Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dallenwil to the Buochserhorn via the Gitzitritt

 It's getting late in the season, but the forecast for Sunday was really good so we had to get out into the mountains. After flipping through two of the "More difficult hikes" books we decide to do the Buochserhorn. We'd noticed this lovely pyramid when we did the Stanserhorn tour earlier in the year and were enthusiastic about the short travel time to Dallenwil. The book calls for a start with the gondola, but we opt instead to do the whole thing on foot; nothing wrong with walking uphill. :-)

From the train station in Dallenwil we head a bit down river then cross over and start the climbing. Past the church, past houses, following a trail that mostly cuts the corners on the zig-zagging street, through somewhat muddy pastures, past cows, always up, up with great views all around (including fall colors!).  At around 1100m we leave the trail for the Buochserhorn and head towards Buochs. Briefly down, then turning on an unmarked trail to traverse the slope under the peak. This is a very nice narrow path that gently ascends through the woods. After a bit we reach the Ribihuisli where we do a quick snack and tea break before heading onwards on the blue-white marked trail up towards the ridge. Up, up we go with the path getting progressively steeper until we reach the Gitzitritt, where there's a cable to help get up through the very steep trees and rocks. There are enough holds on rocks and tree routes to make the cable mostly unnecessary, but I can imagine it's quite helpful on the way down.
On the Gitzitritt
Some quite enjoyable scrambling (luckily not muddy here!) later and we're on the ridge with nice views to both the north and south.

Now we just follow the ridge, sometimes in the open, sometimes in the woods, the last 300m up to the Buochserhorn, with its fantastic panoramic view including bits of the Berner Oberland to the west and the glaciers of the Glärnisch and Tödi to the east.
View from the Buochserhorn back along the ridge
We've been mostly alone all day (one other couple on the path towards the Gitzitritt and then a few people up on the ridge), but we're back in a seriously popular area now. We pick a comfy place to sit and enjoy the views and have lunch and a brief nap in the sun. After our rest, the trail leads us down the other side of the Buochserhorn, down, down to the fork at the Bleikigrat. Here we continue along the ridge, do some really nice scrambling in the rocks of the Rätzelen (dessert!), and come out on the Musenalper Grat. This broad grass ridge leads us to Ober Musenalp with its gondola station and restaurant.
After a cool beverage in the sun, we start the long way home. This shouldn't normally be that much of a pain, but the beautiful weather has lured lots of people into the mountains, so there's a wait at both gondola stations, a standing-room-only train from Niederrickenbach to Luzern and then a really crappy connection to Basel (RE to Olten, also standing-room-only, and then a transfer to Basel), so it ends up taking almost four hours to get back.

It was a really nice day in the mountains with great views and some fun scrambling mixed in.

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