2012-08-15

Ortstock (2717m)

Helmut and Susanne visited me over the weekend. Of course I had to take them to the mountains. Perfect weather forecast, the planning wasn't quite as perfect though. It turns out the hut I originally wanted to go to burned down a couple of years ago and was rebuilt as a restaurant without any overnight accommodation. The alternative was fully booked. So I figured it was a good idea to just head out to a different one blindly...

We take the cable car up to Braunwald, one of Switzerland's car-free villages, and follow the well marked and well maintained trail to the Bärentritt. Beautiful alpine meadow with quite a few people around, some even camping for the night. Crossing a few small patches of snow we scramble up the pile of loose rock that forms the summit of the Ortstock (2717m). We can already see our destination for the day from here but it's still about 10km away. We meet a Swiss couple living nearby who can see the Bös Fulen from their balcony. They are climbing the Ortstock as a training mission for the Fulen and declare me insane for having climbed it alone. Anyway, glissading down through loose gravel is quite a bit of fun and also a rather fast way to get down ;-)

I jump into the (cold!) Glattalpsee for a quick refreshment and we continue on to the Cable car station down to Bisistal. The cabin has capacity for eight people with around 70 waiting around to get down. Since a single round trip takes about 20 minutes and there is only a single gondola that means quite a bit of waiting. With Helmut and Susanne queuing in the sun I head up to the Glattalp hut to inquire for available beds. Hopelessly overcrowded. I hike back a bit to a private hut and restaurant but they are fully occupied as well. So down it is.

Of course by now it's way past the usual closing time for the cable car and it is doing overtime to get everyone down. That implies there will be no bus to get us out of the valley. Fortunately Susanne talks to some fellow hikers who generously agree to wait for us and take us down in their car. Father and son who regularly go on hiking trips together. They are extra nice and take us all the way to Rotkreuz from where it's just a quick hop back to Zürich. The main station is crowded with the drunk and drugged left overs of the Zürich Street Parade.

Beautiful sunny day. ~15km, ~1600m elevation gain, ~900m down.

On Sunday we hike the Uetli ridge and return via Zürich and a cruise over the lake.

Helmut in action.
Glattalpsee and the hut.
Susanne in action.
Summit!
Refreshing!
Taking the easy way out.