Strange Things in the Alps
by Urs Ruefli, Alpine Alien Agency, Lausanne
AAA: Today, we have set up a phone conference with various participants who might help us to understand the events in the Alps in the past months. First, I would like to introduce one of the leading long term experts on Alpine expeditions. Mr. Ötzi, what is the attraction of doing such exhausting projects?
Mr. Ötzi: Well, in my experience, there is nothing that compares with arriving at a mountain hut after a demanding 7-hour march, and sitting in the evening sun and watching the ice melting from ones bones. Such a peaceful feeling can subjectively last for centuries.
AAA: So, you feel that it is a kind of "Carpe Diem" philosophy that is motivating this extraordinary group?
Mr. Ötzi: I can only speak for myself, but at the top of a mountain, a split-second and a millennium are almost the same. You arrive with pained muscles, with a hungry stomach, and maybe completely wet to the skin. But then you start to relax, you celebrate a simple meal as if it were a royal dinner, and you enjoy some pleasant conversation with your fellow travellers. Suddenly, all the pain is forgotten. You look down at your trim body and you don't see a gram of fat. It is so gratifying to be a mountain traveller.
AAA: Thanks, Mr. Ötzi. Let me include our next guest in this conversation Mrs. Paris Hilton, what is your personal view on such challenging projects? Have you ever been to the High Alps?
Paris: First, I'd like to say how much I admire this group. Always out in the fresh air and every step is a step towards fame and mystery. I wished I could join them.
AAA: If you join them, what would you tell them?
Paris: I would encourage them to always move on. We famous people are the beacon of the ordinary people. Without us, they are lost in their small daily lives, without hope and without future. This expedition shows especially to young people that there is more to life than just playing computer games and wasting their nights in discos. Instead, they can walk up and down the mountains and see real stars at night.
AAA: It sounds like you are really excited about this expedition. Is there any person in the group that you would like to greet especially.
Paris: Yes, absolutely. All the media are talking about this big giant, who is taking all this pain to follow his fearless leader. I'm sure he deserves all this admiration. In fact, if he ever comes to Santa Barbara, he should definitely stop by for a drink. But, there is also this woman in the group. In my view, she is the real hero. She is walking for months with these two men. It would be so much easier for her if I would be with her and could cheer her up. But she is basically alone, I mean as a female. But she never complains and she always walks up and down each mountain. This is so amazing. I hope that at the end of each day, she gets at least some Caipirinha from these men. I mean, that is the least she can expect.
AAA: Thank you, Paris. I'm impressed how emphatically you are. Finally, I'd like to introduce Mr. Dalai Lama to this conference. You have heard Mr Ötzi's comments about his High Alpin experiences, as well as Paris' thoughts about the importance of a little bit of alcoholic encouragement every while. What are your thoughts?
Dalai Lama: This expedition is a symbol for the diversity of life. For some of us, every day is just getting us one day closer to the end. For some of us, every day gets us up at some high mountain. For some of us, every day is filled with pain and hunger. For some of us, every day is a step forward on our dream path. All of us share the same days and the same paths, but our perception is so completely different. And suddenly we realise, that we are suddenly getting close to the last day of our journey. We turn around and look back, where all the tall mountains of the past stand up high into the sky. And we recognize that all the pain and all the hunger disappeared. What is left is what we make out of it. Was it good? Was it bad? It is all up to us. We recognize that we will never take the same journey again. We are happy that we did. Life is short and there are not so many opportunities to experience all these sentiments.
AAA: Long-distance projects, like the Way of St. James (Jakobsweg) are becoming more and more popular. Are you suggesting that all of us should start such as expedition?
Dalai Lama: I'm suggesting that all of us are already in such expeditions, although not all are so physically demanding. Not all have clear objectives, not all show daily progress. But in the end, we will all be united at the final destination and will share what we have experienced. It is up to us, what we can tell.
AAA: Thank you. Let's conclude this report by wishing our fine travellers that they will reach their destination soon and that they can enjoy looking back to every single day of the journey, every mountain top, and every piece of pork.