Monday, February 18, 2013

Two days over Thusis: Day two

We wake to lovely cloud-free blue skies. Excellent! After a nice breakfast we head to the train station and grab a bus to Ober Tschappina (stress on the first syllable! the bus driver will look at you funny if you put it elsewhere). It's a real pleasure to put on sunscreen in the bus. :-)

From the bus stop we follow a forest road off towards the Glaspass. After a few minutes of enjoying walking in the sun we head off on a nice path which leads us up through the woods towards the pass. At the pass we pick up a winter hiking path up towards the ridge. After a bit of this the snowshoe trail heads up and off to the left; we put on the snowshoes and follow. Some climbing later, we're up top and enjoying the views. After a couple pictures we continue along the ridge, head steeply down, and then through the rolling land to the saddle. The snow really makes the rolling, bumpy landscape fun. From the saddle we start climbing again, up, up to the Lüschgrat. It's a bit surprising to see the top of a lift from there, but we take a few steps back and enjoy the sun and views with a quick lunch break.
After lunch we head down again (ah, ridge hikes) until we reach the Bischolpass. Around the bump at p2056 and then up, up again to the Tguma. Another short break to eat a bit and enjoy the views and then we head down for real. Heading down through deep snow with snowshoes is fun. :-) After some descent we end up back on a prepared winter hiking path. We wend our way down, through a small ski area, until we end up just above Unter Tschappina. Another short break on a bench in the sun (we've got time to kill) and then down to the houses to see if we can find somewhere to sit and wait for the bus. Of course the only restaurant in town is closed for the winter, so we find a sunny spot in the sun and hang out until the bus comes and we start the long trip back to Basel.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Two days over Thusis: Day one

The forecast for Sunday and Monday was good, so we decided to skip Fasnacht this year and head out to the mountains to get some sun and move our legs.

We start by taking the gondola up from Chur to Brambüesch under a very disappointing blanket of clouds, have a coffee, and then head up the snowshoe trail that runs more or less parallel to the T-bar for a bit before dropping us at the edge of a ski slope above the tree line. Hrm. Up we go beside the slope until we reach the bottom of the chair lift at Hühnerköpfe. Here there's no snowshoe trail at all in evidence, so rather than continue to walk up through the ski area, we take the lift up (nice that the guy at the lift lets us do this!) to Furggabüel. From here we should theoretically have great views out over the high plain and over towards the Fulhorn, our planned destination for the day. Given the low clouds, we don't actually see much of anything. Crap.
Ah well, off we go, following the tracks of other snowshoers, past the Dreibündenstein and continuing South. After a while the clouds lift some and we can see the, still cloud covered, top of the Fulhorn. As we continue the sun comes out a bit in front of us (yay!), so we adjust our route to head for that (not much point heading up a mountain to not have any views). Upon reaching a sunny patch, we have a quick lunch, marvel at the number of people heading up to the Fulhorn despite the less-than-optimal conditions, and then turn to the West and head a bit across the rolling plain. After some nice descending through deep snow, we hit the Culm Ault and pick up the winter hiking path that takes us around the Tgom' Aulta (Graubunden place names can really sound like locations in a fantasy novel) and then to the ski area at Alp Raguta. We do another short sandwich break, watching the guys curling and in general enjoying the chaos, and then set off down the road. Unfortunately we listen to some spurious argument from Greg about not wanting to sled down wearing a backpack, so we doom ourselves to a long, winding route down. Ah well, we wanted to use our legs.

From Feldis we take the gondola down to Rhäzuns, where we get the bus to Thusis and our hotel. The Hotel Weiss Kreuz has a small wellness area downstairs (steam bath, sauna, something in between) which we take good advantage of before a pre-dinner rest and a good meal to wrap up the day. The weather may not have played along, but it was good to be out in the fresh air and moving our legs.