Saturday, October 06, 2012

Stöckalp to Frutt

Our original plan for the weekend was to do our first self-organized Hochtour and to head up to the Grassen with Yvonne. By the end of the week it became clear that the weather was not going to play along (rain/snow all day on Sunday), so we picked an interesting sounding day hike instead: Stöckalp - Älggi (geographic center of Switzerland) - Abgschütz - Frutt. We've done the first part of this before but we have good memories of it, and it was a while ago anyway.

We leave Basel at a reasonable time and do the train-train-bus thing to get to Stöckalp around 9:15. The weather is a dream: clear, blue skies, cool, perfect Fall hiking weather. All three of us like hiking uphill, so we all really enjoy the climb up through the trees, particularly after the other group that started at the same time as us turns off along the path to Chlisterli. At Stepfen we enjoy the first views (ooooooo, aaaaaaaah!) and then follow the path up further up the ravine and then up the side to the alp at Innenbach and then to the ridge at Bachegg. From here we can see down to Älggi with its very unusual layout (the houses right up against the cliff on the southern edge of the meadow). The parking lot is pretty empty: a promising sign. Down we go, across the meadow (luckily the marshy ground is mostly dry), and to the marker at the geographic center of Switzerland. A few pictures, a lunch break, and then we're on our way again.

Älggi Alp with the geographic center of Switzerland
The next bit takes us back across the meadow, along a fun path up the cliff, and then more climbing up to the very attractive lake at Sachsler Seefeld. Now some more climbing up the end of the bowl and then we're at the saddle (Chringengrätli). Great views from here across to the Berner Oberland (Mönch, Eiger, Wetterhorn, Rosenhorn, Dossen, Ranfenhorn, etc.), but it's incredibly windy so we don't spend too long in the pass itself. Down a bit, along the contour line, another nice steep climb, and then we're at the Abgschütz. Here we find a wind-sheltered spot to take a break and enjoy the views to the Southeast: across the Melchsee-Frutt to the Titlis, Wendenstöcke, Sustenhorn, Gwächtenhorn, etc. Not the Grassen though, that's blocked by the other mountains. We also have a very nice view of ridge that runs from the Hochstollen (just to our left) to the Rothorn: that's a must-do.
View from Abgschütz to Melchsee-Frutt

After a bit of descent we cross the valley floor to Frutt, have a quick beverage enjoying the views, and then take the lift down to start the trip back home. It was a great day with varied hiking, lots to see, and good weather. What more could we ask for?

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