By doing this walk at the age of 82, together with his wife Kathrin, Ernst Erb intended to show that a healthy diet can lead to a longer, active and medication-free life.
According to Ernst Erb, nutritional advice should also be demonstrable. Although he sits virtually ten hours every day in front of the computer, he can easily undertake such hiking tours.
Between Graubünden and Oberengadin there is a distance of 16.5 km, a ~1000 m ascent and ~1300 m descent. The trail starts in Juf, the highest village with permanent residents in Europe (towards the end of the Avers Valley, 2126 m altitude) and goes over the Forcellina Pass (2672 m), down to the Septimer Pass (2310 m, Via Alpina), and then up again over the Lunghin Pass (2645 m).
The landscape looks better when you click on full-screen view.
The Lunghin Pass is also a triple watershed: the Inn flows into the Black Sea, the Maira / Mera into the Adriatic Sea and the Geigia / Julia into the North Sea.
Ernst Erb was determined to make such a drastic dietary change after he was diagnosed in 1978 with a deadly cancer (mantle cell lymphoma presumed stage 3). Taking into account that he was given a statistical life expectancy of only 2.5 years, he refused the suggested treatment. However, this is an approach he doesn’t recommend. He also didn’t choose any other available option, but the hardest way. Over the last few years, there have been several cases of mantle cell lymphoma which was treated through bone marrow transplantation.
For seven years he followed a strict raw food and vegan diet and he strongly recommends the consumption of Erb-Muesli (link), an exceptionally healthy breakfast, designed by him strictly for health reasons. The list of ingredients doesn’t have to be followed strictly, but the muesli should be freshly prepared.
For more information, see also the march from Lucerne to Zurich Ernst Erb did on his 80th birthday (55 km over two hills in one day). According to Ernst, "It is less important how long you live, but how vital and fit and therefore enjoyable you can live."
Here you can find more information about the problematic aspects of the western diet.
Attribution: Music by Flying Camenberts (KieLoKaz ID 119) - KieLoKaz, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.