Sunday, August 04, 2013

Spannort trip day 4: Kröntenhütte to Erstfeld

We hear the folks doing some mountaineering heading downstairs for breakfast at 4 a.m., but today we get to roll over and go back to sleep. After breakfast at 7 and getting everything packed up, we decide to skip the climbing today (we're both a bit tired and not convinced we really want to climb) and do a scenic route down to Erstfeld. We enjoy the last view from the hut and then head out on the path towards Päuggen. This is a nice, lightly ascending route through open terrain with great panoramic views; just what we were looking for.
Looking back at the Gross Spannort (l) and the Schlossberg (r)

Andrea and the end of the valley
At the fork for the panorama route (not for us today, but something to consider for sure), we turn down and head down, down, down, into progressively greener and greener terrain. We both need to make a conscious effort to adjust our foot placement: after three days where the (grippy dry) rocks are the places of choice, the (wet, often moss covered) rocks are now slippery as hell. Down, down, steeply down, past the alp at Ellbogen (great name), down, down some more through lots of different types of vegetation and terrain, until we hit the valley floor at Bodenberg. Our hopes for a lunch spot near the river are dashed when we discover that there are fences everywhere and just no good way to get near the water. Damn. We find a convenient bench in the shade instead and enjoy our lunch there.

After lunch we follow the gravel road down for a while (normally irritating, but at this point it's not bad to be able to do a good walk-and-gawk without worrying about foot placement) until we hit the paved road at Sagerberg. A bit past this we're expecting the path to Erstfeld to turn off to the right on a bridge; we get to the bridge, but there's no path sign. Hrm, weird. So we walk a hundred meters or so further until we hit a group of hiking path signs. No mention of the path down to Erstfeld. Very weird. Back to the bridge we go, across, and then up towards the farmhouse there. We see a trace where someone has crossed a field, but no path markings. Still weird. We hear some people, we walk around the barn towards the house and ask the guy doing yard work where the path to Erstfeld is. Apparently it's officially closed because some part of it got washed out and it's no longer up to the safety standards. He looks at us, looks at our boots, and then says "but you can still do it, it's no problem". He gives us directions to find the beginning and we set off. It's a great path in the woods that starts high above the river and then descends steeply. Before we know it, we're in Erstfeld. Wow, time flies when you're on a great path. We cool off in a fountain, grab some cool beverages at the kiosk in the train station and then hang out a bit to wait to start the trip home.


No comments: