2012-09-11

Zindlenspitz (2097m), Rossalpelispitz (2075m)

Monday was Knabenschiessen in Switzerland - a half-day off national holiday where teenagers compete in a target practice using assault rifles - what could possibly go wrong? I arrive at work uncharacteristically early in order to be able to leave at noon. I have just read about a crazy project on hikr.org: a lake Wägital round trip via all the surrounding peaks. A feat which has only been repeated 7 times since 1958. 40km, almost 10.000m change in elevation on T5-T6 ridges - in 24 hours. I want to investigate the feasibility of training for this and to see the area in question.

Starting from Innerthal at 2 o'clock I'm headed for the Zindlenspitz (2097m). Time to summit is given with 4.5 hours, I make it in 3. Not much time to enjoy the view I continue straight on along the ridge to Rossalpelispitz (2075m). Hurrying back down to the lake I arrive just in time with dusk. In my naivete I thought I might be able to take a bus back out. Hah! As soon as it gets dark the place is deserted. Barely a light in any of the houses, no cars, and the next bus at 6 in the morning. So I keep walking and mentally brace myself for a long night and 14km walk to the next train station.

Zindlenspitz

Luck would have it that after the first hour or so a car with two young guys stops and I can hitchhike to town. They even offer to drive me all the way back to Adliswil, going back to Zürich themselves (they were fishing at the lake till now). I decline as I need to be at Zürich main station to pick up my bike. Anyway, thanks guys!

This reminds me: witness the complete awesomeness of Switzerland (on a deserted mountain hut in the middle of nowhere today):

On my bike ride back home I encounter the largest conglomeration of spiders and spider webs I have ever seen in one place. Perfect spot on a lamp under a bridge. Dozens and dozens of spiders mounting one net on another. It's crawling.

From what I've seen so far I have to say hats off to Delta and his "Wägital Rundtour Speed". Hiking along these ridges feels scary and brittle in the best of conditions. Let alone frickin' running along them, in the dark, alone, exhausted, when a single misstep will kill you. That's trail running at Olympic level I'd say, utterly impossible.

~19km on foot, ~20km by bike, ~1460m elevation gain/loss