2012-08-19

Faltschonhorn (3022m)

Without any alarm I awake from my bivvy 6 o'clock sharp at sunrise. Pack my backpack and off I go. Unfortunately it does not turn out to be possible to continue in a straight line towards my destination (who would have thought that this may turn out difficult in the mountains?!) so I have to go down and loose around 300m elevation.

I meet some other hikers, some of which have camped at a creek. A group of three is heading up the Piz Aul, an impressive hunk of rock. The Faltschonhorn (3022m) on the other hand is a simple walking peak, marked white-red-white and only made difficult by its height and long approach. I meet several people who gave up and turned around half way up the summit ridge or even from the pass just below.

I reach the summit around 11 o'clock and for the first few minutes share it with a young guy and his dog before I have it to myself. The view is even more spectacular than yesterday. Not a single cloud in sight. If I squint I can see all the way around the globe onto my own arse.

Going down, again the other direction from where I came up, it gets hotter and hotter. While I enjoyed a slight breeze on the summit (enough to create small dust devils dancing around me) and the high altitude made the temperature bearable to begin with, it's now just painfully hot. I stop at every creek crossing (lots!) and soak my hat and shirt in water (damn you quick drying synthetic fabrics!). I'm also drinking like a horse.

Nearing the picturesque village of Vrin, people are again making hay. Some of the slopes they mow using the specialized tractor are so steep I'd be afraid to walk them, let alone drive a motor vehicle. Either way this seems like a lot of very hard work, especially when it's hot like this.

The ten minutes wait until the Postauto (as the buses are called here) arrives to take me to the next train station in Ilanz are made more interesting by a group of female hikers who wait with me. What's the most important thing to bring on a hike? Why, a pair of fancy shoes with heels of course! Seriously, one of the women gets out of her hiking boots and dons a pair of high(-ish) heels from her backpack. Some things have to be seen to be believed.

The train ride back to Zürich is quite torturous. While the temperatures were bearable or even nice high up, the valley and badly air conditioned train cars feel like a 40°C sauna. To top it off the trains are hopelessly overcrowded and mostly with sweaty and smelly hikers. 3 hours of type two fun.

9 hours, ~28km, ~1200m up, ~2000m down

Dawn (that is the polar star, not the moon!)
Piz Aul
Summit
Now is this the most beautifully inviting todo list ever or what?
Virn in the distance. A very beautiful and very steep valley leading there.
Apparently these things can even drive upside down on the ceiling.
I'll stick with my desk job, thank you.
Awesome feature all over Switzerland: cold, fresh, perfect drinking water in unlimited supply.