2012-11-11

Neuenalpspitz (1816m), Gmeinenwishöchi (1818m)

Having beers and burgers with the climbing gang on Friday night, after several hours in the gym, Linus, Gintare and me devise a plan to go hiking on Saturday. It's a short night, coming home at 2 in the morning and leaving for the mountains at 7. There'll be rain for most of the weekend starting from Saturday afternoon, so we figure we better be quick. Linus and Gintare screw up the train schedule, hurrying to the station in a taxi only to discover that they are a full hour too early. Then SBB throws a wrench into our plans: We have quite a complex schedule of train connections to get where we want to be - the tiny village of Stein. The first train has some issues with a door and as a result is 9 minutes late, making us miss all the connecting trains and waste a full hour waiting around. It's past 11 o'clock when we finally set out to hike the mountain.

Our goal is to hike the nice ridge we saw last weekend. It is quite beautiful. Clouds are racing the sky and the weather feels raw and primal. The ridge is steep, some parts require scrambling and easy climbing. It is made much more difficult and dangerous by slippery melting patches of snow. Quite a few spots are of the "you slip, you die" variety and require full concentration.

All the way up we can watch a helicopter on the opposite slope going back and forth hauling trees down the mountain. Progress is slow but we still manage to climb the Neuenalpspitz (1816m) and the Gmeinenwishöchi (1818m) before heading down in the light of our head torches towards Alt St. Johann. Typically for the Swiss public transportation system we only have to wait 10 minutes for the next bus. It starts raining almost precisely the minute the weather forecast predicted it would - 1900, just when we are boarding the train back home ;-)

~14km, ~1200m elevation gain

I told them to play the scene from Titanic...
Watch your step - very slippery!
Vertigo?
The village of Stein in a brief moment of sun.
Some scrambling required.
Treacherous ground.