Zboczeniec

Path of a Pervert

Everything flows, as Panta Rhei said, and no man ever steps in the same river twice, but on the other hand the history repeats itself, so the quotes have to be chosen according to the circumstances, as the point of view depends on the seat. I said what I knew.

But it had a deep meaning, as you will find out later.

The route from Ouchy in Lausanne to Pully, which runs along the banks of the lake – Sentier des Rives du Lac – is simply beautiful. The views of the Alps, the lake and the vineyards sooth and calm in a therapeutic way. However, I warn you – sometimes it can be crowded, and then calming will not be fully calmed.

Returning to the repeating history, this route was described on the pages of my blog, in an article Farewell to Autumn. Now, I move forward to discover something new around the corner…

Still ’round the corner there may wait
A new road or secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.
/J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings/

This time at the end of the port of Pully, where on the very edge of the lake there is a pool, I do not run further along the shore of the lake, but I turn left into Route du Port and reach the route cantonal (Route de Vevey). I go through the pedestrian crossing to the other side and along Chemin des Vignes I run up several meters.

Art with a capital Ar

Art with a capital Ar

I turn left, towards a bizarre, red-and-steel sculpture and immediately to the right, to the hidden in the bushes Path of a Pervert (Sentier de Pervert).

Beginning of the Path of a Pervert (Sentier de Pervers)

Beginning of the Path of a Pervert (Sentier de Pervers)

Squeezing my buttocks and all the time looking nervously behind me, I run up through the vineyards, untill the gate in the wall. Here, with astonishment, I rub my eyes! On the big sign on the left I can see that this is not Sentier de Pervert but Sentier de Pévret, which means peppermint in the local dialect. I have to be exact in reading and careful in assessments…

It turned out, however, that it was not a pervert

It turned out, however, that it was not a pervert

Behind the gate, I turn right and climb to the church. In the front of the temple there is a viewing terrace from which, as the name suggests, the view is visible. View to the lake, to the Alps and to the vineyards of Lavaux, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. From Ouchy to this place about 4 km.

Tough guys don't stop, they just run further...

Tough guys don’t stop, they just run further…

However, my route continues further, along the street at the western wall of the church and Restaurant du Prieuré, in which the Polish Carnival Ball was organized some time ago by the Polish Association in Lausanne.

I run through the pedestrian crossing on the Rue de la Poste, then the bridge over the railway tracks, and finally through the tunnel under Avenue de Lavaux, I run into the steep street Chemin de la Clergère. After 270 meters, I turn right into Avenue de Rochettaz, and then after 230 meters, turn left into a one-way Chemin du Caudoz, where garbage containers are located.

The street climbs steeply, until the next bridge over the railway tracks through which I pass and after a while I turn right into Chemin de Leisis following the indications of the yellow signpost “Tourisme pédestre“.

To the right...

To the right…

After 200 meters, the street changes it’s name to Chemin de Volson and climbs sharply. Just before Chemin des Sapins, I jump right into the forest’s narrow path*, which I discovered only after some time running in this area, which confirms my opinion that we should never stop exploring.

Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find...

Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find…

The path leads down towards La Paudèze stream (whose estuary to the lake is located between Pully and Paudex) and then slightly upwards, below the sawmill building. Here starts recently opened sawdust path, which falling and rising, brings me to Stand de Volson (526 m above sea level).

*Before finding the path through the forest, I was passing Chemin des Sapins and continuing straight on until Chemin du Stand. I was turning right and runing lightly down. I was passing the sawmill from the top and running on to the same place, which is Stand de Volson. From Ouchy about 6.4 km.

There is a crossroads of tourist trails here and a lot of parking places. So, it was possible to get here by car! Why did I get so tired instead of traveling like a civilized tourist!?

- What? Tytus is already here? - We have broken the record of the time to climb to the top and you were here before us. How did you do that? - Normally. By bus. Like a civilized tourist... - ...you pay and demand. With music, heating and a guide who speaks three languages. Bye, because the bus leaves. /H. J. Chmielewski, Tytus, Romek i A'tomek, volume  XII/

– What? Tytus is already here?
– We have broken the record of the time to climb to the top and you were here before us. How did you do that?
– Normally. By bus. Like a civilized tourist…
– …you pay and demand. With music, heating and a guide who speaks three languages. Bye, because the bus leaves.
/H. J. Chmielewski, Tytus, Romek i A’tomek, volume XII/

For beginners runners and walkers, arriving by car can be a good solution because the real adventure / nature begins only here. To the right, through a barrier blocking the passage of cars across the bridge, the road leads to Belmont-sur-Lausanne and then to Savigny and Tour de Gourze. To the left, sharply up the hill, by the wooden steps, there is a path to Epalinges and the distant Chalet-a-Gobet and straight ahead to Signal de Belmont.

So, I choose the gate number…

DYPLOM

Return to Heidiland

It passed the time required for the Earth to come full circle around the sun since…

Heidi ran to the far edge of the slope and continued to wave her hand to Clara until the last glimpse of horse and rider had disappeared. /Johanna Spyri, Heidi/

I returned to Grisons, to take part again in the mountain race Swiss Irontrail, organized by my beloved Mammut. However, using the principle of “continuous improvement”, which was burned in my brain, but most of all in my heart during 17 years of working in some company (“Thank You for Smoking”), this time I chose distance of 91 kilometers, means more than twice long as last year, when as you remember, I ran 41 kilometres.

To the starting point in Bergün I reached by train. This time, there were no questionable “attractions” with the participation of bandits, which I described in previous article. On the route there were real attractions. Rhaetian Railway connecting two historic railway lines Albula and Bernina is the UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the most spectacular rail routes in the world. The surrounding landscape with its quaint villages and romantic Alpine views is also the part of the World Heritage. The route was opened in 1904, it has almost 130 kilometres and runs through 55 tunnels and 196 bridges, of which the most famous is curved Landwasser viaduct.

In the sport hall I picked up the starting number with a chip to measure time and the GPS device allowing to locate me on the route. It was possible to eat bananas, chocolate bars, bouillon, Coca-Cola and water. For competitors running longer distances (121 km and 221 km) it was already another nutrition point.

Among people competing with me in T91 I saw Ildikó Wermescher and Csaba Nemeth, professional runners belonging to Mammut Pro Team Trail Running, who, as it turned out later, won in this category. We talked briefly about running, Mammut, last year’s impressions from the race (it turned out that together with Ildikó we ran T41), Nemeth highly praised competitions played in Poland in which he participated (Race of 7 Valleys). I made a picture with Ildikó but unfortunately the quality is not the best one, nevertheless, there is a souvenir from a nice meeting and conversations.

I must once again raise the matter which I have meditated and written about recently. With horror I have noticed that as well as I, Ildikó and Nemeth had no Mammut socks! We had everything “Mammut brand” but only this “sock’s crack” in the appearance…

The gun fired at 13:00. We moved initially on flat terrain (1373 m) and after a while started climbing to 2,831 m above sea level. As it is known, if for some time is uphill, then most likely later it is down. So it was this time.

After part of the run in the vicinity of 2800 – 2600 meters above sea level, I went down from Pass digls Orgels (2699) to Savognin (1173). There was another nutrition point and the first night’s lodging. I noticed that some runners had help from families or friends who were waiting for them in main food / accommodation points and delivering fresh clothes for disguise, embrocating warming / analgesic ointments and feeding with delicacies. I had not thought about it and did not involved my family in helping on the route. My fans have only to greet me at the finish, as last year but it turned out that T91 is much more demanding than the T41. Another tip for the future.

Anyway, in Savognin I did not decided yet to sleep. I have just eaten and drunk and moved forward…

Nocturnal part of the route I recall with great fondness because it was an experience other than that with which man meets on a daily basis. Night chill, mysterious noises, crackling, voices of animals and werewolves and continuous focusing not to lose the route. Ah, something wonderful!

I decided to spend the night in Lenzerheide, the town where a year ago I started T41. I fell as dead and after a second (ah, this time dilation) I already stood up when the alarm clock rang in the watch. In the glow of the morning I set off on already known last year’s route but very different by the accumulation of fatigue. From Lenzerheide (1473) a way led up again above 2500 meters.

This time at Weisshorn (2653) there was not a snowstorm, but everywhere enveloped moist, dense fog. What made me wonder were screech of gulls and the salty smell of the sea. Something was wrong here…

Suddenly from the fog emerged a guy with a strange convex forehead and a funny mustache. He had matted hair, haggard and dirty face and eyes expressionless. He wore a stained faded, old bombazine coat, pantaloons of a similar character, a pair of worn-out shoes run down at the heels, and an old straw hat. It looked like individual pieces of clothing that he was wearing did not belong to him. He mumbled something unintelligible. When he saw me, he walked unsteadily in my direction. I was a little scared and squeezed harder poles, ready to defend. Strange guy asked in English:

- Is this Baltimore?
Then, I was already sure.
- Dear Edgar – I said – This is definitely not Baltimore, and it seems to me that you will not come back there. I think seraphim in heaven listened to you in the end and you will be able to meet with your beloved Anabel.
- Who are you? How do you know me? How do you know about Anabel?
- It may sound strange, but I read your stories and poems, as well as a description of… your mysterious death almost 170 years ago.
- You are saying that I am dead for 170 years?
- Well, I think you do not belong neither to the world of living nor the world of dead. You are suspended between them. And the time passes differently for you (ah, this time dilation).
- So this is Dream-Land?
- Not yet, but close.
Screeching seagulls and the sound of the sea has intensified …
- You have to go in the direction of the sounds. Anabel is already waiting on the beach.

He silently raised his hand for farewell, he turned and disappeared into the swirling mist. Running down towards Arosa and to the next nutrition point I have heard behind me a long restless roar like the sound of thousands seas. I have not stopped, I ran incessantly.

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
/Edgar Allan Poe, Annabel Lee/

In Arosa, I made a break for a meal and a short rest in fantastically equipped anti-atomic bunker. It was the third and last place where one could sleep, but I did not use this opportunity anymore. The pillbox was equipped with bunks, toilets, showers and a kitchen. But there are some people (especially in Geneva) who complain about the tragic conditions in this type of premises. This is not a villa with a garden of course, but for sure the place is safer than a mud hut in Eritrea being strafed with mortars.

The climb from Arosa was moderately mild but the rain pouring from the sky made it far more difficult and to the last nutrition point in Jatz (1831) I arrived terribly exhausted. When tired and sleepy, I was scrambling to the last pass on the route, leaned on the poles, I thought why am I overstraining myself so much? And the next step up… Why, at my own request I am undergoing such a torture? And the next step toward the finish line… This is the last time, never again! And the next step…

At the Strelapass I exchanged a few words with the person who kept the checkpoint and “ticked” from the list, I ran down having the last five kilometers of the route in front of me.

When reached Davos, people on the streets, despite the night, were applauding and greeting me. HAPPY I crossed the finish line!

According to Datasport I was the last ranked participant in my category; some people did not complete the race. This time I beat 90.2 km horizontally and + 5420m / – 5240m vertically.

When relaxed, happy and proud I calmly ate grilled sausages and drank beer in the middle of the night, my painful doubts from climbing to the Strelapass… vanished like mist. I have already begun to plan when and on what race I will go next time – am I normal?

I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule —
From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,
Out of SPACE — Out of TIME
/E. A. Poe, Dream-Land/

You’ve gotta ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk?

My family went on vacation to Poland and I, as a representative of “the working people of towns and villages”, have remained on the position and throughout the whole week worked efficiently. However, the weekend came and I had to plan something for the lonely two days. In the previous corporation I would not have a problem because “deadly deadlines” would force me to work during the days theoretically free from it.

Work is a right, a duty and a matter of honor for every citizen. By his work, observance of labor discipline, competition and improving its methods the working people of towns and villages reinforces the strength and power of the Fatherland, increases the prosperity of the nation and accelerates the overall realization of the socialist system. Work leaders are surrounded by widely respect of the nation.
/Article 14 of the Constitution of the Polish Republic from 1952; so called The Stalinist constitution/

Present company has not provided me the weekend overtime, so I had to come up with something myself. I thought and I came up with…

Meanwhile, Tytus... I thought and I came up with a "thoughtless". It will be placed ahead of a sentence having no sense. /H. J. Chmielewski, Tytus, Romek i A’Tomek, vol. XII

Meanwhile, Tytus…
I thought and I came up with a “thoughtless”. It will be placed ahead of a sentence having no sense.
/H. J. Chmielewski, Tytus, Romek i A’Tomek, vol. XII/

…the idea of crossing the Alps from the Rhone Valley on Swiss side until St-Gingolph in France and get back to Lausanne by boat cruising on Lake Geneva. I prepared quickly necessary equipment and moved forward to the dance!

So this gentleman, dismal gentleman
Has upset himself awfully, my ladies and gentlemen.
He realized that he
Can sit all his life by the window.
Suddenly he stood up, walked dance,
Spanish waltz add him the courage.
/Jerzy Połomski, Whole audience is singing with us/

I boarded the train at the main station in Lausanne, where an adventure has happened to me, which I would like to describe as a warning. In the train, going through the compartment, I was looking for a place to sit. Most of the them were occupied, but I saw a favorable location, where only one man was sitting by the window, with the backpack next to him and the other three seats were vacant. Therefore, I sat opposite to him, but from the aisle to be able to stretch the legs. I put the backpack on the window’s side.

Suddenly, quite loud group of black men started to squeeze through the compartment. When passing next to me and my neighbor, a fistful of small coins fell from one’s hand and showered on us and on the floor. Mumbling “excusez-moi,” one of the black men bent down and has begun collecting coins.

Already I was bending down to help him, when my exuberant imagination reminded me the films about ninjas who turn away the attention by throwing coins into the crowd. When people were busy collecting the scattered money, ninja could kill, kidnap, perform other tasks or simply run away. In a split second, I realized that here the same method has been used! I straightened up and hug the backpack to my chest! My neighbor did not watch films about Japanese assassins because he eagerly began to collect coins from the floor, while the second of black men was already reaching for his backpack lying on the seat. I shouted in English: “Watch out your backpack!” (because in French I have not gathered thoughts so fast).

Firstly, the man understood what I said, secondly he reacted and in addition showed reflexes, because in the last moments grab his backpack and pulled it out from the Negro’s hand. The robbers quickly understood that this time they failed and ran out of the train. A side effect of the incident was that I earned 50 centimes (in 10 and 5 cents), which the bandits did not manage to gather together with the wallets of passengers. Grateful tourist, as it turned from Scotland, thanked me several times for saving his belongings and was surprised that such things happen in Switzerland, normally considered as the safe country.

Oh, yes, it is not the same Switzerland as at the time of “Goldfinger” and “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. Even James Bond sees the difference and choose Austria as a place of his new adventures in the movie “Spectre”. Therefore, remember dear readers, if the rain of small coins start to fall on you, it is not a miracle – it’s an attack and not always inspector Harry Callahan can be close to you .

I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well to tell you the truth in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk?
/Dirty Harry/

***

I got off at the Aigle station at 12:20, being warmly farewell by the Scotchman, who was going to Chamonix. At once I moved on by tourist route along the railway, backing up initially in the direction of Lausanne. After a while (as we know from the comic books about Tytus, one while = three moments) I reached the lane of trees among which flowed Grande Eau (it appeared not too big). I turned left on the floodbank, ran under the highway and along the stream I reached the Rhone (Le Rhône).

I turned left again, into an asphalt road, which is also a bicycle and roller route. Through the bridge I crossed the Rhone and just after it I ran down the shaft to the left to the asphalt road, being again bicycle and roller route, parallel to the route from the opposite shore.

Following a flat path I ran into the village of Vouvry, over which, 450 meters above dominates Chavalon powerhouse.

The plant was commissioned in 1965 and was burning heavy fuel oil (mazut), which was created as a by-product of fuel production in a nearby oil refinery in Collombey. For ecological reasons was closed in 1999. However, in connection with the proposed exclusion of all nuclear power plants in Switzerland to 2034, will be re-launched, this time using natural gas to produce electricity.

I started to climb up the tourist trail, repeatedly cutting the serpentine roads for cars.

The heat was unmerciful… but with backpack Mammut Lithium Z 20 I was secured. I was drinking both from a tank in a backpack (about the advantages of this method I wrote in the articles Mammut in the Heidiland and Aim for the moon), as well as from water bottle placed in the holder attached by the Velcro straps to the backpack’s braces. It is a new piece of equipment that I decided to test.

With water, or rather with the lack of it, is no laughing matter on long journeys. After several hours of slow-run in the mountains in hot weather, every sip is at a premium, so the additional supply is very useful. I harnessed stock to the bottom and therefore I can confirm that Add-on bottle holder has proven itself. Additionally, it is lightweight (60 grams) and adjustable, depending on the diameter of the bottle. A small thing, but a nice one.

To see how much happiness,
Hides every little thing.
Let’s rejoice in small things, because
formula for happiness is written in them!
/Sylwia Grzeszczak, Little things/

Truly I say to you, taste of H20 varies depending on the fatigue of the organism and the greater the fatigue, the better the taste.

A rose in red, a lilac in white is blooming,
None of us is cracking though badly it is.
We will cross the hills, we will sip the water,
Where are the field kitchens only God knows.
Who would have worried that dust covers the roads
And snow, and rain – this we know already .
We will cross the hills, we will sip the water,
The water left after the battle has the flavor like wine.
/How I Unleashed World War II/

I reached the Max village and for a while I was running again on the asphalt road leading cars to Lac de Taney (for motorists, let me add that the last section is allowed only for cars with four-wheel drive and the lock of differential, so the cars with so-called intelligent drive 4×4 switchable by computer can not drive there). Behind the chapel at the end of the village I turned right, went back to the wild trail and continue up my tour also towards Lac de Taney but in a much longer version.

The heat was unmerciful… but with Mammut MTR 141 Shorts Long Men I was running at these conditions quite well. Because I will describe the short pants, the matter of what in those short pants is hidden I just clearly describe with below joke:

A guy comes to the doctor and exhibits his penis on doctor’s desk.
The doctor looks up and asks:
- Too short?
- No!
- Too thin?
- No!
- What’s it like?
- It’s great! Isn’t it?!

Shorts are so short that there is not too much to describe. The fabric is a blend of polyamide and elastane. From inside the shorts features mesh. They are sooooo lightweight, they weigh 150 grams (on kitchen weight of my wife does not weight at all) and therefore running is very comfortable. They are breathable, dries quickly and in general very good for me for running. Own feelings in the end are the best adviser when choosing clothes and sports equipment.

I arrived finally to the Lac de Taney from the north east. This charming little lake is located at an altitude of 1408 m above sea level. Close to the lake there is a camping site, a small hamlet of cottages and a restaurant. I ran through the hamlet, by the fountain complemented the supply of water and headed up to the left, traversing the slope. The trail led straight west initially, and after a while, turned slightly to the north and through the Pas de Lovenex reached the Col de la Croix.

Being so high in the mountains, man mutes himself, ponders, wonders about the most important things in life, looking for the absolute… I was bothered only by one thought – why Mammut does not produce socks!? This negligence has repeatedly been spotted and expostulated by my friends, as it was creating a rift in my perfect Mammut image. I have to write to the marketing department in Seon, when this reprehensible situation will change. It would be a great complement to the collection of shoes (trail, alpine and trekking).

Shoes, by the way. The heat was unmerciful… but described some time ago MTR 201 Mammut Pro Low cooperated with me very well. Feet were breathing freely, had no abrasions and adhesion to the substrate was fantastic what turned out particularly useful on the next stage of the expedition.

From the mountain pass, the route led steeply down on the loose stones, towards French border. I ran down to the bottom of the valley and along the cross-border creek of La Morge I reached St-Gingolph.

And the problem appeared here. None bus nor ship were shuttling to Evian at that hour. I did not have strength, nor time to run on the asphalt road together with cars. What could I do? I haven’t had a long gray rain-coat, like Rotger Hauer, only a magnificent orange Mammut t-shirt, so I assumed that I should not raise too much fear as “The Hitcher”. I was right. After about 10 minutes of waving a hand at the oncoming traffic, a car stopped beside me.

Inside a young girl was sitting, dressed…, I would say, boldly. It turned out that she was going to Casino Evian to… work. So, I got into the car. First, politely and briefly I explained whence I appeared on the road, what route today I went through and why do I need transportation. Then, the rest of the way she was speaking. It turned out that she is… a doctor of psychology and along with other graduate students from both psychology and sociology describe the phenomenon of addiction to gambling. Currently, they are visiting different casinos and conducting researches. Her dress turned out to be… a camouflage needed for studies.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
/Luke 6:37/

We arrived to Evian. The doctor dropped me off at the port, while she went to her “laboratorium” to conduct researches. I entered the ship at 20:45. Sitting during the cruise on the bench at the stern I could quietly enjoy the views. On the larboard side, face of the Sun slowly but inexorably was falling down towards the dark Jura foothills, to hide behind the black peaks exactly at the moment when the ship berthed in the port of Ouchy in Lausanne.

The mist that came from the Mediterranean sea blotted out the city that Pilate so detested.  The suspension bridges connecting the temple with the grim fortress of Antonia vanished, the murk descended from the sky and drowned the winged gods above the hippodrome, the crenellated Hasmonaean palace, the bazaars, the caravanserai, the alleyways, the pools…  Jerusalem, the great city, vanished as though it had never been. The mist devoured everything, frightening every living creature in Jerusalem and its surroundings. The city was engulfed by a strange cloud which had crept over it from the sea towards the end of that day, the fourteenth of the month of Nisan.
/Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita/

 

Mammut Lithium Z 20

Already in a couple of days, a few days
You will take your backpack and the guitar
Few words goodbye
Pythagoras, farewell
Goodbye to you canto, cantare
/Halina Kunicka, Summer, summer is waiting; Polish song/

Basic protection and support of my foot driving force, I described vividly in the first test of sport equipment, means in the article entitled Mammut MTR Pro Low, where the heroes were shoes for running in the terrain.

Since the drive transmission is protected, I can take a closer look at a warehouse facility, in other words at the backpack Mammut Lithium Z 20 (mentioned loosely at the occasion of my aiming for the Moon).

I start with the most important matter, namely the color. The backpack is green-gray (code named dark spring-iron). I like very much these sophisticated color names that are used by Mammut. Just like in the American movie about commandos rescueing the world from the overwhelming forces of the communists, terrorists or aliens (Alpha Romeo Mike Yankee Alpha Lima Papa Hotel Alpha Bravo Echo Tango). On a green fabric red Mammut logo looks fantastic! Backpack Lithium Z 20 can be aquired in two more colors (dark orange-iron and smoke-iron). I like the most version with the green. Over!

All theory, dear friend, is gray,
But the golden tree of life springs ever green.
Grau, teurer Freund, ist al­le Theorie
Und grün des Le­bens gol­dner Baum.
/Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Faust/

It is a backpack designed primarily for trail running but fits to all outdoor activities. It weighs only 630 grams according to the manufacturer. Me, on the kitchen scale (which my wife uses to prepare delicious cakes), came out a little more, because about 670 grams. Its dimensions are 48x26x19 centimeters. Name Lithium in the designers concept comes probably from lithium, which is the lightest metal known, with the atomic number 3. This element is highly reactive and flammable, so must be kept it in mineral oils or in an inert atmosphere. I remember from chemistry class, like a piece of lithium pulled out from the kerosene and thrown into the water was going round on the surface and was dissolving, fuming a huge amount of bubbles (hydrogen).

The zipper of the main compartment unzips below the half the height of the backpack, thanks to that can be easily pack from the front, which certainly would be appreciated by Jason Bourne looking for his identity:

He opened the knapsack and took out a pair of boots and heavy socks along with rolledup trousers and a coarse denim shirt. Somewhere in his past he had learned to pack with an economy of space; the knapsack contained far more than an observer might think. Where had he learned that? Why? The questions never stopped.
/Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Identity/

Backpack is compatible with a hydration system – a water tank with a pipe transferring water to the mouth. From the main backpack chamber, tube can be lead out through the holes on shoulder straps, on the left or on the right side and attached under rubber grips.

The hydration system is a fantastic assistance during long runs when at any time it is possible to drink without stopping and taking off the backpack. It is also important that when you insert the mouthpiece into the mouth, hands are free. The first time I used the hydration system in a backpack Mammut Lithium Z 20 was on Trail du Dents du Midi and as I said, I was delighted.

This backpack has additionally at the top a small pocket with handle with a piton (eg. to attach the keys)…

… and larger one, occupying more or less the entire front wall of the backpack (eg. for documents, maps).

On both sides there are two flexible pockets (eg. for a spare water bottles, glove or cap), which can be further tighten and secured by means of straps.

The suspension system consists of elastic shoulder straps with a soft mesh on the side of the back that dries quickly and allows the body to breathe (3-D Air-Mesh). From the outside, shoulder straps are reinforced with nylon mesh. As I said, on shoulder straps there are elastics sewn to attach the hydration tube, as well as reflective elements. Chest strap with a clip and whistle can be adjusted up and down, and of course wide. It prevents the shoulder straps from sliding sideways and prevents repositioning of the backpack during the run.

Innovative hip belt (designed for direct body contact and good ventilation) has the same role and also relieves the shoulders (weight, thanks to it is based largely on the hips). It is also made from 3-D Air-Mesh and on its left side is another pocket. In my opinion, the pocket is too much on the back and during the race it is hard to reach (eg. the phone, which is a mandatory equipment part in long distance mountain running). It is the only minus I have found in this backpack and I believe that the company Mammut will take to heart my constructive criticism and will make a slight facelifting. I hope that in the next version of the backpack Lithium Z 20, pocket will be more accessible, which means shifted toward the front. Could also add, by the way, another one, for symmetry – the ideal storage for a little something at eleven o’clock in the morning…

On the back side of the backpack being in contact with the back, there are soft mesh padding supports (made from 3-D EVA foam) with ventilation channels and between them “a chimney” allowing air circulation.

This backpack for my own needs is perfect. It stick to the back ideally, it is very comfortable, does not cause abrasions and allows back to breathe. And, of course, it is green.

The Blue said: Waste of breath.
Everybode will discolor with time.
But the Green just added:
– I hope… I hope…
/Jan Brzechwa, The Colors/

It ran with me already some kilometers, therefore I know what I write. What is more, my previous trail backpack from another company was not so comfortable and slightly rubbed the skin (seams were made from something that looked like a fishing line and in places where this line jutted from the fabric, it made a fakir from me).

I highly recommend the use of poles during long mountain runs. They help to maintain balance, relieve the knees and can lean on them, when majority of the race is done and legs barely dragging one by one. But the poles are not needed all the time and then it would be nice to have a place for their transportation. In my green backpack…

Because I am liege lord, because I am king,
Among green fields and soil!
/Edmund Wasilewski, Krakowiak/

…it is resolved in a very interesting way. At the bottom part of the backpack there is a retractable metal cable which can be pull out and slip back. One end of a pole is to be insert into the cable and the other is fastened on top of the backpack with a strip closing.
Theoretically to this backpack can be still attached various items which are considered to be necessary during competition, training or trip (eg. cup). This is done with 4 very strong hooks on the front of the pack and 2 on shoulder straps.

In practice, the extra things dangling by a backpack during the competition only disturb the balance and cause unnecessary noise but on a calm trip with the family or friends it is possible to hang there all Needful Things.

MTR 201 Pro Low

Mammut MTR 201 Pro Low

Recently I was writing less and running more, what has resulted from the task I undertook – I can proudly say that I was running and… testing. Testing is a new matter for me and the challenge is even greater because I have chosen as the test object, running shoes of my beloved Mammut (sorry for that intimate statement). Love is a beautiful feeling but it becomes even more beautiful, when has been tested in extreme conditions.

Love is a very beautiful flower but you have to have the courage to go look for it at the edge of an abyss.
/Henri Stendhal/

znak

As it is usually happens with… the first time, I wanted to approach it in a special way. I was thinking long how to perform such a test in order to show in subjective and at the same time objective manner all the characteristics of mountain racing shoes Mammut MTR 201 Pro Low. I thought, and I came up with – the best to do it is my own way.

***

Shoes Mammut Pro Low MTR 201 appeared in my life in a black box with a red Mammut logo. They were additionally wrapped in original paper covered with the inscriptions MAMMUT. For running it does not have any meaning, of course, but it testifies to the quality of a product. Swiss watches have also couple of layers of packaging, through which you have to get through before the moment of putting the watch on the wrist. Out of the box and paper I quickly put shoes on my feet and went for a run… Oh, and I cut labels.

Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still,
Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will.
/William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet/

Just in case, I remind that the first run in new shoes should be short to avoid abrasions and blisters that often occur when changing running shoes to new ones. Is it due to the short 10 kilometers distance or maybe due to the resistance of my graceful feet or finally maybe thanks to the quality of shoes, nothing bad happened, and the first attempt was successfull.

It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.
/Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita/

But one after another. Tested model has rave green-red color with a technical name spring-inferno; other available colors are inferno-black, dark cyan-sunglow and light gray-imperial. Shoes weigh 742 grams (UK size 10.5) what probably fits in with the manufacturer’s data, who declares 676 grams in specifications for UK size 8.5.

DSC_5493

MTR 201 Pro Low are not waterproof, which can be a disadvantage when running in the rain, but thanks to that are lighter than models with GORE-TEX (they have an additional three letters GTX in the name) with more than 100 grams, which in turn can be important in long-distance races, when at the end of the route, each additional gram is felt in the legs. Instead of heavier waterproof membrane in this model was used lightweight mesh that dries quickly when soaked and allows feet to breathe.

Mokry-Mammut

I was running a lot on wet, muddy roads, in the rain, and after the rain, near rivers and streams. The mesh get drenched quickly, but… as soon as the contact with water ends, it begins to dry quickly and if I am lucky enough that eventually the sun comes out, I return home with dry shoes. In addition, the lightweight mesh construction has good permeability and draws heat away from the feet. Why this happens is seen sharply when looking “through the shoe” against the light.

There should be laughter after pain There should be sunshine after rain /Mark Knopfler, Why Worry/

There should be laughter after pain
There should be sunshine after rain
/Mark Knopfler, Why Worry/

Fabrics used inside the shoe are soft to the touch and cause the foot feels comfortable. Outside, in contrast, in sensitive areas rubber reinforcements were used (Rubber toe cap) and heel support system (360 Heel Support). As described by Viktor Suvorov, the former soldier of Specnaz (Soviet special forces), in the book “Aquarium”, materials used in commando’s clothing should be from the lining side soft like woman’s skin, and from the outside rough as leather of rhinoceros. Mammut MTR 201 Pro Low shoes meet these requirements.

Mokry-Mammut-2

Now disputable case of laces or rather MTR Speed Lace System, which may but not have to please. As the name suggests, thanks to this system shoes can be quicker laced. With that point, I totally agree – this is done instantly. But then, the remaining “excess” of laces needs to be hidden somewhere. To do so, a special pocket in the shoe tongue is prepared but because it is already located under tied laces, it’s hard to pack the endings. But when it’s done, they seat there and not fall out. If needed, the laces can also be… just laced.

Aggressive bi-directional tread pattern holds up well (I would even say perfectly) on almost all types of surface. Mammut gave it the code name Sonar, because his form was modeled on the shape of sonar waves, spreading in all directions; in other words… “The hunt for Red October”. I tested it on a muddy forest trails, sharp mountain boulders, gravel paths, and even in the snow.

DSC_5126

In bounce, as well as in acceleration and uphill running, shoes stick to the pavement as if they were glued. They behave the same way during the rapid run downwards combined even with jumps and provide excellent friction when braking in case slowing down is needed. There is almost no slip when landing on loose gravel and can quickly run further.

poslizg

The only one dangerous adventure associated with shoes Mammut Pro Low MTR 201 I experienced on the banks of the river La Venoge. It was a one-off case, but it is my duty to inform about it. It is like with the side effects of medication – one patient out of a hundred will report pimples on… but it is necessary to write in the information leaflet that the medicine can cause a rash. Thus, I was running a beautiful route along the river La Venoge, to the north of its confluence to Lake Geneva in Preverenges. I was running and admiring the wild countryside, additionally wilder due to high water level in the river.

2015-04-01-15.15.23

Was drizzling lightly. Suddenly, when I was looking to the side of the impressive waterfall, I ran on flat wet stones lying just off the coast and started dancing like mad cartoon characters who step on a banana peel. And, like cartoon characters, I was able to regain balance at the last moment. I was so surprised by the complete lack of grip, that I turned back and looked at the stones. They were, as I said, flat and covered with a green coating (moss?). I touched them with the shoe a few times and it was like on the ice rink. I went back to the same place some time later during fine weather and with some kind of shyness I ran on the rocks. This time they were dry and my feet have not moved even a millimeter. From this adventure I extrapolated such a request, that a wet moss on the stones is not a good ground for Mammut MTR 201 Pro Low shoes (for each shoes, I suppose).

To sum up, shoes Mammut Pro Low MTR 201 perform the job very well. The legs do not tire in them, adhesion to the substrate (except wet moss) is sensational, dry quickly, allow the foot to breathe and… they are pretty. It seems that we will run together for a very loooong time, especially that Swiss Irontrail (91 km) is approaching.

Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.
/Antoine de Saint-Exupéry/

P.S. On the back of the shoe, on the handle helping to put them on the leg, there is a mysterious latitude and longitude… My natural curiosity forced me to check which point on the surface of the Earth represent the coordinates of 47 36° N and 08 16° E. I had to first understand in what format latitude and longitude is given:

  • degrees, minutes, seconds (DMS),
  • degrees and minutes (DM),
  • decimal degrees (DD).

After attempts in the converter of geographic coordinates, I came at last to the result, which indicated a point in Switzerland, in the canton of Aargau, in the district of Lenzburg in city of Seon, at Birren street, where exists… the factory and headquarter of Mammut. A real fantastic bull’s eye!

Wspolrzedne

Zaginając czasoprzestrzeń

Bending the space-time continuum

Weather this winter is most similar to the autumn. Majority of the day the rain is falling, the sky is cloudy and there is not sunny, natural source of vitamin D.

On windows the raindrops, the autumn rain knocking
Rhythmically, constantly, without stopping,
The autumn rain falling and tapping on pane…
Glass weeping… glass crying… the signs of the rain
And light, oh so gray, the colors is blocking…
On windows the raindrops, the raindrops are knocking…
/Leopold Staff, Autumn rain/

So, when clouds parted even for a moment, it is important to be ready and immediately to move on. A better weather found me recently on Saturday in the area of my own blog route, it means running route. The star closest to the Earth appeared on the sky and was shining magnificent, and evaporating forest path invited to the run. I observed that day a few additional attractions worth a description and presentation on photos…

Bottomless vales and boundless floods,
And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,
With forms that no man can discover
For the tears that drip all over;
Mountains toppling evermore
Into seas without a shore;
Seas that restlessly aspire,
Surging, unto skies of fire;
Lakes that endlessly outspread
Their lone waters—lone and dead,—
Their still waters—still and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily.
By the lakes that thus outspread
Their lone waters, lone and dead,—
Their sad waters, sad and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily,—
/Edgar Allan Poe, Dream-Land/

The stone La Pierre à Cambot was excellent visible because all leaves on the trees around disappeared. Tables, benches and fire places are looking for the summer and for the guests.

Picnic at Standing Rock

Picnic at Standing Rock

It appeared that canyon Le trou de la Sorcière, by which you can run down to the river La Mèbre, has its name due to one lady which lives on the near tree.

Devil's Canyon

Devil’s Canyon

Knowing by heart the outstanding work of the Dominican inquisitors Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger “Hammer of the witches” (Malleus Maleficarum) I run down without a fear until the very bottom of the hole (le trou) and cross the river with my head held high.

Waterfall Le Cascade de La Mèbre presented itself very splendidly due to high level of the water.

[...] all that is carried away by the stream's silvery cascade, rhythmically falling from the mountain, carried by its own current—carried where? [...]

[...] all that is carried away by the stream’s silvery cascade, rhythmically falling from the mountain, carried by its own current—carried where? [...]

Running further in fairytales mood I have crossed the portal of my imagination and landed in Cambodia, in Ta Prohm temple where Lara Croft was looking for talisman giving power over the time-space continuum.

Ta Prohm in Canton the Vaud

Ta Prohm in Canton the Vaud

Swiss Angkor

Swiss Angkor

I hope that my finding will convince creators of Tomb Raider and next part of the adventures of brave Lara will be filmed in Canton the Vaud. In such important business matters you have to rely on recognized authorities:

Imagination is more important that knowledge because knowledge is limited.
/Albert Einstein/

After few hundred meters I came back to our dimension but did not stop improvising and just after watermill Le Moulin – Dessus I turned right, up to the hill through the bridge. Thanks to that maneuver I found interesting monument of different kind and from more recent times.

Water is a treasure

Water is a treasure

When I returned home, it started heavily raining. I finished just in time.

On Sunday I was also running in the short moment of sunny weather. This time between Epalinges and Chalet-a-Gobet. Place easy accessible from the center of Lausanne (close to Croisette, the termination station of metro). Additionally I have there excellent base at my friend house, where I can change, wash and drink a tea. It is narrow forest path but it leads from time to time by the historical route from Romain time, which was used by the merchant to move from Lausanne via Moudon and Avenches towards Bern.

Each Chalet is Full of Advantages

Each Chalet is Full of Advantages

The road through Bois de Peccau is conserved well thanks to Swiss Forest Law introduced in 1876, which efficiently hindered further deforestation and at the same time protected forest paths lead through those areas. In contrary on the city areas many historical routes disappeared due to pressure from developers to build new housing and new roads.

Continuous climb was worth it and finally I have arrived to the place which reminds a bit swamp, where James Bond was jumping over the alligator heads.

Live and Let Die

Live and Let Die

Taking into consideration the latest news from United States I was not surprised that swamp Everglades frozen and only after a moment I recognized that again I bent space-time continuum and teleported myself to other dimension. But the moment has come to return and drink hot tea, and as Anne Shirley used to say:

But the worst of imagining things is that the time comes when you have to stop and that hurts.
/Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables/

I came back to my base in Epalinges where I was offered with delicious tea Darjeling FTGFOP from first, spring harvest. Secret abbreviation in the name of this variety means that it is tea of highest quality, prepared from the softest leafs, from the top of the bud. This abbreviation can be also translated with humor as “Far Too Good For Ordinary People”.

Additionally after physical effort it is good for the balance to train brain (and vice-versa). Therefore we have played strategic play “Genius”, in which you have to equally divide forces to all pawns. It reminds me cooperation in the team and that immediately moved my thoughts to my previous team in my previous work.

My colleagues surprised me recently and provoked emotions, because they invited me for farewell meeting in the restaurant in Neuchatel and handed a farewell card with the coupon to sport shop. I have to admit that it was nice and confirmed my observations that not the raw materials, not components, not machines and not the computers but the people are the most valuable asset of the enterprise.

Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.
/George Orwell, 1984/

La Cascade de la Mèbre

Through the gorge of La Mèbre

The trail, which I will describe as the first one in my blog is not so easy. It includes some muddy, steep and slippery places but most of it is simply a pure pleasure. I will point out in the description the areas that need special attention, but everyone who is going to run this path, does it at his own risk. I share this route with the readers of the blog Mammut On The Run since it is picturesque, varied and most importantly, little frequented. It passes through the northwest of Lausanne between Cheseaux-sur-Lausanne and Crissier where the river La Mèbre cuts a fabulous gorge in the sandstone rocks. With the suburban train LEB, the route is easily accessible from the center of Lausanne, from the initial station Lausanne-Flon. Stop where you need to get off is Bel-Air. Train timetable is available on http://www.leb.ch/.

Drivers can use the car park for guests at the Fondation de Vernand, Chemin de Praz-Lau 5, Cheseaux-sur Lausanne. Just remember not to occupy the parking spaces reserved for the foundation. It is a charitable organization, created in 1972. It looks after about 600 children and adults with intellectual disabilities and personality disorders.

Run to the end of the street Chemin de Praz-Lau in west direction, bypass the trash and utility room and on the gravel path next to the forest turn left. The trail leads to the south. After about 1 kilometer run through the clearing, where on the right hand side there is the forest tree nursery. Our road turns a slight curve to the right, back into the woods. When reach the yellow signposts Vaud Rando, turn right towards Crissier. The trail is marked with yellow diamonds.

There is a clearing with picnic and fire places a few meters to the right of our route. In the autumn and winter clearing is visible from our path while in spring and summer is covered with lush vegetation. In the clearing stands a monstrous stone – La Pierre à Cambot . It is a granite rock of alpine origin which was brought here by the Rhone glacier from the vicinity of Martigny about 25,000 years ago.

Run to an asphalt road Chemin de la Pierre à Cambot, turn right and after a few meters turn left into the path of the forest to the west. On the right, another forest tree nursery. Gravel road turns slowly to the right, due north. When get to the place where there are yellow arrows on the trees on the both sides of the road, turn left to a forest path and run down by the wooden steps. Just before the wooden bridge over the stream, turn right down according to the signs. By the wooden steps and footbridges Le trou de la Sorcière run down. Caution, slippery! I know what I write because it happened that I landed here on my butt. Carefully reach the bottom of the valley and by wooden bridge cross the river La Mèbre, which will be our companion until the end of the expedition. We leave for a moment the yellow trail. Here we ran about 2 kilometers from the start of the adventure.

Behind the bridge slightly run up and turn left into poorly visible forest path along the river taking care to muddy and slippery places. This section requires a bit of intuition, because the path I trampled for you is not perfect yet. Run further having the river all the time on the left side untill the rock wall, which bypass from the left side, all the time with a stream below on the left. After a slightly muddy ascent reach the asphalt road Chemin du Devens and turn left, running down until about 3 kilometers from the start. On the traffic ban sign, there are again the yellow markings of the tourist path. There are also brown indicators Sentier de la Cascade which will help to find the way until the finish line. So, turn left, down to the forest, following the signs. The road is strewn with sawdust. Run to the fault rock and by the wooden steps reach the riverbed and the waterfall La Cascade de la Mèbre.

Stairway to the waterfall

Stairway to the waterfall

You need to hurry up with a visit to this place, because the water of the river La Mèbre carries a large amount of sand that abrades the layers of rocks forming a waterfall. When the water will reach the softer layers of sandstone, erosion will accelerate and from the waterfall only a flat bed of the stream will remain.

La Cascade de la Mèbre

La Cascade de la Mèbre

Continue farther due south along the river and run under the highway suspended on concrete pillars above the ravine. On the left side there are concrete water tanks. Interestingly, the river disappears underground for some time. The path leads still to the south. After a slight ascent cross the gate of rock and reach the next natural curiosity – La Pierre à Quatre Sous. Looking at the surrounding rocks and roots entwined around them, creating fancy supports, it is easy to understand the speed at which spalling of the sandstone occurs. From between surrounding boulders that us run out following the sharply path sprinkled with sawdust, and on top of the ascent turn left. The path rises and falls and about 4 kilometers from the start leads us by the next wooden bridge to the other side of the river La Mèbre.

To the other side

To the other side

Just after the bridge, turn right and continue our trip along the river, which is this time on our right side. All the time we head down stream. At the next signpost continue to run by the Sentier de la Cascade, leaving a yellow trail twisting to the right. We arrive to the residuals of channels for fish farming and to the area of the old water mill (Le Moulin – Dessus). The first mention of this place appears in documents as early as 1337.

Le Moulin - Dessus

Le Moulin – Dessus

The route leads further down the river and at about 5 kilometer from the start, runs along the fence of the used cars’ parking, and then to a busy street Route de Prilly.

Route de Prilly

Route de Prilly

It is needed still to run to the right, toward Crissier to the bus number 18 (Bre) and back to the Flon where the expedition started for people traveling by public transport. A motorized and/or more motivated must follow their footsteps and reach the beginning of the route and take their vehicles or again use the green line LEB.

Below the trail recorded by GPS: