Gufelstock (2436), Heustock (2384m), Schwarzstöckli (2385m), Schilt (2299m)

After going climbing and watching the soccer match Germany vs Greece with friends ("Schlaaaand!") I couldn't get myself to get up at 5 in the morning. So I struggled out of bed at 6 instead and headed for Engi. Hiking up the Gufelstock, which I had already attempted (unsuccessfully) earlier this year. While there was still quite a bit of snow and navigation was difficult at times because the peaks were hidden in clouds I reached the Gufelstock summit (2436m) without much difficulty. While I had originally planned (and packed!) for a two day expedition I had a sudden inspiration for a project I'm working on and thought it would be nice to get back to my desk on Sunday. Weather was dry and not too hot, I was still strong and so decided to compress the itinerary to a single day. Following a beautiful and long ridge I climbed the Heustock (2384m), the Schwarzstöckli (2385m) and finally the Schilt (2299m). The latter one was a bit depressing. It's sticking out from the ridge and is famous for offering beautiful vistas over two valleys. When I got there all I saw were grayish walls of clouds. I descended through the Hinter Tal, passing two nice lakes and ending the day in Weesen at lake Walen.

In the end I hiked 42km (almost exactly Marathon distance!), climbed 2000m and descended 2400m. Left home a quarter past 6 in the morning and got back just before midnight - a long day indeed!

Chamois. Also - why did I bring sunscreen again?
Two hikers on the summit ridge. The slope to the left is my "trail", good thing I brought crampons and ice axe.
Capricorn. More than a dozen of them grazing in a group and not minding my presence at all.
The ridge and trail leading up to the Fronalpstock (2124m) - I climbed it last year.
Fox. I have only seen a handful of wild ones in my life, most here in Switzerland. I also stumbled across an eagle today. It was sitting in a cliff and I was climbing into it from around the corner. Released a startled cry and flew off.
The Linth emptying into lake Walen. Apparently at this time of day few people pass here. I was quite unexpected as evidenced by the startled young couple making out under the bridge.


Climbing near Engi (Aaterästei)

Six of us took advantage of the fantastic weather on Sunday to go climbing near Engi. A Klettergarten with around 50 mostly single pitch routes on a huge, 30m tall boulder that got exposed by an avalanche 14 years ago. Most routes are rated in the medium difficulty range but some proved surprisingly tough nevertheless. I took an honest, unexpected fall in a 6a+ standing about half a meter above my last clip. I didn't hurt myself but Andrey, who was belaying me at the time and is quite a bit lighter than me, smashed into the wall. He was marking holds red with blood on subsequent climbs ;-) I fell again on my second attempt in the same spot and ended up cheating my way around it, sidestepping into a neighboring route. Linus finally managed to climb it properly but not without taking a fall himself. Must be a cursed spot or very erratic grading on that wall since other routes rated at the same difficulty level were almost trivial. Anyways, lots of fun. Cheers to the gang: Andrey, Volodymyr, Tilke, Linus, Gintare.

See? It's easy, you just have to stick your head into the rock like this!