Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Year's in Hamburg

text (and tracks?) to come.

Saturday, December 24, 2016


Christmas in Bad Lippspringe

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Another Simmeflue visit

Yesterday was forecast to be a beautiful early December day, so heading out to the mountains was a no-brainer. There was already some snow above 1500m and there was construction outside of Luzern that makes connections to the Zentralschweiz hard, so we opted to return to the Simmeflue. We've been there a couple of times already, but this one is really not a problem to repeat.

The usual route: train to Wimmis, and then along the path to Brodh├╝si, further along the path to the old quarry and the first blue-white marker, then up, up, up, up. It's not warm (below freezing in the shade), so we move pretty quickly but do still enjoy the trip up. At around 1100m we hit the sun (ah! sun!). By the time we get to the saddle we haven't seen anybody else, so we can hope to have the Sunnighorn to ourselves. This, of course, turns out to not be the case: we see the first couple leaving the peak as we're almost there and the second couple is still up top. Still, they leave after a few minutes and we can enjoy the second half of our break alone on the peak. It really is a great weather day: sun and blue skies with great views to the Alps and over the fog that's covering the Mittelland.

After the break we head back down to the saddle (passing two other couples on their way up and seeing another one) and then around towards the rest of the ridge. At the obvious point we divert off and head up to the Mittagflue (we end up just behind the second couple from the Sunnighorn here), from which we have a nice view back to the Sunnighorn. We enjoy the views for a couple minutes to let the other couple get a bit ahead and then head off along the ridge. For a while we're following tracks from others, but after a while they head back down to the normal trail and we opt to stay on the ridge. This involves a bit of pushing through brush, some good scrambling, and a couple of sections that are easily in the upper T5 zone; it's good fun! At some point we reach the end of the line though: the real path is visible in the saddle below us, but there's a good 7-10m vertical drop down to it. Ah well, we head back for a minute or two and take the first opportunity to descend to the path. Continuing along the path back to that saddle (yeah, we didn't miss anything, it's vertical), and then onwards to the next obvious turnoff and up to the last peak on the chain, the one with the cool stoneman. Here we have another food break and enjoy the views more before heading back down and continuing along the trail.

At Chrindi we head down into the valley. This is the same route we took down the first time and it's a nice one. To avoid repeating exactly the same end of the hike we opt to get the train at Oey-Diemtigen instead of Erlenbach. ;-)

It was great to be out in the mountains and enjoying the sun, particularly this late in the year!