiger. Photo: Diccon Bewes.


About GruntOfMonteCristo

Fearless and Devout Catholic Christian First, Loving Husband and Father Second, Pissed-Off Patriot Third, Rocket Engineer Dork Last.
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42 Responses to Open Thread, Thursday 4 April 2013

  1. ZurichMike says:

    Oh, so lovely! Some of what look like roads in that photo are hiking paths. I’ve hiked in this area (and on those paths) — it is some of the most magnificent views in Switzerland, and one of the most visited spots by tourists. You are looking at the peaks of the Eiger (middle), and the “Mönch” on the right. The Jungfrau peak is to the right of Mönch but not in this photo. These three peaks are the most recognized and visited in Switzerland. The flat spot to the right of the Mönch is the saddle of the Jungfrau peak, called the Jungfraujoch. You can take a small “mountain train” *through* the mountain to the “Jungfraujoch” where there is a huge weather, communications, and tourist station. There are galleries cut through the mountain face of the mountain to look out on the way up and down. The top is at 11,400 feet — and it is literally breathtaking. The second time I was there I felt faint most of the time I was there. On a clear day you can see into France, Germany, Liectenstein, Austria, Italy, and, of course, Switzerland itself. There is a huge glacier at the top — very impressive frozen river of ice.

    • I’ve always wondered about the tunnels and windows in the Eiger, Jungfrau and Mönch. I’ve heard about them, but never seen any really good photos, and I have no idea how extensive they are. This diagram shows an elevator up to a lookout on the shoulder of the Mönch, but how high up in the Eiger do the tunnels and galleries go?

      • ZurichMike says:

        The tunnel goes from a station that is located outside today’s posted photo (to the right) about the same height where the snow line meets the green area. It then cuts through the the mountain and goes all the way to the Jungfraujoch station. The galleries are about half-way up. The tracks run 9 km through solid rock. It is an amazing engineering feat.

        If I had to do it all over again, I would like to come back to earth with enough smarts to be an engineer!

      • ZurichMike says:

        Except the article states that the Gotthard base tunnel is 8,000 feet *below* sea level. Oops! You should see the the machine they have to cut through mountains. It is so sophisticated, and has so many moving parts, all computer-driven — and it can cut through rock like butter. Very amazing piece of technology. Let’s hear it for the engineers!

  2. Knight4GFC says:

    Wow! this pic is beautiful!

  3. solaratov says:

    I knew that was the Eiger before I saw the caption. I always wanted to climb that, but it looks as though that’s not going to happen (age, etc.).

    C’est la vie.


    • ZurichMike says:

      You have to be an incredibly experienced mountain climber to climb the North Face. Toward the top it leans over where you just climbed. Awful story about climbers many years ago who were about 2/3 of the way up and fell, and dangled in mid-air from their climbing ropes still attached to the mountain. Unable to pull themselves in, and the fact that a helicopter could not get close enough to save them, they froze to death over night. Horrible. I worked at the headquarters of a big Swiss company in the early 2000’s, and two HQ employees who were not only experienced, but also had a very experienced guide, were walking along the “spine” of the Eiger after ascending the North Face. The path is but a few inches wide, with sheer drops on both sides. According to other climbers who witnessed what happened, apparently one slipped, and the other (attached to the first guy with a rope) tried to compensate by jumping to the other side, but he could not get enough traction and the two were pulled over to one side and fell to their deaths. It was horrid. The mountain side is sharp, like a giant cheese grater. The were identified by their DNA, and the families were not permitted to look at the remains — it was just so gruesome, even for the rescue workers.

    • That’s too bad, but you’ve climbed some pretty amazing walls before, like the Bastille Crack here.

      Most of you folks don’t know it, but Sol was quite a rock jock a few years ago. Here’s an old photo of him with some admirers…

      Ok, just kidding about that shirtless photo, but Sol really did technical climbing in the Rockies, including this scary route. That one is too much for me. So’s the Eiger.

      • texan59 says:

        Would y’all kindly not post these mountain pictures. I’m getting vertigo just sittin’ in my chair. 😯

  4. Shalini says:

    I know I am a few days late but I hope you all had a blessed Easter Sunday!! 🙂

    I guess now is a good time (Only in my world would 2 am be a good time for this. :-|) to tell you guys that I am getting married this month and would love to personally invite all of you. 🙂 I know, I know. You won’t be able to make it. I can deal with your blessings and prayers, too, but I honestly would have loved to have all of you over here. I do know your email addresses from the times I have posted something here but I will not use it without your permission to send my invite. Do let me know. Also, don’t forget to pray for me. I need all that I can get.

    • Holy Shamoley, Shal! Congratulations! Please DO send us an invitation, even if we are unlikely to be able to make it. What is your groom’s first name? Will you have an elephant at the wedding? 😀

      • Shalini says:

        I guess only you would ask such an odd question, Grunt! *Shakes head grinning* You and Gruntessa were going to get one anyway, whether you wanted it or not. BTW, isn’t your daughter’s wedding in April as well? You never invited me! Hmph! His name is Jim.

    • barnslayer says:

      Congratulations Shalini! I hope you picked one as good as I did. Mrs. Barnslayer and I celebrate being married 33 yrs this month.

    • zmalfoy says:

      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!
      ^_____^! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

      And yeah, you’ll have my prayers, too.

      Also, my blade, should this Jim turn out to be a sneaky rat. (*girls gotta stick together, right? right!*)

      But yay, that’s so exciting!1 I’m so happy for you, OMg. . . . .

      • Shalini says:

        Thank you, Zoph! 🙂

        Also, my blade, should this Jim turn out to be a sneaky rat. (*girls gotta stick together, right? right!*)

        Darn straight! 😀

      • solaratov says:

        Well, Z, you probably ought to have an old shootist for backup, too.

        Jus’ sayin’.


    • Knight4GFC says:

      Congratulations Sister!!!
      Of course you have my prayers! 🙂
      And you have permission to use my email.
      God bless you and your soon to be husband!
      I will say he is a very priveleged and blessed man to have a 4GFC’er as a wife! 🙂 God bless you Shalini!

      • Shalini says:

        Thank you, Knight! You’ve always been kind and so polite! 🙂

        I will say he is a very priveleged and blessed man to have a 4GFC’er as a wife!

        I wouldn’t bet on that! 😀

    • MRM says:

      OMG!!!!! *Happy Dance!!!* I’m so glad I wandered over here today!!! All of my very best wishes to you and your lucky groom (Jim?) Shalini!!! I’m so thrilled for you! And, yes, I’d love an invitation!! xoxoxoxo

      • Shalini says:

        Thank you, MRM! 🙂 I’ll mail the invitation as soon as I get the soft copy which I should probably do now. 😀

    • solaratov says:

      Well, Shalini! That really is great news. (I know. I’m late to this party. I didn’t read everything yesterday)
      I’ll be praying for you, too…and wishing you and your young man every happiness. All the best to both of you. 😉

    • Shalini,
      Congradulations. You will be ever in our prayers!

      Be exalted, O Bridegroom, as Abraham; and be blessed as Isaac; and multiply like Jacob, walking in peace and keeping the commandments of God in righteousness.

      The deep love of a man and a woman that is expressed in marriage is the most perfect union that we know in this world. It is a complete union of life and love–an intermingling of two lives that now become one.

      Because this union is so intimate, the Scriptures use it to describe the relationship between God and His people. The prophets boldly proclaim that the Lord espouses Israel, and any infidelity of the people of Israel is tantamount to adultery. In the New Testament, Christ is called the Bridegroom of His Church, and His love endures even beyond the bonds of death.

      Surely, the marriage union we will witness; is a sacred event. It is the most profound “Yes” that two persons may speak to each other. Yet we must realize that nothing we do is perfect; we are all still growing into the fullness of the image of Christ. In marriage, each person brings his or her gift–the deep commitment to each other in love that is unwittingly limited by personal weakness–offers this gift of love to God.

      The Ritual of Marriage is our prayer to God to receive this gift of love, to bless it and perfect it through His Holy Spirit so that this marriage may be a living witness to the love of Christ for His Church. The Ritual of Marriage also speaks of the promise of God’s presence–the presence that raises this marriage to a new and higher level and reveals the true meaning of Christian marriage.

      With all our heart Mr and Mrs GFC wish you all the Blessings that God can bestow on both of you. God be with you in everything that you do and may you fulfill His Will for you in your life.

      • Shalini says:

        Thank you for the profound message, prayers and wishes, GFC and Mrs. GFC. They are deeply appreciated and cherished. 🙂

    • Harvey says:

      Congratulations, Shalini!
      Sending you love and best wishes.

    • texan59 says:

      Congratulations to you and your lucky groom. No wonder you’ve been so busy. 🙂

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