New thrill for hikers in the Swiss Alps

NEAR RANDA, Switzerland — It soars, it impresses, and it terrifies. A new suspension bridge in the Swiss Alps shaves a few hours off a hike, making for one of the more spectacular shortcuts imaginable.

CBS News’ Seth Doane hiked to it along with a backpacking group from Denver.

“What do you think of the bridge?” Doane asked the group.

“It’s cool!” “Amazing!” “Spectacular!” they said.

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The bridge

CBS News

One of the challenges, Cindy Snow explained, is where to look.

“When you look down to the rocks then you want to look up to the view of the mountains, so you look up and then you look down and you’re like ‘woah!'” she said.

The bridge crosses a valley and spans the length of almost five football fields. When you walk on it, it rocks a little bit. And believe it or not, that’s by design.

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Theo Lauber

CBS News

“I want that people get a bit nervous and a bit upset,” said Theo Lauber, the bridge’s engineer.

“Why?” Doane asked.

“There are lots of other bridges, and this one is a bridge that moves your heart,” Lauber said.

He proudly told Doane it is his 35th bridge: “I am called Mr. Bridge!” he said.

Cindy Conway dragged her less-than-thrilled husband Geoff Pavey to the Alps from North Carolina.

“As soon as I saw the pictures, I knew we had to come,” Conway said. Why? “For the thrill.”

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Geoff Pavey

CBS News

“While we were walking up I was talking about how this was going to be tough for me because I have a fear of heights,” Pavey said.

He came to the wrong place.

Meeting the bridge’s engineer put Pavey’s mind at ease, a bit.

“Maybe I don’t see you again, but not because of the bridge!” Lauber joked.

The idea behind the bridge was to boost tourism, and, it turns out, it has raised blood pressure, too.

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Source: CBS News – World

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