On Pluto, “snowy landscapes very similar to those found on Earth, but for very different reasons”

In 2015, the New Horizons probe revealed on Pluto, landscapes of snow-capped peaks like never seen elsewhere in the Solar System. Landscapes that resemble those we know well on Earth. To understand their origin, researchers conducted the investigation. François Forget, astrophysicist at the Dynamic Meteorology Laboratory of the Pierre Simon Laplace Institute (CNRS, France), today presents the conclusions to us.

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[EN VIDÉO] July 14, 2015: first images of the surface of Pluto
For the second anniversary of the historic flight over Pluto by the New Horizons probe, NASA offered a realistic and spectacular ballad over the distant dwarf planet. Discover its landscapes shaped by the impacts and also its internal activity as if you were there. A breathtaking journey over an unexplored world on the far reaches of the Solar System.

When New Horizons flew over Pluto in July 2015, the Nasa revealed an incredibly rich planet. “A world of wonderful landscapes with close to theequator, very dark mountain ranges at the base – because covered with soot – and whose summits, on the other hand, are dressed in snow, methane snow ”, explains François Forget, astrophysicist at the Dynamic Meteorology Laboratory of the Pierre Simon Laplace Institute (CNRS, France), in introduction.

The pluto mountains appear a bit like the ones we know on Terre, measuring a few thousand meters in height. So the researchers first assumed that more than 4.5 billion kilometers from the Soleil, the mechanisms responsible for this snowfall were the same as on our planet. And François Forget to remind us that, “On Earth, snow falls at altitude because temperatures drop. With cold, water vapor condenses and is deposited in the form solid on the mountain peaks. “

“But on Pluto the situation is radically different. When you go up to altitude, the temperature … increases rapidly and significantly. “ Why ? Because if thepluto atmosphere is essentially composed ofazote, it also contains methane (CH4). This methane tends to absorb the solar radiation. “This is how the temperature of theatmosphere of Pluto can go from something like -230 ° C on the surface to almost 100 ° C above a few kilometers above sea level. It is a bit like what is happening in our stratosphere where theozone absorbs solar radiation “, underlines theastrophysicist.

A particularly dynamic atmosphere

Now the temperature of condensation of methane is precisely of the order of -230 ° C. How then to explain this methane snow observed on July 14, 2015 by New Horizons on the mountains of Pluto? “We applied 3D models that look a lot like those we use on Earth, to understand the climate change. These models show that if methane snow can form at altitude, it is because the particular and rather subtle dynamics of Pluto’s atmosphere – by the way a comforting clue to the robustness of our models – leads to an enrichment in gaseous methane at altitude. “

But the surface of the mountains is always cold. The result of a very fine atmosphere, which – unlike what happens on Earth – has little influence on the surface temperature. And when these mountains rise in the atmosphere, they penetrate the methane-enriched layers, causing it to condense into snow. “Enough to produce a landscape very similar to the one we observe on Earth, but for very different reasons. “

Improving models that help understand climate change

This is the first time that such a phenomenon has been observed in the Solar system. Understanding how it occurs could help explain the presence of thick glaciers of methane, observed elsewhere on Pluto, and bristling with spectacular craggy ridges. It could also shed light on some very earthly phenomena. “The core of our activity consists of understanding climate change from models of the Earth system. We are testing these models on other planets. This also allows us to improve them thanks to all these phenomena which remain subtle on our planet, but appear more marked on others ”, concludes François Forget.

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Greece: Epirus in autumn is enchanting and lonely

SThe lake is shiny as a mirror. Above that is a long mountain range with white cloud towers against a clear blue sky. It is pleasantly warm here until the end of October and the beginning of November. The ferry takes only a few minutes from the provincial capital Ioannina to the island in Lake Pamvotida with its historic monasteries from the Middle Ages.

In 1822 the ruler Ali Pasha, notorious for his cruelty, fled from his Ottoman opponents here to the medieval Panteleimon monastery. Hidden in a cellar cell, the 82-year-old tyrant, known as the Lion of Ioannina, was tracked down and killed. Only his costumes have remained in the monastery museum, including instruments of torture and swords, which in the end were of no use to the Pasha.

On the island’s steep stairway to the older Moni Agios Nikolaos Filanthropinon monastery, you can quickly work up a sweat. The name of the historical building goes back to the clergy of a family who once came from Constantinople to Ioannina and founded the first spiritual center on the island, says the local Greek guide Irini Mimistri.

Source: WORLD infographic

The remote monastery is famous for its colored wall paintings that adorn the rooms, most of which date from the 16th century. Holy Mass is celebrated here once a day.

On the steps back down, you won’t meet a soul when you pass the small settlement on the northern shore of the island with its one-story stone houses under tall trees. Small paddle boats bob around in the water next to thick reeds. “Traditionally, people here live from fishing and frog breeding,” says Mimistri. “But most of the 120 families commute back and forth.”

Enchanted streets in the old town of Ioannina

Back in Ioannina, the capital of Epirus. The metropolis of the Greek northwest with its 168,000 inhabitants appears surprisingly tranquil. When walking through the winding streets of the old town in the late afternoon, only a few people are out and about.

It is the city that said Ali Pasha made great in the 18th century. He was an Albanian and through murder and intrigue was able to rise to the position of the wealthy city’s pasha in 1788. After a relatively short time he ruled large parts of Macedonia, Albania, Thessaly and the Peloponnese.

Greece: Ioannina on Lake Pamvotida is the capital of the Epirus province

Ioannina on Lake Pamvotida is the capital of the Epirus province

Quelle: Getty Images/Posnov

Before he fled to the island, the pasha resided in a fortress that reached far into the lake. The castle hill was built on a huge embankment. The facility was totally destroyed in a fire in 1870.

Today there is a Byzantine museum in the same place. Twenty kilometers to the south lies Greece’s oldest oracle site on a plateau below the almost 2000 meter high Tomaros Mountains, the ancient Zeus sanctuary Dodona, which dates back to the late 4th century BC.

The Oracle of Zeus in Dodona

At the edge of the mountains you approach the amphitheater on the plain covered with trees, bushes and flowering shrubs. And suddenly stands in the warm autumn sun in front of the stone semicircle from ancient times – again as the only visitor.

Only a few craftsmen are currently working on the seats in the amphitheater. The condition of the 25 stone rows of seats made of simple limestone is poor, each plate has to be cleaned and sealed.

“The oracle of Zeus here in Dodona is older than that of Delphi”, Irini Mimistri draws the comparison to the much better known place of worship, which the Greeks for a time considered the center of the world. “But like all of Epirus, it was very remote until recently.” Delphi on Parnassus, on the other hand, was there at an important crossroads with connections in all directions. “And so it became more famous than Dodona.”

Epirus (Greece): The amphitheater of Dodona had a capacity of 18,000 people

The Dodona amphitheater had a capacity of 18,000 people

Quelle: Getty Images/PHOTO BY DIMITRIOS TILIS

It was King Pyrrhus, ruler of the Molossian tribe, known as the fiery head because of his red hair, who brought the ancient sanctuary and oracle of Epirus under his rule early on. For the Epiroten, as the inhabitants of the Epiros region call themselves, he had the cult site expanded into a religious and cultural center with a spectator area of ​​18,000 seats.

At that time, Zeus was worshiped as the highest god under a sacred oak. From the rustling of the leaves and the cooing of the doves, priestesses fathomed the will of the gods. Tripod cauldrons made of bronze surrounded the oak and were struck and made to sound in Zeus’ honor. At that time, until the 3rd century BC, most of the buildings in the sacred area of ​​the oracle were built, it was its heyday.

Festival planned in the ancient theaters

Around seven centuries later, when Christianity became the predominant religion in the east of the Roman Empire, Emperor Theodosius the Great had all ancient sanctuaries destroyed. He ordered the sacred Zeus oak to be torn down and removed along with its roots.

Anything to do with worshiping the old gods was forbidden by decree. But the ancient world of gods has long since risen again – not as a cult, but as a return to one’s own culture.

Also this year in Ioannina there will be a festival of tragedies and comedies in all the ancient theaters. And with a little luck there will be performances again after years of restorations in the oracle. After “Elektra” was last played here from 1960, the 2000 year old theater has been closed since 1998.

Remote villages in the mountains of Epirus

The next morning we set off for the mountainous north-west of Epirus, in that sparsely populated region with peaks more than 2000 meters high, deep valleys and gorges, where, like almost everywhere in Greece, one encounters herds of sheep. The tour to the remote villages of the Zagorochoria, known as Zagori for short, leads over winding roads with wonderful views.

Greece: The remote villages of the Zagorochoria, or Zagori for short, are located in the mountainous north-west of Epirus

The remote villages of the Zagorochoria, or Zagori for short, are located in the mountainous north-west of Epirus

Quelle: Getty Images/PHOTO BY DIMITRIOS TILIS

Around noon a mighty mountain range appears on the horizon. It is the almost 2500 meter high Tymfi mountain range in the Pindos Mountains. The massif can also be seen in the distance from the “Lithos” restaurant in the village of Dilofo.

At lunch on this warm summer autumn day on the terrace, the table bends under all the delicious starters and salads, followed by meat dishes and vegetarian mushroom creations. Finally there is the traditional “Epirus pie”.

The longest and deepest canyon in Greece

The sun is already low when the village of Kipoi comes into view, whose stone-roofed houses nestle against a steep slope. You can’t tell from the look of the hamlet that it was once the capital of the 46 villages in the heart of the region.

The villages, shielded by the high mountains, emerged around the year 1400, when the population tried to flee from the Muslim Ottomans. By clever tactics, they were largely spared from attacks. They even received special privileges for self-government, but had to pay copious amounts of taxes.

Today only a good 100 people live in Kipoi. The main attraction are the arch bridges from the 17th and 18th centuries in the rocky surroundings of the village. For example the single-arched Lazaridi-Kontodimou bridge from 1764, which leads over a gorge to a steep rock face.

Epirus (Greece): Around the village of Kipoi there are beautiful arched bridges from the 17th and 18th centuries

In the vicinity of the village of Kipoi there are beautiful arched bridges from the 17th and 18th centuries

Quelle: Getty Images/PHOTO BY DIMITRIOS TILIS

But the climax in the Zagori region is yet to come. It is the Vikos Gorge, the longest and deepest gorge in Greece: twelve kilometers long, up to 1000 meters of steep rock faces. On a high-altitude path, one approaches the Oxia lookout point with a sensational view of the Vikos Gorge opposite, which has dug deep into the mighty rock walls.

No water can be seen in the gorge. That flows under the rocks today. But on the erosion of the rock formations you can still see the different heights of the former river banks. What you can still see: curvy rock formations, formed in the Ice Age. Not only gods shaped the area, but also glaciers that created this divine sight.

Epirus (Greece): The Vikos Gorge is twelve kilometers long, the steep rock walls drop down to 1000 meters

Impressive: The Vikos Gorge is twelve kilometers long, the rock walls drop down to 1000 meters

Quelle: Getty Images/Maya Karkalicheva

Tips and information

Getting there: For example with Aegean Airlines via Athens to Ioannina. Those who fly to Athens alternatively with Lufthansa or Easyjet can also reach Ioannina from there with the domestic airline Sky Express.

Accommodation: In the “Epirus Palace Hotel”, a palatial hotel near Ioannina, an overnight stay with breakfast in a double room costs around 100 euros (epiruspalace.gr). In the renovated “Kipi Suites” in Zagori (ariahotels.gr), an overnight stay in a double room including breakfast costs from 60 euros.

Information desk: discovergreece.com

Participation in the trip was supported by Marketing Greece. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at axelspringer.de/unabhaengigkeit.

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Holidaymaker in Lindos on the island of Rhodes (Greece)

Fewer and fewer holiday destinations can be visited

More and more countries are considered risk areas and that shortly before the autumn break. Politicians recommend vacation in your own country, if at all. The travel industry is in a crisis of survival.

Source: WELT / Perdita Heise

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Tour de France 2020: the severed wings of mountain eagles

As the Tour de France approaches the Alps on Tuesday, September 15, pure climbers, like Marco Pantani, Richard Virenque or Andy Schleck in the past, no longer have their place at the top of the ranking. The leaders get on the train without getting into a dancer, protected by teammates almost as strong as them and annihilating all attempts to escape.

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Montaña Central Leonesa refuses to “mortgage the mountains” to build wind farms

The Platform for the Future of the Central Mountain of Leonesa holds a meeting with entities opposed to the projects of wind farms for the Mountain of León. In the image, the president of the platform, Esther Domínguez. / Campillo / ICAL

Miriam Badiola / ICAL
| 09/27/2020 – 1:05 p.m.

The Platform for the Future of the Central Mountain of Leonesa showed once again this Sunday its rejection of the wind farm projects for that area, considering that “they do not want to mortgage the mountains or replace their economic use by a monopoly of multinationals who want exploit a single resource and make the area exclusively dependent on a single company or a single resource “, according to one of its representatives, Sergio Díez.

This was pointed out by the representative of the Platform for the Future of the Central Mountain of Leonesa during the celebration in Pedrún de Torío of a meeting of 25 groups and entities of the province, from different areas, both social, educational, sports and ecological that have decided to join together to “be able to work together against the installation of wind projects in the Leonese mountain” and that in today’s meeting they decided to “set a roadmap to work together”.

“We are not against wind energy, it seems very necessary to us, but in addition to being renewable we remember that it also has to be sustainable, for which it has to be an energy that cannot be located anywhere, but has to cause a minimum impact on the environment “, explained Sergio Diez, while pointing out that” the mountain areas in which the macro-wind farms are projected are not the ideal ones “, which is why” they have generated a rejection in the population very important”.

Campillo / ICAL

For this reason, he considered it “essential” that the administrations “take into account that if these projects do not arise from the inhabitants themselves, the territory must be very aware that they are multinationals that come to plunder the resources in some way”, which is why that “they do not have the approval of the inhabitants.”

An approval that is not available because, according to the representative of the Platform, “what is not wanted is to mortgage the mountains, one of the main values ​​that we have, during the 30 years that the concessions of the parks “, since in addition” the areas are used as economic use at the level of pastures, livestock and other types of activities such as tourism, which today generates a fabric that is true that it is small and should be promoted “, but” very diverse “which” is not to be replaced by a monopoly of multinationals that want to exploit a single resource and make the area exclusively dependent on a single company or a single resource “.

Diez recalled that “there are many cases at the national level and in the province of León itself of what this type of monopolies mean in the end the day that companies decide to close and disappear because they are no longer profitable”, so that “the inhabitants become they are once again in an empty territory and without resources “and” they would throw away the last 15 years in which they are working to diversify the economic offer “.

For all these reasons, Sergio Diez set his sights on the actions taken by the Platform at the moment in which the administrative process of the wind farm projects begins in order to present allegations. For this reason, from the Platform for the Future of the Central Mountain of Leonesa, informative talks are being held in different parts of the province, while keeping an eye on these deadlines to start legal processes.

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Montaña Central Leonesa refuses to “mortgage the mountains” to build wind farms

The Platform for the Future of the Central Mountain of Leonesa holds a meeting with entities opposed to the wind farm projects for the Mountain of León. In the image, the president of the platform, Esther Domínguez. / Campillo / ICAL

Miriam Badiola / ICAL
| 09/27/2020 – 1:05 p.m.

The Platform for the Future of the Central Mountain of Leonesa showed once again this Sunday its rejection of the wind farm projects for that area, considering that “they do not want to mortgage the mountains or replace their economic use by a monopoly of multinationals who want exploit a single resource and make the area exclusively dependent on a single company or a single resource “, according to one of its representatives, Sergio Díez.

This was pointed out by the representative of the Platform for the Future of the Central Mountain of Leonesa during the celebration in Pedrún de Torío of a meeting of 25 groups and entities of the province, from different fields, both social, educational, sports and ecological that have decided to unite to “be able to work together against the installation of wind projects in the Leonese mountain” and that in today’s meeting they decided to “set a roadmap to work together”.

“We are not against wind energy, it seems very necessary to us, but in addition to being renewable we remember that it also has to be sustainable, for which it has to be an energy that cannot be located anywhere, but rather has to cause a minimum impact on the environment “, explained Sergio Diez, while pointing out that” the mountain areas in which the macro-wind farms are projected are not the ideal ones “, which is why” they have generated a rejection in the population very important”.

Campillo / ICAL

For this reason, he considered it “essential” that the administrations “take into account that if these projects do not arise from the inhabitants themselves, the territory must be very aware that they are multinationals that come to plunder the resources in some way”, which is why that “they do not have the approval of the inhabitants.”

An approval that is not available because, according to the representative of the Platform, “what is not wanted is to mortgage the mountains, one of the main values ​​that we have, during the 30 years that the concessions of the parks “, since in addition” the areas are used as economic use at the level of pastures, livestock and other types of activities such as tourism, which today generates a fabric that is true that it is small and should be promoted “, but” very diverse “which” is not to be replaced by a monopoly of multinationals that want to exploit a single resource and make the area exclusively dependent on a single company or a single resource “.

Diez recalled that “there are many cases at the national level and in the province of León itself of what in the end this type of monopolies suppose the day that companies decide to close and disappear because they are no longer profitable”, so that “the inhabitants They are once again in an empty territory and without resources “and” they would throw away the last 15 years in which they are working to diversify the economic offer “.

For all this, Sergio Diez set his sights on the actions taken by the Platform at the time the administrative process of the wind farm projects begins in order to present allegations. For this reason, from the Platform for the Future of the Central Mountain of Leonesa, informative talks are being held in different parts of the province, while keeping an eye on these deadlines to start the legal processes.

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Switzerland: “10,000 Chinese – and they all came to the Titlis!”

EA lonely visitor stands on the terrace of the “Rigi-Kulm” hotel in the canton of Schwyz, enjoying the panorama and tranquility. Otherwise nothing is going on this afternoon in midsummer. With a grand gesture, the Swiss woman points out into the landscape and says: “I can finally experience the Rigi again as I used to. Without tourists. The masses had disenchanted the Rigi. “

In 2019, more than 900,000 guests were counted on this striking mountain on Lake Lucerne, up to 50 trains a day brought more and more tourists to the top. Around 40 percent of them came from South Korea and China. The stream of pilgrims from Asia to the Rigi began four years ago. Before that, the railway company had started to target customers in Asia. With success, at least in terms of numbers.

“In 2016, the question was still asked: Will our railway survive at all?” Says Frédéric Füssenich, CEO of Rigi Bahnen AG. They made an average of 16 million francs in sales. In 2019 the amount had almost doubled, and the fresh money was used to clear the investment backlog and order new trains.

But there was also resistance. Before the Asia advertising campaign, the railway carried around 600,000 guests a year. Many locals complained about overtourism on the “Queen of the Mountains”, others feared that the mountain railway would lose its nostalgic charm. A petition was even launched (“No! To Rigi-Disney-World”) that wanted to regulate access.

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That has now been done for the time being, in the Corona year 2020 no Asians will travel to Switzerland. Füssenich is hoping for the time after the pandemic: “The Asians come whatever the weather, they have booked long in advance. The Swiss, on the other hand, only come spontaneously and when the weather is nice. “

Thanks to the train, Rigi is easy to reach

The foundation stone for the debate was laid in 1863. In that year tourism in the region started with a group of travelers from London, Thomas Cook had organized the “First conducted Tour of Switzerland”. A young woman, Jemima Morrell, was there. She wrote down what was there to see.

Eight British people crossed over in a ship when they docked at the foot of the Rigi, they were assaulted, “and if every man who pounced on us had been a wasp, and every word a sting, our remains would have had to be picked up . We were literally besieged, harassed and surrounded by the intrusive journeymen! “

Switzerland: The Rigi Railway was opened as early as 1871

The Rigi Railway was opened as early as 1871

Those: picture alliance / arkivi

So there was an engaging craze for tourists back then. That lasted, the Rigi-Bahn opened as early as 1871. If you come here from Zurich, the Rigi looks like a real mountain at 1797 meters. In fact, it is a kind of sofa that stands in front of a magnificent mountain backdrop, with the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau rising on the horizon.

Thanks to the train, the Rigi is easy to reach, the view is magnificent – the perfect tourist destination, but in recent years it has been increasingly crowded.

Because of Corona hardly any guests in the hotels

As is so often the case, success in tourism brings with it the question: What would be a reasonable amount, how many visitors can Rigi take? On peak days before Corona, 10,000 guests were carted up the mountain every day. Renate Käppeli-Item thinks: “3000 a day would be a good measure.”

She is the third generation to run the Rigi-Kulm hotel; Jemima Morrell stayed in the previous building. When the 200-year anniversary was celebrated four years ago, she went deep into the history of the house. In the documents she found a sentence from 1918, written down immediately after the First World War: “Nothing is like it used to be.”

Switzerland 2019: South Koreans pose for photos on the Rigi with straw hats and donkeys

At Rigi 2019: South Koreans pose for photos with straw hats and donkeys

Source: Samuel Zuder / laif

It is similar in the corona pandemic. “On a day like today we would normally have had 250 guests. In fact, we had ten, ”she says. Not bitter, but sad. The absence of Asians and the disappearance of business tourism hit them hard. There are hardly any family celebrations anymore, “today I had two crying brides on the phone”, they had canceled their wedding celebration.

So what to do in the crisis? Renate Käppeli-Item has fled to the front and hired a star chef: Beat Walker. He had to close his restaurant near Gurtnellen due to the effects of the Corona, now he cooks in the “Rigi-Kulm” and serves Hacktätschli for mountain hikers as well as duck liver for gourmets. Thanks to Walker, she now has many new reservations, says the hotel manager happily, “because people want to eat with him”.

Anyone staying at the “Rigi-Kulm” should not miss the opportunity to experience the sunrise on the summit, which is only a few minutes away from the hotel. At dawn a barrel organ sounds surprisingly there.

Switzerland: While the sun rises, Beat Walker plays on the Rigi barrel organ

At Rigi 2020: Beat Walker enjoys the sunrise with his barrel organ

Source: Barbara Schaefer

Beat Walker is sitting on a wall next to a huge wooden cow and is turning. Why? “Because I’ve lived for others for 45 years,” says Walker. “Now my time begins. Now every morning I play for my soul in order to have strength for new things. That will definitely come, because the Rigi is a place of power. “

“The Titlis is better known in India than the Matterhorn”

There must be an opportunity in the crisis, thought Andres Lietha, the new tourism director in Engelberg, a valley away from Lake Lucerne, where the Asians also suddenly stayed away. The cable car is not being used to capacity, the hotel beds are empty, what can you do?

His answer was: “Engelberg says thank you”. The place gave away 1000 weeks of vacation for the health workers. “All hotels took part – and the media coverage in Switzerland was enormous,” says Lietha.

Of course he knows how important the Asian guests are. Fabian Appenzeller, Sales Manager of the Titlis mountain railways, sums it up: “The Titlis is better known in India than the Matterhorn!”

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Hat instead of sari: Indian tourists in traditional Swiss costumes pose for a souvenir photo in front of the Titlis summit

Appenzeller misses the customers from overseas, and his eyes light up when he talks about the event for which a Chinese cosmetics company sent its most capable employees to Switzerland for a week last year: “10,000 Chinese!” and everyone came to the Titlis ”- a three-thousand-meter peak with a glacier grotto and guaranteed high mountain comfort. Now the train only runs on selected days.

Switzerland needs visitors from Asia

For mountain lovers, this year at least there is the chance to experience the Swiss peaks in unusual tranquility, without cackling Indians, picnicking Koreans or Chinese people posing for selfies. But one thing seems clear: On Rigi, Titlis and Co. there is currently only one calm before the storm, more precisely: before the onslaught.

Those responsible for tourism know that they will not be able to make ends meet with Swiss people in good weather and those looking for places of power alone. It doesn’t work without the visitors from Asia, empty peaks don’t secure jobs.

Proponents of alternative tourism concepts are in the minority, a change of course is not on the agenda. As Jemima Morrell remarked very aptly: “Again we are reminded that tourists are an important economic asset in the twenty-two Swiss cantons.”

Rigi, Titlis and Engelberg in Switzerland

Source: WORLD infographic

Tips and information

Getting there: Rigi and Engelberg are located in Central Switzerland. Accessible by car via Basel and Lucerne on the A2 or from Munich via Lindau, Vaduz, Zug, Lucerne. By train via Basel or Zurich to Lucerne, from there on with the Zentralbahn to Engelberg (around 45 minutes; on Swiss trains, as in Germany, a mask is required, sbb.ch). On the Rigi by boat from Lucerne to Vitznau, then continue with the Rigi-Bahn (rigi.ch/Bergbahnen/Rigi-Bahnen).

Accommodation: The “Rigi-Kulm Hotel” is located directly under the summit, double rooms with breakfast from 211 euros (rigikulm.ch). In Engelberg you can live comfortably in the “Bellevue Terminus”, which combines Belle Époque with modern design, double rooms with breakfast from 111 euros (bellevue-terminus.ch).

Definitely read: “Miss Jemima’s Journal. A journey through the Alps ”by Jemima Morrell, Rogner & Bernhard Verlag, 17.95 euros.

Further information: engelberg.ch; engelberg.ch/bergbahnen/titlis/; Switzerland Tourism: myswitzerland.com

Participation in the trip was supported by Rigi Bahnen AG and Engelberg-Titlis Tourism. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at axelspringer.de/unabhaengigkeit.

This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We are happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

WELT AM SONNTAG from August 16, 2020

Source: Welt am Sonntag

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Essential mountains of the province of Girona

Whether you are a hiker, hiker, mountaineer, practicing trekking, fan of the trail running, snowshoes or just consider yourself a nature lover, there are a series of peaks in the counties of Girona that you can’t miss. The fact that the province of Girona contains part of the Axial Pyrenees, the Sub-Pyrenees, the Pre-Pyrenees, the Catalan Transversal Range, the Coastal Range and the Prelitoral Range, means that the territory has a portfolio of pics very extensive where you can fully enjoy nature.

The peaks of the counties of Girona that at least once in a lifetime every person who likes the mountain should culminate, are:

Puigpedrós (2,915 m)

Baixa Cerdanya, Moderate

The roof of the province of Girona is the summit of Puigpedrós. The peak, located between the municipalities of Ger, Guils de Cerdanya, Meranges and Porta -Northern Catalonia-, is called Puig because of the abundant rocks that are concentrated at the top of the summit. The itinerary chosen for the ascent begins at the Malniu Refuge. The circular route, downhill, allows you to approach the lake of Malniu, where you can do a very fresh soak.


Route of: 10.44 km
Maximum altitude: 2,915 m
Minimum altitude: 2,120 m
Ascent: 801 m
Descent: 801 m
Accumulated difference in level: 1,602 m


Puigmal (2,913 m)

Ripollès, Moderate

One of the most emblematic peaks, not only in the counties of Girona, but also in Catalonia, is the Puigmal. The peak belongs to the municipality of Queralbs and Er -Northern Catalonia-. On this occasion, the ascent from the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Núria to the Vall de Núria is proposed. The only means of transport to access the valley is the Cremallera train, which can be taken from both Ribes de Freser and Queralbs.


Route of: 9.07 km
Maximum altitude: 2,913 m
Minimum altitude: 1,976 m
Ascent: 906 m
Descent: 906 m
Accumulated difference in level: 1,812 m


Pic de Bastiments (2,881 m)

Ripollès, Moderate

Between Ripollès and Conflent, separating the Ulldeter Circus and the Bacivers Circus, there is the Pic de Bastiments. The summit belongs to the territorial entity of Setcases, Queralbs and Fontpedrosa -Northern Catalonia-. The selected route climbs the summit on the left side, previously passing through the Coll de la Coma de l’Orri and the Coll de la Marrana.


Route of: 14.39 km
Maximum altitude: 2,881 m
Minimum altitude: 1,572 m
Ascent: 1,401 m
Descent: 1,401 m
Accumulated difference in level: 2,802 m


Peak of Hell (2,869 m)

Ripollès, Moderate

Next to the Pic de Bastiments is the Pic de l’Infern. Between Queralbs and Fontpedrosa -Northern Catalonia-, to reach the summit you usually start from the Ulldeter refuge, as our proposal does:


Route of: 9.8 km
Maximum altitude: 2,869 m
Minimum altitude: 2,077 m
Ascent: 750 m
Descent: 800 m
Accumulated difference in level: 1,550 m


The Taga (2,040 m)

Ripollès, Easy

Known for its cross, the top of the Taga -of administrative territorial entity of Ribes de Freser, Ogassa and Pardines-, is one of the points of reference of the region of Ripollès. The peak is in the Serra de Conivella, next to the Serra Cavallera. One of the usual routes is the ascent from Sant Martí d’Ogassa:


Route of: 7.55 km
Maximum altitude: 2,040 m
Minimum altitude: 1,378 m
Ascent: 677 m
Descent: 677 m
Accumulated difference in level: 1,354 m


Les Agudes (1,703 m)

La Selva, Moderate

In the Montseny massif, between Arbúcies and Fogars de Montclús -Vallès Oriental- is the summit of Les Agudes. The upper terrain is notable for the abundant rocks. Its location, next to the Turó de l’Home -Vallès Oriental- makes it irresistible for many to complete the two peaks.


Route of: 9.27 km
Maximum altitude: 1,705 m – in the Hill of the Man
Minimum altitude: 1,201 m
Ascent: 594 m
Descent: 594 m
Accumulated difference in level: 1,188 m


Matagalls (1,698 m)

Osona, Easy

At the crossroads of the municipalities of Viladrau, El Brull and Montseny -Vallès Oriental-, at the top of the Matagalls, the cross commemorating the Catalan poet Jacint Verdaguer is an urgent night. The route chosen to make the ascent begins at the Coll de Bordoriol, that is, from the slope of the summit belonging to the municipality of Viladrau.


Route of: 10.88 km
Maximum altitude: 1,698 m
Minimum altitude: 1,092 m
Ascent: 615 m
Descent: 615 m
Accumulated difference in level: 1,230 m


Comanegre (1,557 m)

Garrotxa, Easy

Between the Municipalities of Montagut and Oix is ​​the Comanegre, which stands out for being the highest peak in the region of La Garrotxa. A good option to ascend it is by making its ridge, which will allow you to enjoy impeccable views.


Route of: 6.24 km
Maximum altitude: 1,557 m
Minimum altitude: 1,208 m
Ascent: 401 m
Descent: 401 m
Accumulated difference in level: 802 m


Puigsacalm (1,514 m)

Garrotxa, Easy

In the municipality of Vall d’en Bas there is the highest point of the Transversal Range, the Puigsacalm. One of the most common routes is the ascent from the Coll de Bracons, which allows you to make the journey with a positive slope accessible to many and crossing the characteristic beeches of the Garrotxa region:


Route of: 9.62 km
Maximum altitude: 1,514 m
Minimum altitude: 1,042 m
Ascent: 468 m
Descent: 468 m
Accumulated difference in level: 936 m


Puigsou (991 m)

Gironès, Easy

The Puigsou is the highest point of the Rocacorba Mountain, popularly known for the emblematic Sanctuary of Our Lady of Rocacorba. The route we suggest you reach to reach the top of one of the most iconic mountains in Girona is the classic one, which reaches the sanctuary:


Route of: 7.01 km
Maximum altitude: 929 m
Minimum altitude: 421 m
Ascent: 508 m
Descent: 508 m
Accumulated difference in level: 1,016 m

There are hundreds of peaks in the counties of Girona, many of which are essential for anyone who likes the mountains. From Diari de Girona we have chosen ten, however, the list could be increased considerably with other peaks such as, for example, the Noufonts (2,869 m), the Tosa d’Alp (2,537 m), the Penyes Altes de Moixeró (2,276 m), the Bassegoda (1,373 m), the Puig Neulós (1,257 m) or El Mont (1,117 m).

On the other hand, if you prefer to enjoy the outdoors by road bike, we recommend …

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Mountains and mountaineers: These books satisfy the addiction to the summit

WHow does mankind actually benefit from the fact that an individual was the first to climb all eight-thousanders? Perhaps, at first glance, such irrational acts show the power inherent in the individual. What he can accomplish, how he can grow beyond himself.

People have always been fascinated by peaks, regardless of whether they are Montafon, Montblanc or Mount Everest. Those who suffer from wanderlust in the mountains this summer can dream up closer with mountain books. Or plan your next trip to the mountains. Our selection includes classics and new releases, illustrated books and experiences.

How Reinhold Messner became a mountain climber

He polemicizes and polarizes, his books fill shelves: Reinhold Messner is one of the most famous mountain climbers worldwide. The South Tyrolean wrote his autobiography back in 1989: “The freedom to go wherever I want.”

As a boy, Messner started scrambling up local mountains and kept shifting standards. He climbed extremely difficult routes in the Alps, he was the first person on all eight-thousanders, without bottled oxygen. The book shows how Messner became a mountain climber and what drives him to this day.

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He became addicted to these intense mountain experiences early on. He has been accused of escaping reality, he writes. “But I felt that I was fleeing to reality. When I was up there, especially in a borderline situation, I was in the middle of my own life. ”A classic worth reading.

“The freedom to leave, wherever I want to. A Mountaineering Life ”by Reinhold Messner, Piper 1989, 18 euros

When vacationers discovered the mountains

Andreas Lesti tells how the mountains from the place of horror, inhabited by dragons and tassels, became coveted destinations. His recently published summit book also illuminates unknown Alpine people such as the early mountain guide Belsazar Hacquet and shows in the story of Goethe in Chamonix that the mountains almost killed posterity.

It is not without reason that Goethe wrote of “disgusting rock faces”, but Alpine tourism marketing has so far ignored that, writes Lesti. This entertaining tone characterizes him, plus there is his own experience. Lesti thus combines the events surrounding the first package tour in the Alps with a trip today to the Jungfraujoch, this “absurd place”.

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An angler stands on the Krimmler Ache in the Hohe Tauern National Park

He always writes with journalistic distance, but with empathy. You can feel that he cares about the mountains and mountain people in the final chapter, a kind of obituary for the Tyrolean David Lama who died in 2019. Beauty and grace always have a downside, it says. There is nothing to add – see the Goethe quote above.

“That’s the summit!” By Andreas Lesti, Bergwelten Verlag 2020, 18 euros

An intimate approach to the Alps

Uli Wiesmeier’s earlier pictures became the epitome of sport climbing, for example the spectacular shot of climber Stefan Glowacz, who hangs on a rock high above Australia. Wiesmeier was an advertising photographer, photojournalist, but his illustrated book is not a smorgasbord, but an intimate approach to the mountains.

The 18 chapters are well sorted: from mountain farmer to mountain guide, mountain view, mountain sport to mountain death, everything is included. Wiesmeier looks out over the horizon. For the mountain farmers, he not only shows (expectable) weather-tanned people, but also puts a young person next to them – and the tools of his era: a milking stool here, a milking machine there.

In his book “Mountain, the Alps in 18 Terms”, Uli Wiesmeier offers perfect picture compositions such as this hut with a mountain view.

Uli Wiesmeier offers perfect picture compositions like this hut with a mountain view in his book “Mountain … The Alps in 18 terms”

Source: Uli Wiesmeier / Knesebeck Verlag

For the subject of mountain death, Wiesmeier went to the Alpine Police archives and photographed helmets, hooks, ropes that were involved in an accident. The photos look like they are from catalogs of a supplier, the captions describe the misfortune in sober facts.

His pairs of images are also original: the high-rise buildings in Manhattan are amazingly similar to the mountain peaks of the Civetta. Overall, a total work of art, masterfully designed.

“BERG … The Alps in 18 terms” by Uli Wiesmeier (photos) and Stefan König (text), Knesebeck Verlag 2017, 75 euros

A hands-on book for children

Piotr Karski, born in Warsaw in 1987, graphic designer and author, designed this children’s mountain book. They can paint embroidery on traditional costumes, build barometers and unravel contour lines; you can cut and paste snowflakes and design a fire salamander.

Creative painting, handicraft and drawing tasks alternate with mental exercises on the mountains. Some tasks invite you to change your perspective: So you can take a bat’s perspective by letting your head dangle over the edge of the bed.

It’s also about mountaineering, Karski explains what the Seven Summits are and why you need a “friend” when climbing. Very entertaining for parents and children.

“Mountains!” By Piotr Karski, Moritz Verlag 2017, 20 euros

Portraits of huts arouse anticipation

A selection of 50 huts in the Alpine region is presented here. The fresh layout catches the eye, there are red drawings of mountains, chamois, wood and a “pretzel carabiner”. Reportage-style photos show landlords cooking, sheep in front of the door, dishes typical of the country, such as wild roast rösti.

Some mountain huts are remote, like the Nosberger hut, others, such as the Tegernseer hut, the first guests climb up for breakfast. You can see old walls that hardly stand out from the rock, like the South Tyrolean Becherhaus, but also modern construction, such as the Edelrauthütte in the Zillertal.

The book should become a source of anticipation, writes the author Sissi Pärsch. It was successful.

“Our most beautiful huts. 50 Portraits from the Alpine Region ”by Sissi Pärsch, Bergwelten Verlag 2019, 28 euros

Passion that doesn’t always end well

Book author Michael Ruhland is editor-in-chief of the magazine “Bergsteiger”, he knows many mountain people. Without a buddy dozen, but with a lot of empathy, Ruhland questioned celebrities of alpinism. Of course, Stefan Glowacz, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Huber-Buam are among them. But Ruhland also approaches the grim blues musician Willy Michl, the actor Rufus Beck, the Ladin musicians Elisabeth and Marlene Schuen.

Christoph Jorda has staged artistic portrait photos. The trained body of the young Alexander Megos looks like an ancient statue. Adam Ondra thinks of a Savior at a crossroads in the Alps. The chapters have headings such as humility, love, and risk – but it’s not about heroic stories, but about passion that doesn’t always end well. Four of the portrayed people are no longer alive.

Dizzying record in speed climbing

Not for the faint of heart: Freeclimber Dani Arnold conquered another north face in record time.

Ruhland has recorded older interviews with Heiner Geißler and Ueli Steck; the two alpinists Hansjörg Auer and David Lama had an accident in 2019. Tamara Lunger, a South Tyrolean ski mountaineer, sums up what is driving the mountain people: “You only give up the post.”

“Mountain people – 30 icons of the mountain world about risk, love and humility” by Michael Ruhland, Frederking & Thaler 2019, 34.99 euros

Das Drama am Mount Everest

“I stood on the highest point on earth, one foot in Tibet, the other in Nepal. I had dreamed of this moment for months, of the intoxication of feelings that would accompany him. But now, when I actually reached the summit of Mount Everest, I simply didn’t have the strength to feel anything at all. ”

And then the drama takes its course. Jon Krakauer’s “In Icy Heights” became a worldwide success. He describes the tragedy on Mount Everest when eight participants in two expeditions died in 1996, among them experienced mountain guides. Krakauer had been assigned to go on an expedition to write a report on the commercialization of Everest.

Nepal wants to tighten requirements for climbing Everest

To tackle the mass ascent of Mount Everest, Nepal wants to tighten the requirements for mountaineers. Interested parties must have successfully conquered a six and a half thousand and pay higher fees.

Source: WELT / Peter Haentjes

Because of a change in the weather, there was a drama. The report is written grippingly and for the first time made known to the general public the full extent of commercial mountaineering. The problem exists today more than ever, the book is timelessly up to date.

“To icy heights. Das Drama am Mount Everest ”by Jon Krakauer, Piper Paperback 1997, 12 euros

What drives women to peak performance

The road to equality in the mountains was long. The early women were in skirts and not only had to conquer the mountain, but the resistance of their time. The first female member of the British Alpine Club was – a dog. As a reward for the animal reaching Monte Rosa in 1865. The American Meta Brevoort had brought him up.

The American Arlene Blum was denied participation in an expedition in the 1960s “because women disrupt the camaraderie among men”. She then put together a – successful – women’s expedition on the 6,190-meter Denali in Alaska.

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Annemarie Schwarzenbach (left) and her friend Ella Maillart pose in Switzerland in May 1939 next to their Ford, with which they want to travel to Afghanistan

In the portraits, you get close to the women and find out exactly what drives them up the mountains and achieving top performance, be it pioneers such as Eleonore Noll-Hasenclever or Renata Rossi, who became the first Italian mountain guide in 1984, sports climber Catherine Destivelle and of course Lynn Hill , who in 1994 was the first person to climb the “The Nose” route freely on El Capitan in the Yosemite Valley. Her comment: “It goes, boys. – Guys, that’s doable. ”It should take eleven years for men to succeed on the route.

“First on the rope. Pioneers in rock and ice ”by Caroline Fink and Karin Steinbach, Tyrolia Verlag 2013, 29.95 euros

Everything about climbing

At first glance a coffee table book: nice pictures and a little accompanying text. In fact, you can see great pictures of walls and climbers around the world.

The illustrated book “Cliffhanger” shows how mountaineering is for advanced skiers with great photos

Source: Joshua E. Larson, Cliffhanger, Gestalten 2020

But: The lyrics are really good too! Julie Ellison was the first editor-in-chief of the American magazine “Climbing”, it describes the roots and the differences of all types of climbing, bouldering without a rope, sport climbing on sunlit rocks or in a cave in Norway, and alpinism at high altitudes.

The articles are well researched and portraits feature celebrities like Babsi Zangerl, Alex Megos and Ines Papert. You can find out which equipment is necessary and where the most beautiful areas for the respective sport are.

In short: The volume provides comprehensive information, is smart and is fun. Extra plus point: The book is so heavy that it is also suitable for strength training on the sofa.

“Cliffhanger. The New Lust for Climbing ”by Julie Ellison, Gestalten Verlag 2020, 39.90 euros

Source: publisher

This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We would be happy to deliver them to your home regularly.

Source: WELT AM SONNTAG

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Conte imagines the Italian holidays: “We can go and enjoy the beach, the mountains …”

“We are not going to spend the summer on our balconies,” said Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in an interview.

Lhe Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in an interview with the Corriere della Serra that the Italians could begin to imagine their summer vacation on the beaches, while the containment measures were gradually lifted in the country. He did not say whether they could leave Italy.

“We are not going to spend the summer on our balconies, leaving the beauty of Italy in quarantine. We can go and enjoy the beach, the mountains and our beautiful cities. “

It would be nice for Italians to spend the holidays in the country, he added, even if they will be different due to the barrier measures and gestures that will remain in force.

The Prime Minister did not say whether Italians will be allowed to travel outside national borders.

At this time, they cannot travel from region to region unless there is a good reason to do so.

The beaches are currently closed to the public.

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