Saturday, March 08, 2014

Fasnacht weekend in the Kiental

We decide to flee Basel for the long Fasnacht weekend and head to the Kiental to get some snowshoeing in.

Saturday we take the train and bus to Kiental itself where we are picked up by the hotel taxi. Now it's down the valley, changing to their 4WD with snow chains at the last parking lot (FULL!) and then up the valley end to the Hotel Griesalp (we have started one tour and ended another here). We check-in, ditch some stuff, and then put on the snowshoes and head up, up through the woods. At Dünde Mittelberg we come out into the sun (ah! good weather!) and continue our way up the valley to Obere Dünden where we do a standing lunch (no good places to sit!). Now a final push up (it's warm! the legs are heavy after a lazy winter of bad weather!) to the Chistihubel, where we enjoy a break with great views. After our break we enjoy a nice descent back to the hotel. We find a couple of good, long, steep bits with deep snow that are just great. The snow conditions are excellent. Back at the hotel we enjoy a cool beverage (unfortunately indoors... the seats in the sun are all taken), shower, have a nap, do some wellness, and then have a nice meal before falling asleep.
descent towards Dünde Mittelberg
Sunday we cross the valley to the hotel at Golderli and then head up the valley to Bürgli. From here it's steeply up the side of the valley towards the Sefinenfurgge. Up, up, up we go in perfect weather. At some point we head off the well trodden track to take a break and enjoy the great views from a knob, but then it's up, up again for a while before again heading off the track to another knob where we do lunch and soak up the sun and views. After lunch we head back down. Conditions are, once again, pretty much ideal, so we have a great time descending. At Golderli we stop for a cool beverage in the sun and then head back to the hotel for more wellness (this time starting in one of their outdoor hot tubs) and another quiet evening.
break with views
Monday morning we load up our packs, check out, and then set out. Past Golderli and then up, up, up to the pass at Chanzel. Here along the ridge to the Aabeberg where we take a nice long break to enjoy the absolutely fantastic views. Back to Chanzel, then a fun descent (Greg being careful since he opted not to wear gaiters) past Mittelberg, past Schwand to the road along the valley floor. From here it's a long, nice walk along the valley floor, lunch in the sun at some alp along the way, until we descend to the Kiental on snow that's no longer quite so perfect then take off the snowshoes and do the last bit back along the road into town and the bus back home.
last meters to the Aabeberg

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Snowshoeing from Madulain to Berguen

This was a weekend SAC snowshoeing tour lead by Rene B.

It's cloudy, but stable, when we start (after a long trip) in Madulain. The trail leads us up, up out of town, through the light woods, ever climbing until we get to the Alp Belvair. We take a quick break before heading up some more and then contouring around to the West. It's still overcast and the light isn't great for reading the landscape, so we don't necessarily take the most efficient route, but we eventually make it to the Es Cha Huette. The hut is quite nice and we enjoy a good evening there.

Sunday we continue along in the general direction of the summer trail to the Fuorcla Gualdauna. The weather has improved some, so we actually see bits of blue sky and a bit of sun. Nice! We enjoy the view from the pass for a bit before descending into the Albulatal. Now it's along the valley for a while. After a quick lunch break we pass the hospiz at Albulapass and continue until we hit the end and Crap Alp is in sight. The route along the road gets difficult due to snow drifts, so here we backtrack a bit and then head straight down (fun descent through deep snow!) to the valley floor and Crap Alp. Now through the woods, still lightly descending until Preda. Off with the snowshoes, onto the sleds and down the road to Bergün. We end up doing more walking with the sleds than we'd like at the beginning, but eventually we hit a real descent and get to really enjoy the rest of the way down.

From Bergün it's another long trip back home, but we've had a great time and our eyes are quite full.