River deep, mountain high: adventure in Europe’s ‘Grand Canyon’ region

Forget the US, discover spectacular scenery hours away in Switzerland, writes Joanna Whitehead

<p>The impressive turquoise-ribboned Rhine Gorge</p>

The impressive turquoise-ribboned Rhine Gorge

More than 8,500ft above sea level in the Swiss Glarus Alps, in a mountain lodge built in the Second World War as a military bunker, my muscles are fatigued and my nerves are frayed.

After three days of biking, hiking, swimming and climbing, the treacherous ascent up to the Segnespass ridge proved to be the final straw, with subsequent tears and profanities bellowed across the majestic range.

Brave souls who made it to the top were rewarded with a lick from Dschinny, the resident St Bernard, but even her affections weren’t enough to soothe our tattered spirits when our guide confessed that she would not have attempted the climb had she known the extent of the damage caused to the route following snowfall a fortnight previously. At her words, the imposing peaks and glaciers surrounding us appeared to take on a more menacing form as the sun sank and the wind picked up.

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