2014-08-23

Mutteristock (2294m)

Ivan and I set out on Saturday to climb part of the Wägitaler Rundtour - the whole thing is an incredible +-5000m, ~40km "hike" on impossibly steep T6 ridges. Few people have repeated this, fewer still within a single 24 hour window. Training for this was one of my long term goals before the accident and I'm still doing some reconnaissance, climbing the individual peaks of the chain one after the other. So we start at lake Wägital around 10 o'clock in the morning. We are headed towards the Mutteristock. For some reason we are on the path less travelled. While there are trail markers, they are few and far in between, faded from age and overgrown. The path itself sports healthy grass, a sure sign that few boots tread here. Once we get closer to the summit our trail converges with several others and pathfinding becomes easier.

I had never seen a trail fenced in closely like this before.
Sweat much?
Visibility could be better.

It was cloudy and foggy with poor visibility all the way up. While we are standing at the summit cross it starts raining in earnest. Our original intention, climbing the T6 Redertenstock, would be completely suicidal in these conditions. We don't even see the mountain. And the couloir leading there is a slippery wet chute into the abyss. So we decide to go the other way. At first I maintain vague hopes of climbing the Ochsenkopf on the way back. But it keeps drizzling on and off for the rest of the day and what we can see from the routes up the Ochsenkopf they would be incredibly exposed and steep too. So down it is.

Mutteristock summit.
Lake Wägital.

Neither one of us likes retracing our steps, so we try to find an alternate path back to the car. We end up passing two opportunities to traverse and instead go down all the way to Richisau at lake Klöntal - on the wrong side of the mountain! Trails have been in bad condition and badly marked all the way down, so we often wound up finding our own way across steep pastures. On one the cows put up some action entertainment for us, galloping up and down steep slopes, kicking up a lot of mud with their claws. No apparent reason for their behaviour except for the sheer joy of running around.

Route up the Ochsenkopf. A little too exposed for current weather conditions.
Scramble up here in the rain? No thank you. Thanks to hikr for the photo. This still counts as T5...
Lake Klöntal.

We have to get back up to the Schwialppass, some 600m elevation gain. We find a trail with a nice and constant but steep slope and power up in one go. Once past the pass we run down the steepest bits of a trail that's now almost a road. We make it back to the car at 19:30, having covered ~22km and ~+-2200m of elevation change.