2016-12-11

Piz Raschil / Stätzer Horn (2575m)

The original plan for Sunday was to go ice climbing. We scratched that idea because the ice hasn't really formed yet and Felipe had to go apartment hunting. So Paweł, Mark and I decided to go snowshoeing instead. This too turned out to be a bit optimistic. We headed for a mountain range near the ski resort Lenzerheide. And people were skiing. But it looked quite sad indeed. White lines of artificial snow through a brown landscape. Good for us, because it implied none of the higher lifts were running and we had the ridge to ourselves. Bad for us, because we ended up not needing the snowshoes at all and carried them in our backpacks all the way.

Good morning Switzerland!
Mark with photogenic hair in the wind.
Paweł praying to the hot air balloon before swallowing it whole.

I have a classification of mountains, where a small, not particularly interesting one is a "Bumm-Zack" - a quick tick on the todo list, no big challenge. This is in contrast to a proper "Zack-Booom!" - a proud mountain that requires commitment and effort. Now our ridge started with a saddle where one could take a detour up the Crap la Pala (2150m). This modest bump didn't even warrant the title "Bumm-Zack", so I called it a "Bumm-Zäckchen". This led to the indignant response of my companions that in Switzerland it ought to be a "Bumm-Zäckli". Now we have the only native German speaker being taught proper German by a Pole and a Brit. On expressions I have made up in the first place! What has the world come to?! Philistines!

There were a few steeper bits.

Anyway, we did a quick hike and ticked off Crap la Pala (2150m), Piz Scalottas (2325m), Piz Danis (2497m) and Piz Raschil / Stätzer Horn (2575m). At that point we had to make a decision whether to continue along the ridge and finish off towards the Fulhorn, which I had attempted a few weeks earlier, or go back down to the car.

We decided to bail. Paweł was feeling a bit under the weather, suffering from a cold; dark clouds were looming at the horizon (and indeed it would rain a bit on our way back) and continuing would significantly complicate the logistics of returning back to the car. Even so, it was a joy to be hiking with a super strong team. We covered 1650m altitude gain and nearly 20km distance, beating the posted times despite the snowy conditions. And still everyone was slightly disappointed to quit so early - a good sign for future outings ;-) On the way back we honored the tradition of stopping at Cindy's diner for a well deserved burger.

Heading straight down because traversing was tiresome.
Lifts weren't running for these slopes so we had them to ourselves as "descent highways".
Dangerous road conditions.