I blame a long evening in a bar in Victoria Falls (Africa) for the idea to climb a 4000-meter peak in the Alps in a 48-hour roundtrip from Frankfurt without the use of any cablecars. Six weeks later I was sitting together with Erik Jansen and his girlfriend Jule. “Erik, I have this idea…” Erik took a long hard look at me before answering, “I’d like to join you!” Whereas Jule took a long hard look at us and replied, “May I join as well?”

And so it was done. After another three weeks we started Sunday night at 11.30, crossed the border into Switzerland at 2.30 am and arrived at Zinal 6 am. We slept for three hours on a meadow beside our car, then started the hike to Cabane Tracuit at 10 am, arriving there at 4 pm. The next morning we got up at 3 am, left the hut at 4 – Jule, on her first climb ever, was moving like clockwork – and made the summit (4153 m) at 8.30. By 10.30 we were back at the hut, rested for 2 hours and got back to the car at 3.30 pm. After a swim in Lac de la Gruyère we recrossed the border into Germany at 8 pm and got back home at 11.30.

Two days later a friend called me: “I have heard that you did a 4000-meter peak in 48 hours. Do you think we could do the same with Watzmann (in the Eastern Alps)?” “When?” “How about this weekend?”

P.S. We did.