Sunday, February 06, 2011

Lindernenhuette -> Sisikon

Got off at a normal time after the usual good SAC hut breakfast. Our goal for the day is the Hagelstock, from which we'll choose a good route down to either Sisikon or some other convenient bus stop.

Of course there's a ton of other folks leaving at the same time, so we follow a couple groups of ski-touring folks out from the hut and head up for a while under blue skies and really nice conditions. It's surprising how many people are heading towards this pretty easy peak when there are some more popular ones (i.e. the Rossstock) in the area. Ah well, they're probably beginners.

After climbing for a while, something starts to seem not quite right. The peak everyone else is heading towards is clearly not the Hagelstock (too high, too sharp), so we start to head off a bit to the left, but that doesn't see right either. A glance at the altimeter shows that we're above 2200m, which is definitely odd since the Hagelstock is only 2181m. Something ain't right.

We head up a bit more to a cliff edge to survey the landscape and try to figure out where the heck we are. Looking at the map and the compass and the altimeter we can't really converge on an explanation that makes sense... frustrating. Since there are a couple of other snowshoers coming down towards us, we ask them the embarassing question: "what's the peak in front of us." the response: "which one are you trying to find?", "the Hagelstock", "you've gone the wrong way, that's the Rossstock." Ah ha! That explains the numbers of people going this way... we've climbed the wrong mountain. Stupid!

We stop to think about how this happened (easy answer: it was early and we were both kind of still caught up in the hectic of the crowds, so when we reached Ober Hüttli we thought we were at Mälchbödeli. Stupid!

Anyway, back down we head to the saddle at Mälchbödeli, then down to the valley at Spilauhütten and along to the lift station at Gitschen. There we've got a nice view back to the Lidernenhütte, which causes Andrea to remember that we forgot to pay before leaving. Doh! it's not our day. Back around the corner to the hut, pay, and then back to the lift station.

From here we head up a bit around the corner and then start our descent into the Riemenstaldner Tal. This involves quite a lot of fun route finding since for much of the way there's no trail to follow, but we make it down to Färnen, then along the slope for a bit to Alplen, down through the woods through X and Y before reaching the path leading from Z to Sisikon.

We get to Sisikon with less than a minute to buy tickets for the S bahn, which we barely manage to make (Greg runs ahead and holds the train while Andrea completes the ticket purchase). Then it's the long ride back to Basel.

Somehow more disorganized than usual today, but a good day of walking nevertheless.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Stoos -> Lidernenhuette

Finally a weekend with a good weather forecast where we're both in town!

We start, after a good tram-train-train-bus-funicular trip in Stoos. There are tons of people around, but they're all skiing, so we head out of the masses pretty quickly. A nice walk in the sun, mostly following the contour lines, takes us around towards the Laubgarten. At first we're on the cross-country ski route, then following a nicely stamped-out path. It's blissfully quiet and sunny. :-)

After passing through the Wannentritt we do a quick lunch break and enjoy the views before heading down to the valley floor. A bit along the valley and then the path takes us up the other side, through the woods, then up, up, up to the top of the valley side and along to the Lindernenhuette itself. This is one of those approaches where you hike and hike and wonder when you're going to see the hut and then, all of a sudden, it's there, five minutes away.

The hut is 5 minutes from the top of a gondola in an area with a lot of easy ski tours, and the weather was good, so as soon as we got there we were done with the solitude. :-)