Sunday, August 17, 2014

Brisen traverse

We finally got a weekend with decent weather (at least in parts of the Alps). After cancelling the hochtour we originally had planned (Greg cut his finger while cooking on Thursday and it wasn't ready for climbing), we decided to do a nice ridge hike instead.

Starting in Wolfenschiessen (an hour later than planned because of technical problems with the train from Basel), we took the small gondola up to Brändlen and then started heading up. up, up, following the signs for Haldigrat. It has been raining, a lot, so the path is pretty muddy and we spend a fair amount of time trying to pick our way through without going ankle deep in mud (not always successfully). It's a very nice path, with great views, but it is very muddy.
are there boots underneath the mud?

Eventually, after a good amount of climbing, we hit the ridge at Gigi, where we stop for a snack and a short break. Then it's onward along the ridge, enjoying the views, seeing a few other people now, fortunately less muddy, until we hit the Bergstation Haldigrat. Here we do a lunch break, enjoy the views, and watch the guys getting hang gliders ready to fly (you don't see many hang gliders in the Alps, but there's a big group here, must be an event). After lunch we continue our way along the somewhat muddy ridge, climbing up, up, towards the Brisen.
along the ridge towards the Brisen

Now there are plenty of people around (unsurprisingly). Up top we manage to find a place to sit (not easy with the crowd!) and enjoy the amazing views. We can see many of our past tours (Gitschen, Nünalphorn, Stanserhorn, Buochserhorn), some that we still need to finish (Uri Rotstock, Rigi Hochflue, Glattigrat, Arvigrat), and some that we don't even know about yet. ;-)
crowds on the top of the Brisen
After a short rest we continue on our way. Opting not to do the hairy bit out to the Hoh Brisen (next time), we head down and along the path to the Northeast. At the fork in the path we make the obvious decision to stay on the ridge and head to the Glattigrat. This is a nice ridge with a good path; the part that turned us back when we were on snowshoes four and a half years ago is no problem now.
along the ridge towards Glattigrat and the Risetenstock
We take a break at the Risetenstock and then head down, down, down to the gondola station at Klewenalp and the crowds down there. The gondola takes us down to Beckenried were we, once again, catch the boat back to Luzern.

Nice trip! Track:

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