There is much joy to be discovered in traversing a landscape and in traveling a great distance, but here in the Alps there is another language also in play:
What is the total ascent? The elevation profile?
Over the past years I have been circling the track and running the length of the valleys surrounding St Moritz, whilst gazing up at the steep sided mountains, hearing the cowbells ringing from pastures high up above and spotting hikers and mountain bikers exploring the sometimes rugged terrain.
On this occasion it is about using these inviting inclines to build deep cardiovascular and physical strength whilst relishing the journey and experiences that ensue.
When leaving the bustling activity of the town, the path changes, not just in size but also in surface. First pavement, then gravel track, often to be followed by (my favourite) soft pine needle matted path. The wildflower meadows give way to shady forest where red and black squirrels scurry about not used to being disturbed; the shade of the trees in turn lifts to reveal open pastures with cows enjoying the lush and fertile grasses.
Continue running higher and the array of mountain flowers changes, layer on layer, as pastures lead to rocky paths and scree, whilst the air temperature slowly drops. Marmots are heard whistling their distinctive ‘runner coming’ alarm or seen lolloping across the path to the safety of their burrow; high mountain lakes reveal a whole further ecosystem.
Every view from up top is different and having earned them makes it all the more special!