Sunday, May 13, 2012

Getting ready for the season: Moutier->Gaensbrunnen

It's very quickly getting to be mountain season again and we're both feeling massively out-of-shape and unprepared, so when we finally had the chance for a weekend day with a halfway-decent weather forecast, we absolutely had to head up into the mountains. Andrea found a hike with >1000hm that starts in Moutier; picking this was a pretty easy decision (only one hour on the train! whoot!).

From the train station we head out of town to the South (not North like when we started here a year ago). At a crossroads (where they're setting up a motocross event... good we're here early!) we turn off into the woods and start the climbing. Gently zig-zags under the woods on a path that's not *too* muddy, trending ever upwards. There's a really nice short stretch through a gorge (around La Combe on the map), but mainly we're climbing through the woods until Berg. d'Eschert, where things open up for the last stretch to the ridge of Oberdörferberg. Along the ridge to the high point and then a quick food break; the views are nice, but it's not particularly warm. We've made good time to this point: two hours for the ~7km and 750hm to the top.

After lunch we zigzag down into the next valley. At Subigerberg we opt to stay on the road (it's marked as a trail on our map, but not signposted). A bit of confusion just as the woods start and then we get it right and climb through the Cholgraben and up, up, up. This is a really nice gentle ascent that we push ourselves on. Coming out of the woods we rejoin marked trails and head on to Althüsli (not so long since last time we were here) where we have cool beverages and a snack (aside: it's *full*... not sure if that's a normal Sunday afternoon or a Mother's Day thing, but we're lucky to find two seats).

After our snack break we head up to the Hasenmatt. This is one of those "oooo, views!" points some days. Not today though... the clouds are too low, so we can't see the Alps. Nice views of the Jura chain though. From the peak we follow the ridge a bit before hitting the road and a parking lot. There's a sign here that says that it's 1:35 to Gänsbrunnen; the next good connection homewards leaves in an hour. "Think we can do it?", "Sure!". And off we go... gotta practice the running down the mountain part too. :-)

It's a nice descent on good paths/forest roads under the trees. We push ourselves and make Gänsbrunnen in less than 50 minutes. Plenty of time to catch our breaths before the train comes and we start the trip back to Basel. :-)

no pictures, it just wasn't a good day for them. Instead, here's the nice height profile. :-)

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