The Alps evokes images of beauty meant to be appreciated. It has been romanticized about in literature and art over the centuries and yet its captivating beauty has not wane. An opportunity to see the alps is one of life gifts that ought not to be missed at all for anything. It was bright day in Autumn 2019 as we headed for Mount Titlis. The weather so far had been mild and very pleasant such that a few in the team forgot their jackets at the hotel. The reality that we had driven to the Engelberg base camp at 996m at the base of Titlis dawned on us when a gust of cool breeze greeted us upon alighting from the bus.
At the base there is camp where tickets are purchased and then the cable car can be assessed. The cable car ride is nothing short of amazing. It flies you over the pine forests from where you can have a bird’s eye view of the entire landscape. The several settlements and farms interspersed with lush greenery often interrupted by crystal clear lakes were such a beauty. The horses and cattle that freely roamed their ranches only serve as a beautiful distraction that will take your mind of the height. The cable car passed through the Trubsee station and at Stand we got down and joined the TITLIS Rotair cable car.
The TITLIS Rotair cable car rotates its way up towards the snow-covered summit of TITLIS. It is the worlds first revolving cable car and it transported us from Stand to the summit station which is 3,020 meters above sea-level. The cable car revolved 360 degrees during the five-minute trip, giving us idyllic panoramic views of steep rock faces, deep crevasses and distant snow-covered mountain peaks. After the ride we arrived at the peak of the summit. It’s all snow white on the slopes and peaks here. It was nothing short of spectacular.
After getting off the Rotair at the summit, we proceeded through a tunnel that leads straight to the Cliff Walk. The Cliff Walk is a 100m metallic suspension bridge hanging over abyss of white icy deep valleys. You will need courage as high as the mountain itself to cross the Cliff Walk. The reward for the courage needed to cross the suspension bridge is the breath-taking views below and the Ice Flyer at the end of the walk. The Ice Flyer is a chair lift that sweeps you smoothly and safely over crisp, virgin snow fields and icy depths. It is a jaw dropping experience considering that it wasn’t even winter yet. The flier took us to the glacier park where All kinds of exhilarating snow activities awaited us. The snow tubing was the ultimate experience which saw us skimming the glistening snow slopes on rubber tubes. Before reaching the end of this bumpy yet exhilarating ride the tube is sure to spin you full circle several times amidst screaming in delight.
On our way back, we dared and entered the glacier cave. As the name suggests it is a cave dug out of a 5000year old ice. The cave is 150-metre-long at a temperature of 1.5˚C. Exploring the glacier cave is a cool experience. The cave is bathed in surreal lightening that changes shade over time. There are displays of ice-block that demonstrates how igloos are built. The visitor shop close to the Rotair station is stocked with many souvenirs however my perfect choice was some fridge magnets and swiss chocolates.
Mount Titlis is indeed a gift that has preserved ice over the millennia for us and we are glad the Switzerland shares it with the whole world all year round. If you want to experience snow and ice even in the hottest summer months whilst you are in Europe, you know where to go.
By Michael D. Dwomoh