• BLOG
  • Exploring Ticino – Monte San Giorgio

    Tiina Kivelä

    Ticino’s the sunny side of Switzerland, they said. And after last Sunday I can pass the message on, with empirical proof. Past year, many people and magazine pages have advised, especially during the rainy months of Bernese Oberland, to visit Italy or at least Ticino, as it’s said to be almost always sunny in there. It tempted me, but since it hasn’t rained so much (or even better; it’s been snowing) and there’s been enough of exploring at home in the Jungfrau Region, it took me a while to get myself further. But last Sunday, on my birthday, when it was pouring rain in Interlaken,  as it regularly does during these months, which further on didn’t allow any nice hiking or biking or climbing or skiing at home, my road trip wishes were answered. And so I got a ride and the crew to Ticino, with the mission of hiking to the top of Monte San Giorgio and eating some pizza in Italy.

    Ticino’s only three hours away from Interlaken, so it’s almost perfect for a day trip and just perfect for a weekend getaway (next time hotel and biking too, please). Not to mention that it’s just an hour drive away from Milan if you’re interested in flying nearby. But luckily we didn’t need to fly this time; all we did was took the car and drove away. After the Gotthard tunnel (of course I had google how the story of the fire goes in that loooong tunnel – btw when did they start offering 4G in road tunnels?!) the rain stopped and the sky turned cloudy but dry. Moreover, the roadside signs turned to Italian; it was like going abroad, even though we weren’t even officially on the Italian side yet.

    Tiina Kivelä

     Finally in Ticino, after the drive and 10min hunt for the parking spot, we hit the trail through this forest towards our destination, the top of Monte San Giorgio (which holds an UNESCO status, btw), in where the greatest birthday surprise was waiting for me: it was sunny, and the views were just breathtaking. The “Sunday walk” kind of hike didn’t really do the job, but the snow-topped Swiss alps in the north, Italy in the south, the lakes, and the green hills of Ticino took my breath away, big time. And when the day ended just a short drive further to the Italian side, with pizza and wine, panna cotta and espresso, I hugged my crew and said that this was definitely one of the best, if not even the best, birthday I’ve ever had. My favourite people, food, drinks and mountains. La grande bellezza. Only thing missing was the sea and gelato, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time when I get the crew to Finale Ligure or Ascona, for even more Italian outdoors fun. Or I might just return to Ticino with more time and my bike, as it was already more than fine in here.



    Pizza: La Ghironda, Viggiù

  • BLOG
  • GET UP – ROCK CLIMBING IN INTERLAKEN

    After almost a year here in the adventure capital called Interlaken, I still find almost every day a new thing to be amazed and learn more of in here. This Sunday, after the “I say this third time, but still” last (resort) skiing day of the season, the new thing was rock climbing. I’ve done some indoor bouldering previously and always been fascinated by the “real” climbing. And for this summer, with the help of dear friends who know more than I, I’ve decided to pick up the rock climbing.

    Tiina Kivelä

    If you aren’t yet up to climbing itself, I can also recommend just hanging around rocks and cracks. The climbers are cool people and when the most talented and well-trained gets up, it’s like watching a dancer performing a unique and beautiful choreography. Myself I’m now lucky to have a friend who guides me to this world for free, but there’s also lots of options to choose from when you want to hire a guide. Just google or call your friend, to spend an awesome day outdoors like we did. Highly recommended.

    Next time though, I need to do less bullshit (when I’m nervous, I talk and swear a lot) and more climb; concentrate more on the rock that is. And I also need to build up some muscles, especially the small hand ones (yes, again one more thing to motivate me to do things and exercise, which is more than ok).

    And maybe one day I look as peaceful hanging up there as these guys.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Ps. RIP Ueli. Today I gave the north face of Eiger a long look, thinking of you and all the ways you have inspired and pushed the limits. I’ve seen you running here and most likely you’ve been also climbing these same routes and I hope you knew how much you’ve inspired so many people. I’ll most likely not climb the north face myself; nevertheless I apply your spirit to my own kind of doing almost every day. 


    FI: Asuttuani jo lähes vuoden Interlakenissa, tässä mahtavia seikkailumahdollisuuksia (ja turisteja) pursuavassa pikkukaupungissa, sain tänä sunnuntaina vihdoin aikaseksi kokeilla myös paikallista kalliokiipeilyä. Olen muutaman kerran harrastanut säännöllisen epäsäännöllisesti boulderointia kalkkipölyisissä sisähalleissa, ja unelmoinut vielä joskus pääseväni kiinni ihan oikeaan kalliokiipeilyyn, koska ulkoilmalajeissa vain on se jokin. Ja vihdoin tänä kesänä haave näyttää käyvän toteen; onnea on ystävä, jolla on välineet ja taito opastaa tähän maailmaan.

    Minulla on kuitenkin vielä pitkä matka siihen mahtavaan tanssinkaltaiseen koreografiaan, jolla taidokkaammat ja enemmän harjoitelleet näitä kallioita kiipeävät, mutta siitä huolimatta olen ihan myyty. Kiipeilijät ovat nöyrää ja rentoa heimoa, ja opettelun lisäksi myös muiden kiipeilyn katselu ja kuvaus on enemmän kuin mukavaa puuhaa. Suosittelen siis hakeutumaan lajin pariin, jos mukava ja haastava ulkona puuhastelu kiinnostaa. Ja mikäli taito on jo hallussa, niin silloin voin suositella kokeilemaan näitä Jungfraun alueen kiipeilymahdollisuuksia, aina näistä tämänpäivistä reiteistä Eigerin pohjoisseinään.

    Seuraavalla kiipeilykerralla minun pitää kuulemma puhua kiroilla vähemmän ja keskittyä enemmän itse kallioon ja sen koloihin ja mahdollisuuksiin päästä ihan ylös asti. Parhaat ystävät eivät päästä tässäkään helpolla, vaan puskevat heti ylittämään itseni. Ja sehän sopii minulle paremmin kuin hyvin.

  • LIFE
  • Just A Perfect MTB Day: Grindelwald

    Tiina Kivelä

    This sunny morning, I loaded my bike (and myself) to the train towards Grindelwald (tip: buy a day bike pass from SBB & hang your bike by the hooks in bike carriage) having in mind a long MTB tour up to Grosse Scheidegg, Bachalpsee and back to Grindelwald. Though in Grindelwald, I noticed I had forgotten to load my sunglasses, and started the tour buying the first “good enough” (and expensive) pair I found in one of the shops in Grindelwald. I had been thinking of buying new, alpine environment suitable pair for some time already, but I didn’t think it would happen this way. Nevertheless, as I didn’t  want to waste too much time indoors since the weather was perfect and my goal was high, I loaded the money on the table and headed up.

    MTB AROUND GRINDELWALD

    And so I went with my bike & my new shades, up up (it wasn’t easy with my heavy bike); first to Grosse Scheidegg, then First and Bachalpsee (dipped my feet in, of course) and finally down along some winding and bit scary singletrails. I can’t really say I’m a master on bike, nor that today’s trip would have been easy (I know my legs will be hurting a lot tomorrow) but still today was one of the best days in my life. I made it, safe and sound, and the views and the weather… No words to describe how awesome it was. Hope these pics talk a bit more though.

    On my way up I had time to think how I really should find time to write down more about my weekend trips, share my tips and lessons I’ve learned during my stay until now (if you have some specific questions already you may email me directly though, and I’ll do my best to answers asap). Because no matter how awesome the days are, I do wish I could share these with the best people. Which, on the other hand, is a good reason to re-launch Tiina’s bootcamps (some of you know).

    This Switzerland edit. would be just awesome.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Where: Grindelwald – Grosse Scheidegg – First – Bachsee – Grindelwald. 

    TOUR TIPS

    You may skip the first part from Grindelwald to Grosse Scheidegg (it’s really better with road bike) by taking a PostAuto, which offers bike transport too (for some price before, and free after 4pm).

    Some of the trails you have to share with hikers and on some trails biking is prohibited during the high season in summer. Follow the red biking signs and ask for more information in one of the bike shops in Grindelwald, where guiding is also offered.