Bern (ots) - A 10-day British-Swiss transalpine expedition
re-visits a 19th century climb across some of the most spectacular
parts of the Swiss Alps, tracing the history and development of
mountaineering, and the changes to the landscape.
For the first time an expedition of this kind can be followed on
the Internet. swissinfo/Swiss Radio International (SRI) will be
presenting day-by-day progress reports on the expedition on
Watch the climbers' progress as they traverse the Aletsch and
Jungfrau region, considered by many to be the most magnificent
section of the Alps, and read about their journey, and the issues
facing the alpine region, including the responsibility we all bear -
whether as climbers, tourists, naturalists or sportsmen and
sportswomen - towards the environment.
Dressed in period costume, the seven-strong British-Swiss party
- Show how mountaineering has changed since the golden age of the
sport - Demonstrate its effect on tourism - Illustrate how the
alpine environment has changed due to man's presence and climate
Follow the daily progress of the expedition on www.swissinfo.org
- Videos, a diary and background reports on this scenic and
fascinating route - Talk to members of the mountaineering party
via a message board
The team of experienced British climbers and their Swiss guides
and porters, some descendants of mountaineering pioneers, will share
their knowledge of the history of alpinism and local traditions. The
team leaders are British mountaineer, Les Swindin, and Swiss mountain
guide Johann Kaufmann, whose family has been guiding since the 1880s.
The expedition begins on August 26 at the Villa Cassel, a remnant
of the Belle Époque, overlooking the Aletsch Glacier. It is the
longest in Europe but it is also fast disappearing. The whole region
is soon expected to be declared a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The traverse includes ascents of 4,000-metre-high peaks, formerly
achieved by cutting steps for English gentlemen out of the ice and
now accessible to climbers wearing lightweight crampons and aided by
hooks fastened to the rocks.
The mountaineering party will be underway for an average eight
hours a day, and spend the night in cabins. Regular helicopter food
deliveries make the carrying of provisions unnecessary, but raises
the question of whether mountaineering can be considered an
ecologically low-impact pursuit.
The expedition ends on September 4 at the grand hotel
Victoria-Jungfrau in Interlaken. Built during tourism's golden age,
it has retained much of the glorious atmosphere of the period and was
Switzerland's hotel of the year in 2000.
"Alps Walk" is presented by www.swissinfo.org, the multilingual
news and information platform of swissinfo/SRI. This service supplies
text, video, television and radio information on current events in
Switzerland and the world (politics, business, society, culture,
science and sport) in nine languages (English, German, French,
Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Japanese and Chinese). In
addition the English site offers a travel page that is a must for all
who love to holiday in Switzerland. The wide range of services
offered by www.swissinfo.org also includes a Swiss events calendar,
electronic maps enabling users to locate any given place in
Switzerland, and a free e-mail service
ots Originaltext: Swiss Radio International SRI
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