Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gspon to Giw via the Simelihorn

We start by climbing out of town. The path isn't exactly indicated, but Andrea manages to get us going in the right direction. We climb and climb through the woods, past the buildings at Sänntum, past the cross at Häüschbiele (there are people camping up here! what a view!), and then more or less following a contour to an Alp at about 2418m. Here we refresh ourselves in the fountain, then leave the path behind us and follow traces along a more-or-less direttissima to p.2781 on the ridge. Down we go a bit and then we follow the path traces up the north-eastern face of the Simelihorn. It's pretty easy going, with a bit of fairly steep block scrambling up towards the top.

Up top we enjoy the great views, have a quick lunch (it's hot! 30 degrees in the sun at 3100m!), and re-think our plans. We originally had talked about continuing along the ridge to the Mattwaldhorn and then somehow getting down the East side of that. This isn't looking like such a great idea, so we head back the way we came, down past the small lake in the Findletälli, and then down some more to the turnoff point for the Blausee, under the Ochsehorn. Here we turn back a bit to the South with the intent of walking around the end of the valley, through the Magelicke, and then down towards the Simplon pass. Not too long after a very refreshing short break along the Schwarzbach (it's hot! the cold water is good!) we reach a crossing with a sign that seems to indicate that our planned route is going to take an additional 4+ hours. This doesn't seem right (in retrospect it almost certainly wasn't), but we don't have anything like that long before the last bus that has a decent connection back, so we instead opt to follow the Suonenweg back to the Gibidumpass. This is a really, really nice path next to the burbling water, with a light breeze, with great views, and with nothing but a gentle descent (as always along the Suonen). Really nice gentle walking, very good for Greg's knee.

At Gibidumpass we take another break in the last bit of shade (boy is it hot away from the Suonen and without the light breeze!) before heading down the last bit to Giw. After a refreshing drink we take the chairlift down to Visperterminen, then the bus back to Visp. The train station is crazy full (of course), so we take a train to Brig, do some quick shopping, and board the next train towards Basel there. We at least have seats before the masses get on a Visp and are able to "enjoy" the utter chaos the rest of the way back to Basel.

The track:


Philippe Noth said...

Hi Greg,

Thanks for the blog. As an avid hiker myself, I got some ideas from your reports.

I was wondering how you generated the height profiles that you have been using recently. Mine are created with the Swiss Map profile tool and are nowhere as cool as yours. Also a Python script ?



greg landrum said...

Hi Philippe,

Glad the blog is providing ideas.

The height profiles are, indeed, from another python script. The script is fairly crude, but does seem to work. And the profiles are definitely fun.:-)

The code is here: