Switzerland Travel

How Climbing Mt. Pilatus Can Conquer Fear

Fear stops us from experiencing moments that make us feel alive. The night before my climb to Mt. Pilatus, I woke up fearing that the cog wheel train–the steepest in the world at 48 degrees–would fall over the edge. Of course I was over reacting. Of course my mind just had to zero in on the scariest thing. I was close to calling it quits even though I’d already paid for the ticket. My mother told me that I might regret it later if I cancelled because of fear. Now, every time I’m about to back out of something because of fear, I ask, “Will I regret giving this opportunity up?” If the answer is yes, then I find a way to convince myself to go through with the plan.

Loads of tourists have gone through this ride and they’ve survived. I was part of a reputable tour group that made sure we were safe. I calmed myself down with similar thoughts as these, and finally, was able to get back to sleep.

When I woke up, I was still nervous, but much of the fear had left. Somehow, daylight broke the misty night spell of fear. As I boarded the bus, I told myself there was no going back. Face the fear. Besides, I had friends who would watch my back. I had to trust the universe that everything was going to be okay.

Mt. Pilatus train station

How Climbing Mt. Pilatus Can Conquer Fear

We arrived at the Pilatus-Bahn cog wheel train station to find the mountain covered in mist. At least I wouldn’t have to worry about looking out the window. Inside the train, my fears felt foolish. Though it was angled at almost 50 degrees, I found no real reason to be afraid.

Mt. Pilatus

A little peak of the mountain. Those damn clouds were blocking the view. We spotted a herd of cows munching on grass unaware that tourists like us were going to the top of the mountain they called home.

Finally, we were at the top! When we got out of our compartments, we were told that we had about an hour or so to explore. We all went our separate ways. There was a hotel at the mountain called Bellevue! All around were glass windows, but since it was so cloudy, there was no view to speak of. I was disappointed because I wanted to know what 2132 above sea level looked like.

I found a staircase that led outside a viewing deck. It was cool being surrounded by clouds, but also a little terrifying because you don’t know what’s around you!

on top of Mt. Pilatus
I probably had like five layers of clothing on me. I’m one person who easily gets cold so yeah!

There was not much to see, so I went back down and found another door that led to bigger viewing deck/terrace. It was white everywhere. I felt like I was in a horror movie haha!

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As I explored this area, I bumped into a few of my tour companions who told me that the best view was from up the hill. Yes, there was another hill up the mountain. Haha! The climb looked intimidating what with a staircase leading to yet another sea of clouds.

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I didn’t make it very far up because we had less than 20 minutes left to go around. The higher I climbed, the colder it got!

I walked back down to the terrace area and found that there was a small trail connected to the building and led INSIDE the mountain. I had wished the fog lifted so I could get a better grasp of my surroundings. I had to content myself with the promotional video on loop near the boarding station.

Five minutes before we were to depart, the skies started clearing. I ran to the nearest window shouting for everyone to look. It was absolutely breath-taking!! I felt so happy!

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I would have stayed on longer if I could, but our tour guide instructed us that our tickets were only valid at specified time slots. I didn’t want the tour bus to leave me in another country (no matter how tempting it was! There was a hotel anyway at Mt. Pilatus! Haha)!!

Mt. Pilatus
The blue glass was the viewing deck/building we were in!

Going down the mountain was bittersweet. I was happy to see more of Mt. Pilatus, but also envious of the batch of tourists who had arrived at the perfect moment. Those lucky people!

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Imagine if I had succumbed to fear? I would have missed out on such a great experience.

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