Monday, September 21, 2009

Calancatal Day 1: San Bernadino -> Rif. Pian Grand

We finally got a break in the weather forecast, so we opted to return to cursed Graubunden and try the Calancatal trip again. We have our fingers fully crossed on the train and the weather is good from Zurich to Chur. So far so good. It stays good on the long bus ride to San Bernadino. Wow! We're actually going to do this. :-)

Up out of town, past the parking lot where a Swiss army detachment is mustering, past the gondola station, and then through the woods and up the mountain. Plenty of sun, blueberries (!), and nice views. It's a very cool path. Greg ends up changing socks on the way up: the old REI socks have reached the end of their useful lifespan. Up, up, up to above the treeline (but not the blueberry line, those go much higher) with a short lunch break in the shade of the last tree.

Afterwards onweards under the warm sun to the Pass de Passit. At this point the path gets somewhat indistinct, but it's still very well marked so we have no problem finding our way steeply up, up to the Pass de la Cruseta. Take in the nice views then the nice descent into the bowl along with some chains for the self confidence. Around the bowl to the the Bocca de Rogna and then around the corner on some nice stoney paths to our first view of the rifugios above. Up the last bit and then we're there.

Get settled in, air out the huts, have some tea, read in the sun (when the sun is there... the clouds are running around and playing quite energetically), then make dinner and fill ourselves with backpacking food we didn't eat in Romania: polenta with dried mushrooms and soy with beef bouillon. A nice ending to a nice day.

Andrea is quite happy to have had a day with plenty of marmots, but no traces of bears. :-)

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