Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday : The Arnigrat

The Arnigrat has been teasing us for more than a year now: In July of last year we turned back on the ridge because it started raining, and then in October we didn't even complete the climb to the ridge before turning back due to the lack of visibility. Since then we haven't had the combination of time + weather required to complete the hike. Yesterday that changed.

We leave home pretty early and make it to Sachseln (472m) not long after 9:00. From there it is a real Andrea special: straight uphill to the Stucklichrüz (1802m), where we have a break and a sandwich. This is the same path we took in October, but much nicer since the weather is good and things aren't too muddy.

Next we head down a bit to the Stockalp and then through the valley and up to the ridge itself. Somehow we manage to lose the path in the valley (I blame the Arnigrat!), but that wasn't too much of a problem since it is obvious that we needed to climb out of the valley and up to the ridge. After making the ridge and the nice path at the top, we continue along the first local maximum (2029m), where we wait for two couples to pass us. We're planning on doing the hike pretty slowly in order to extract maximum enjoyment. :-) (Well, that and Greg's low-level fear of heights is in overdrive, so he's probably unable to go fast).
Looking back along the Arnigrat

It's pretty much perfectly clear, so we have fantastic views of the central Alps and their glaciers. The only problem is that walk and gawk is pretty much out of the question: the path is in great shape and not too rough, but it really is pretty narrow and the drops on either side are pretty dramatic, so watching foot placement is a must at most times.

Last time we took this picture, the sky wasn't blue.

After reaching the end of the ridge at Wandelen (2105m) we celebrate a bit, have another break, and then head down to Sachseln by way of the Wengenhorn, Wengen, Bachswengen, and Edisried.

It was a great hike.

Yabadu says we did almost 2000m up and down; we're not sure if that's a record for us, but it certainly was a lot of height change.

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