Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snowshoeing: Finnu -> Maelchgrat

Again up to Brischeru via Chastler. Today we're a bit earlier (9:30 start), so we're the first ones along the path for the day (noticeable because the wind has blown snow over the path during the night). Our goal is the Mälchgrat and we have a description of the way there, but there aren't really any paths to be seen, so we wing it. Up behind the houses of Brischeru and then more or less along the slope following the occasional hint of a trail (from snowshoes or touring skis). Throughout the weather is odd: the clouds seem to be swirling, so at times we're in sun and at times we're under clouds. The 4000ers are all buried under an impressive cloud blanket.
Fun watching a group of touring skiiers work their way towards the Gärsthorn. By the time we get to the bottom terrace of the grat, it's looking like the clouds are there to stay, so we decide not to do the last bit of ascent and wander around the lower terrace a bit. Crazy wind-crafted snowscapes. Lunch with a nice view but in the cold cold wind, so it's a quick one.

On the way back we watch the 4 touring ski guys come down the mountain (with two dogs!) and then follow their path back into Brischeru. Of course by the time we get down to the alp the clouds above us have cleared up and the sky is fantastically blue. Neither of us trusts it enough (or feels fit enough really) to turn around and go back up, so we have another snack and then head back down towards Chastler.

Along the way we follow a side trail off into the woods and get to enjoy a very nice steep descent through the deep snow in the woods before rejoining the main trail. Quite a nice diversion from the very well trampled highway. After a bit more wandering around Chastler, we head back down to the flat (3:30).

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