Sunday, July 29, 2007

Two days hiking around Luzern

After a couple cancellations due to weather or other plans, on Saturday we finally managed to get in our Pilatus hike.

We started in Gfellen (1007m), climbed quickly to Alpeli and the Risetenstock (1802m), then followed the ridge past the Mittaggüpfi (1917m), down to a saddle at 1701, back up and around the Widderfeld (we didn't go up to the peak, which would have been a big detour), along the final bit of very nice narrow ridge to the Tomlishorn, then finished at the Pilatus Kulm hotel complex (~2100m). We took the fantastic cog railway down to Alpnachstad. Total climb was about 1300m, with about 300m of descent; we walked for 8.5 hours, including breaks.

On the narrow ridge

Ridge to Tomlishorn and Pilatus-Kulm

After spending the night in Sarnen, we took the Postbus to Stöckalp (1075m) then walked up up up, past Stepfen (1522m), through a really nice gorge and up to Innenbach (1828 m), then over the ridge at Bocki, along the mountainside above Chlister, then steeply up to Wandelen (2105m). The plan from there was to follow the Arnigrat and head down to Sachseln. 20 minutes into the Arnigrat it started to rain. Since the walk was at times pretty hairy and we didn't know what to expect further along, we turned back to Wandelen. From there we headed down to Sachseln (483 m) by way of Mettental (1579m), Unt. Mus (1077m), and Musschwendli.
Total climb was about 1100m, total descent about 1700m; we walked for about 9 hours, including breaks.

That's where we want to go?

On the Arnigrat

It was sad to stop the Arnigrat hike, but we'll definitely go back and do it again. In the other direction so that we're looking towards the Alps instead of away.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Aesch -> Grellingen

Today we set out for a Sunday stroll without much of a plan beyond: start in Aesch and walk.

We ended up doing a two hour hike past Angenstein, along the Falkenflue, then back down the hill into Grellingen where we caught the S3 back into Basel. This was a straightforward walk with some nice views out over the Jura.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Läufelfingen -> Hägendorf

The theme of the day was flexibility.

Our original plan was to get up early and head down towards Luzern in order to do a long gratweg up the Pilatus. The weather forecast (for rain and possible thunderstorms in the afternoon) nixed that idea. So Andrea pointed out that if we started a hike in Läufelfingen and crossed the last bit of the Jura we would have (by combining different hikes) completed a path from Basel all the way across the Jura. That's combining Birsfelden->Rheinfelden, Rheinfelden->Gelterkinden, Gelterkinden->Läufelfingen, and now this hike. If we keep this up and are systematic, we should be able to complete a path across Switzerland. :-)

The devolving weather conditions forced a couple of changes later in the hike as well; this is what we ended up doing: Läufelfingen (566m), Muren (718m), Schmutzberg (969m), Challhöchi (847m), Belchenflue (~1100m), Allerheilengberg (880m), Richenwil (~600m), Gnöd, Hägendorf (423m). We didn't go through the Teufelsschlucht (the big attraction along this hike) due to the weather.
on the Belchenflue

Bad weather coming from the west...

Total hiking time was about 4 hours, including a snack atop the Belchenflue, from which we had fantastic panoramic views of the Alps, the Jura, the southern Schwarzwald, and the clouds which were moving in. Here's the view to the North:

Monday, July 02, 2007

Hiking the Trift and Rhone Glaciers

We took part in a two-day organized group trip (run by Bergpunkt) hiking the Trift and Rhone glaciers.

Saturday, June 30:
With trains and bus via Interlaken, Meiringen, Innertkirchen to Käppeli im Nesseltal (1020 m). Around noon we took the Triftbahn (gondola) up to 1357 m, then walked along the Triftwasser to the Triftbrücke (1720 m) suspension bridge. This bridge is 102 m long and 70 m high. From the Triftbrücke we followed an alpine route (blue-white trail markings) to the Trifthütte (2520 m) and arrived at the hut shortly after 6pm.

Sunday, July 1:
The forecast called for thunderstorms in the afternoon, so our guide wanted to get an early start. This meant an early wake-up call (4:45 am) and breakfast at 5 am. We left the hut (2520 m) shortly before 6am. At the start of the ice we put on crampons and roped ourselves together then went up on the Undre Triftchessi and Obre Triftchessi to Undri Triftlimi (3081 m), where we had a food break with a fantastic view. From there we went down across Grossfirn and the Rhonegletscher to Belvédère (2300 m). We arrived at the Hotel Belvédère shortly after 1pm. Walking in crampons and trekking gear past the stream of Japanese tourists heading towards the hotel's ice cave was pretty funny.
Return to Basel via Furkapass, Andermatt, Göschenen, Luzern.

Overall this trip was fun. We're used to going at our own pace, so we both suffered a bit from the tyranny of the group (particularly when roped in on Sunday). It would be nice to go back and do the Rhonegletscher part a bit more slowly in order to have more time to appreciate the amazing scenery.