Sunday, July 03, 2016

T6 over Thun: Ralligstöck

The second trip to make up for the canceled three-day tour. Since today was another good weather day, Andrea picked a hike from one of the "more interesting hikes" books and we set off to climb up the Ralligstöck ridge.

We followed the normal path out of Sigriswil up, up, up and around the end of the ridge towards Justistal. Just at the end of the ridge we took the use-trail behind the old bench to start our way up the ridge. This is a good long ridge with lots of fun in it. We had a mixture of nice walking through the forest, scrambling, exposed scrambling, and scrambling using tree roots (like in the Jura!). Great stuff. The path finding wasn't always completely simple, but knowing that we were supposed to stick to the ridge when possible and that the climbing wasn't supposed to really get above II (we both agree that it was more like III in places, but that may be because we didn't find the simple route) made it doable. We had our climbing belts on while doing the ridge, but we never needed to unpack the rope. Really great fun for about 2 hours. At the end we join a normal hiking path for a bit more climbing through the woods before coming out into the sun and following another foot path that takes us to the base of the route up the Spitzi Flue.
scrambling along the ridge
This looks completely doable via scrambling, but since it is very exposed and we had the rope, we broke that out and made our way sensibly to the top. Here we enjoyed the really, really nice views and the sunshine while having a second food break. After climbing back down (also nice to have the rope for that), we rejoin the path and continue along to the alp at Unterbergli. We pass this and then take the (marked... Our book is 10 years old and wrong about that) path that leads us under the Rothorn with great views down into the Justistal and across to Niederhorn (been there before, need to dig out the link).
views from the Spitzi Flue
After a bit of very enjoyable walking we hit the Schafloch, a 700m long tunnel through the mountain that will take us to the other side. This is another real experience. We have headlamps with us for this, which is good because it otherwise would be completely undoable (it's pitch black). Andrea's battery is low, so her lamp keeps going out, which adds a bit of drama as we walk through the (easy) tunnel in the cold dark and get dripped on from above. As Andrea said after we came out: "it's a very good thing that there were no bats in there".
Schafloch cave, the entrance to the tunnel
Back in the light we take the path down, down, down, moving pretty quickly, until we see the sign telling us that it'll take us 40 minutes to get the Schwanden. We have 30 until the next bus. We make it in 20 by enjoying ourselves doing a bit of trail jogging and the usual fast walking. Trail jogging downhill is a new game to make the descents from tours more enjoyable. :-)

A great tour on a great weather day. I think we'll probably do this one again.

The track:

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