Tristelhorn (3114m)

Paweł and Ralf asked to go hiking. You always have to be careful with Paweł - he has a penchant for crazy exposed risky T6 scrambles. Luckily Ralf is a veritable lexicon of potential routes. And in any case, he is an SAC tour guide and has basically covered the entire alps already. So of course he had just the right trip for us ready to execute on: The Tristelhorn (3114m) on the border between Grisons and St Gallen. It's trailless terrain in wild and remote valleys. We planned for 2000 meters of elevation gain and a distance of 25 kilometers. For a short while we were tempted to extend it even further and include more of the ridge and neighboring mountains. But reason prevailed ;-)

Val Lavadignas.
Paweł and Ralf.
Nice views. Our first proper rest for the day.

The area is very remote and very wild. We didn't encounter another human being the entire day. And when we gained the summit, the summit book only had a handful of entries for the entire year. The hike itself was a bit of a mixed bag: the mountain is a proper choss-pile, involving lots of scrambling and balancing up shifting loose scree. Not particularly beautiful, but different from what I usually do and interesting because of that. We also don't get to meet very often in this group, so the company and conversations already made it a fun trip.

That's where we'll have to scramble up.
More scree.

I had become the tail end of many a joke with my mountain buddies because of the sad state of my gear. I was using stuff I bought seven years ago and it showed: my clothes were patched in many places and still had many visible holes and tears. My shoes worn through, my helmet loosing random bits and pieces, ropes frayed. My carabiners had deep groves from all the rappels. When my shirts literally started disintegrating in our washing machine Anita finally had enough of it and sent me shopping. I loathe shopping so much I put it off for as long as I possibly can. But I finally went and spent 1500 bucks in Transa to replace all my gear. The reason this is relevant for this story is that I was breaking in brand new shows. Which luckily was not an issue for my feet, but with all the scree surfing these new shoes already look like shit again with a whole collection of cuts. So there you go. No point in ever buying new stuff ;-P

A patch of snow. We'll climb the ridge.
On the ridge.
The summit block.
Summit selfie.
The ridge to the other side.
Grimaces from "Team Defrag Grumpiness". We all work for Google and used to be on the same team: Google Maps. Then the company restructured, or "defragged" in Google parlance, and moved the maps effort to another office. We had to find new projects and are still somewhat pissed about that.
Scrambling down from the summit ridge.
Scree surfing. Whee!
Almost like skiing.
Nice trail. Unfortunately only for a short stretch.
Alien landscape with very peculiar rock stucture.
Chossiest choss-pile of choss.
A long way to go yet.
Wild and remote valleys. Nice.
Only a few more kilometers...
Part of the old gear I replaced. We had a good run ;-)

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