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.

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