Thursday, August 01, 2013

Spannort trip day 1: up to the Spannorthütte

We start not too early and grab a train/train combo to Engelberg. We've decided in advance to save ourselves the two hour hike along the alley floor in the heat and organized an Alpentaxi to take us to Stäffeli. Money very well spent! From here it's just 1.5 hours on a nice path up the valley side to the Spannorthütte. Up, up we go until we're surprised by the little hut appearing out of nowhere. Friendly welcome, something cool to drink, and the we head over to the klettergarten to do some practicing. We do three routes in the 4a-4c range with our boots. You never could do this in the Jura (too slippery!), but here it's easy and very good practice. It's pretty amazing how small a piece of rock you need to get a good hold with the stiff soles of our boots.
Greg belaying
Back to the hut for some rest, then back to the wall to climb some more 4 routes until it's dinner time. Dinner is good, not overly crowded in the little hut (25 out of 40 beds are full), and then it's off to bed after watching the sunset colors on the Spannort and the Schlossberg and enjoying the fantastic views and the late-day warmth.
The hut and the Gross Spannort
A word about the hut: it's small, pretty traditional (built in the 19th century and most recently renovated in 1961), and really, really nice. The views are fantastic, Tom and Marianne are great hosts, it's quiet (except for the sound of the streams coming down the mountain), and there's lots of climbing options available. Highly recommended as a base for a few nights. We'll have to go back at some point in the future when we've gotten (a lot) better at climbing to try out some of the routes up the Schlossberg. :-)


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