Friday, May 15, 2015

From Hergiswil to Pilatus along the east ridge

Originally intended to be a training tour, this ended up being quite a nice one in its own right. The idea is from "Alpinwandern in den Voralpen: zwischen Saane and Reuss". We took the train to Hergiswil and then walked along the shore of the lake, around the corner, and then up, up with the hiking path. It's a nice climb, mainly under trees, with a good breeze, up, up, for the first few hundred meters. After a bit of contouring we climb again, switching back under the trees, until hitting the ridge at p839. The views are awesome, we really have great weather, and we're mostly alone (we a few bikers and a very small number of hikers coming the other way). Now a longer contour under the ridge until we hit the Renggpass, where we switch back to the ridge and start climbing again. Partway up this climb we take a break and eat a bit while enjoying the views to the north. Onward onward, under the Chrummhorn, climbing steadily, until the Tellenfadl├╝cke. At this point we head off the red-white marked path and switch to the path described in our book that takes us further along the ridge.
looking up to the Pilatus
This next stretch leads us further up, up, up, through woods, sometimes over, sometimes around rocks, constantly climbing until we hit the broad grass flank below the Windegg. Here we see the first other hikers of the day who are going the same direction we are. We take another quick break to eat something and enjoy the great views and then start the last bit of climbing up to the Rosegg. This is nice, steep, varied, T4 hiking, big fun! At the saddle past the Steiglihorn we join the path that comes up from the Galtigent├╝rme and then continue to the Rosegg.
looking down along the east ridge
We both want to do the last T5 bit up to the Esel east wall again, but we weren't sure whether or not this would be feasible given the conditions (there is still some snow around) so this is a decision point. Fortunately we see a couple other people doing the path and watch them clear the one snow patch without trouble, so that's an easy decision. Off we go, walking and scrambling and walking and scrambling, over the big snow patch (not sure I'd want to be the first one to do this), up, up, up until we hit the top at the Esel, climb the fence, and go enjoy the panoramic views. This really is a *great* stretch of path.
path up the east wall
Up top we stop for some quick refreshments (cold beverages and french fries) and then work our way through the tourists in the tunnels to start our way down the North side. We want to do at least some descent on this trip, so the plan is to head down at least as far as the first gondola station. This is the same route as what we came up with Kristen some years ago. At the church we would have preferred the more direct descent towards the east, but there's way too much snow for that, so we take the more scenic route. It's a good descent, followed by a bit more climbing (not necessary!) and then we head down the last bit, past the rodelbahn, to the gondola station. The line is scary long, but it moves fast, and 15 minutes later we start the long gondola ride down.

Andrea pointed out somewhere along the way that this wasn't really a training tour: it was too varied and interesting in its own right. That makes it even better. :-)

The track:


We did 1899m up, 934m down, and covered 14.6km.

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