Sunday, August 11, 2013


We're out and underway, beneath cloudless blue skies, shortly after 8a.m. We start along the path around the big green meadow and then divert off to climb gently outwards and towards the valley's end. There have been a few too many cows following this one, so the trail is somewhat chaotic, but it leads us along the valley, always climbing, towards the wall at the end. Steeply up the wall, past a couple of snow fields, and then we're at the Ammertepass. We enjoy the nice views, visually confirm that our planned off-trail route ahead looks like it will work, and then follow the trail down the other side.
checking out the planned off-trail route
At the first bit where it levels off, we turn off the trail and head up the rocky slope towards the wall of the Wildstrubel. We cross around the back of the first big bit of moraine, pass above the small lake, walk around the tip of the next moraine (there's actually a track here), and then pick our way through the rocks and snow fields as we continue to work our way upwards.

At around 2590m we hit a broad flat area that's almost Mars-like in color. The rock here is mostly shale (or something related), which breaks into lots of little pieces during freeze-crack-thaw cycles, so the ground is actually pretty soft. We've got great views in a couple directions, so we stop for a sandwich break before heading up the ridge to the Ammertehore.
Mars-like landscape
The ridge is broad, not overly steep, and has great footing (more shattered shale), up up we go until we reach the series of bumps that mark the "peaks" of the Ammertehore. On the last one we stop for another sandwich break (the views are just too good not to), marvel at the number of people atop the Ammertespitz across the valley (we're completely alone), and confirm our plan for the next bit of the route before working our way down the other side of the ridge, across the floor of the little bowl, past a couple little lakes (the last one *almost* tempted Greg in for a dip, but it's not quite warm enough) and then up to the saddle on the other side.
on the ridge/top of the Ammertehore
From the saddle we look for a big stoneman that's supposed to be our next waypoint. The stoneman seems to be gone, but there's really only one possible route, so we take that. A bit more walking, some steep descending, and then we're on the marked hiking path that leads from the Flueseeli to the Wildstrubel. Just before we reach this, a guy goes past carrying a mountain bike. This is pretty weird, because there's really nowhere up here where one would have a chance to ride and he's headed towards a glacier. Na, ja, people are strange.

We follow the path down to the beautiful Flueseeli, have a nice "dip-our-feet-in-the-water" break, and then head down to Simmefälle. There are plenty of people about (no surprise given the weather and how nice this path is), and Andrea is setting a "down from the Hochtour" pace, so we pass lots of people on the way down. At Bi de Sibbe Brünne we stop to marvel at the waterfalls materializing from the trees, then we continue down, down, down. The water level in all the various streams and rivers is quite high, so the Barbarabrücke, where a bridge crosses the Simme, is particularly dramatic. Down, down we go until we reach the restaurant/hotel at Simmefälle. We enjoy a rest and a cool beverage and then get on the standing-room-only bus that starts our journey back home.
beautiful Flueseeli
It was a really nice day and a quite different kind of tour. Good stuff!

Aside: this was Greg's first tour in a new pair of boots. The four-year old Meindl's were reaching the end of their life. The new ones (Kayland Contact Dual GTX) worked out quite well.


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