Sunday, June 08, 2014

Schwarzsee to Boltigen via the Kaiseregg

After a very nice breakfast buffet we check out of the hotel and set out on our way under clear blue skies promising a very warm day.

We head around the top of the lake, through the parking lot, and then start heading up, up, up on a maintenance road. Past the top of the Rodelbahn, up, up, really starting to sweat (9am and it's already pretty warm), up we go. We definitely aren't alone; I guess more people take the chair lift up, but there are still plenty of folks heading up here. After a while we get pretty bored with the road, the views are nice but we were spoiled by yesterday's hike. At Hürlisboden we turn off the road and head up, up the field until we hit the saddle at Salzmatt. Lots of people here since one of the easy routes up to the Kaiseregg from the lift comes this way. At the saddle we turn off down the road and head to the Seelihus. We say hi to the goats running around, then set off across the field towards the cliffs.
view from Hürlisboden to Riggisalp und Spitzflue
Now things start to get entertaining. We got a description saying that there's a T5 route up to the ridge that has old markings and traces of an old path. About halfway up, in the grass, we can see the faint zig zags of the old path, but on the other side of those it's not at all clear how we'll be getting to the ridge. Ah well, off we got towards the zig zags. Up, up we go, increasingly steeply. After a bit we manage to find the "trail" and even see a marker. Bonus! More up and up, ever steeper. Mostly we are able to stay on grass, where the footing is better than on the loose stone. From below we thought that the path was going to lead off to the right and then, somehow, up a cliff. As we climb it becomes clear that we're actually just going straight up, through a couloir.  Up, up we go, through a mix of grass and rock, with the sticks packed away since we're using our hands a fair bit, up, up, until we come out on the fairly broad, grassy ridge with a great view. That was fun! :-)
use of hands required
An aside here: it would definitely be possible to head down the other side of the ridge at this point; there's a clear and pretty easy looking route down into the bowl. We're not doing that this time though.

After catching our breath for a bit, we head along the ridge towards the Kaiseregg. A short bit of ridge walking and then it's up, up again, following traces of a path and doing some scrambling. Part way up, we spook a good-sized fox, who takes off down the slope. After a last bit of scrambling we make it to the peak, where the masses await. We do a nice lunch break, enjoying the views and resting our legs, before starting the trip down along the main trail (up the difficult way, down the easy way... yay!).
last stretch to the peak of the Kaiseregg
Now we're in down, down mode. Past plenty of other people, down, down along the trail until we hit the Kaisereggpass. From here we bid farewell to the Schwarzsee and then head down the other side. More down and down, along the freshly repaired (actually still being repaired) trail, with the temperature ever increasing, until we hit the Kaisereggalp. Here we take advantage of the trough filled with nice, clear, cold water  to cool ourselves down (boy does that make a difference) before heading gently down across the bowl. At Vordere Walop we take our last look back at the wall of the Kaiseregg and the pass we came through and then head down, down, down until we hit the next bowl above Chlus. Another refreshment break at a trough, and then onwards again, always downwards, mostly along the road (unfortunately), past Schwarzenmatt, down, down, until we hit Boltigen. On last bit along the road and then we're at the train station, with 6 minutes to spare until our train gets there. Good timing!


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