So many colours! All shining between snow and sun.
Hurried breakfast, out on the trail. It is a switchback – what could be more Swiss? – and it is fragrant, pine sap perfume leaking from a thousand trees. Red squirrels flit between them, much darker here than their lowland kin.
The Matterhorn is veiled – clouds encircle it, as if entranced. Somewhere to my right are the misshapen summits of the Monte Rosa massif, western Europe’s highest mountains after mighty Mont Blanc. It is always winter up there, and even ten thousand feet beneath the Rosa, the snow is yet to die.
Waterfalls infuse the Vispa River with glacial glow. But the meadows sparkle on with every colour in the paintbox.
Yellow alpine pasqueflower
Every forgotten bank and unnamed corner is as rich as England’s best SSSIs. Up to eighty species of plant per 100 square metres – this is a garden of wild things, stretching onwards for mile upon mile.
The trail has not ended. Many hours have passed. Time to pause and reflect.