Sunday, June 26, 2016

Jura Flue-Hike: Egerkingen -> Waldenburg

It's another weekend with dodgy weather, so no "more interesting" hikes for us. We pick something that allows us to cover some distance while also doing some vertical. We start in Egerkingen and quickly and efficiently climb up to the Höchi Flue (the first of the day). Highlight of the path up: climbing through the woods and suddenly hearing a Guggemusik band practicing in the distance. Not quite the same as an Alphorn, but quite entertaining. We follow the whole ridge and then head down, down to Bärenwil. Then it's up, up again to the Schwengiflüeli (#2). Here we stop for a short food break and enjoy the view. When a loud(ish) family shows up we head on, down through the woods to the Schwengihöchi and then along to the Spaleneggli and further to the Wuesthöchi. Up, up a bit, passing some mountain bikers, to the pass where Andrea spots a trail running to the right up the ridge. That's the way we want to go and it looks fine on the map, so off we go up to the Gwidemflue (#3).
live nature show
This is a nice path that takes us to a bench atop an old bunker (and possibly a quite old tower). Another food break to enjoy the views and then we continue along the ridge. This is pretty interesting because there are small huts up here that are, obviously inhabited (there's a family staying at the last one). Maybe weekend things? I wonder if you can rent them because, though getting stuff up wouldn't be particularly easy, the location is very cool. Past the huts and several old bunkers and then down we go (including a tricky little bit at the very end) the end of the ridge and then through the woods (more small huts, some built into the hills, here) to the Gwidemhöchi and then up to the Belchenflue (#4). We've done this stretch before, in both directions. After enjoying the view we continue along the ridge (this is really nice Jura hiking... just great), past the Spitzenflueli, under the Geissflue, to the Lauchflue (#5), and then down to the crossing leading to Rehhag. The sign here says 50 minutes to Waldenburg, the next train leaves in 36 minutes. We decide this is worth trying, so we start down, moving fast. The path is great for a fast descent. After a bit of trail-jogging and some fast walking along the road we get to Waldenburg with 8 minutes to spare. More than enough time to grab something to drink before getting on the train.

Stats: 17.5km, 1210m up, 1129m down
The track:

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Jura Hike: Delemont -> Baerschwil

Since Scotland we really haven't been having much luck with the weather. This was another weekend where the forecast was dodgy, so in the interests of doing something we opted for a Jura hike.

The thought was to reproduce part/all of the long walk we did a couple years ago. Starting in Delemont we walked through town until hitting the hiking path up onto the ridge. From there we head up, up onto the ridge and then continue along. The conditions really aren't great, it's not quite raining but it is really misty, the path is at times quite muddy, definitely not ideal.

After a good stretch along the ridge we decide to call it a day and turn down towards Unterwiler and the Baerschwil Station. Down, down we go, through Ober- and Unterwiler, where we miss an unmarked(!) turn off down to the station and end up continuing an extra km along the road to Liesberg before realizing our mistake. Now we aren't going to be able to make the bus, so we stop at a nice bench to eat something, enjoy the view across the valley, and rest a bit. This gets cut short when we see rain coming from the West. That gets us on our feet and moving back down the road, looking behind to see how quickly the rain is gaining on us. At the unmarked(!) turnoff we head down through the woods until hitting the train tracks and river at Baerschwil Station. We still have some time before the bus, so we're happy to find a cafe/restaurant near the bus stop that's open. It's basic (and very local), but it gets us out of the rain and they have cool beverages for us.

Stats: 17.1km, 661m up, 701m down