Sulzfluh (2,817m)

Another glorious Blue Bird day in the mountains. At first Christian and I contemplated returning to the Rhine valley like last time. But then for a brief implausible moment it seemed like we could have been able to recruit Jan to join us. He wasn't too keen on the long drive so we compromised on the Rätikon range a bit closer to home. In the end Jan still bailed at the last minute. His loss ;-P

Along the Schaniela-creek.
Nice tracks.
Glittering snow.

We parked at St. Antönien in the morning. On the last available slot on a parking lot crowded with ski tourers. The trail follows the creek in the valley up towards Partnun. It was a veritable highway. The snow compressed enough by all the skis that we didn't even have to don our snowshoes. Once we reached the little village (well, collection of huts really) the terrain got a bit more wild and we followed somewhat less frequented ski tour ascent tracks.

Smiling faces for the obligatory summit selfie.

Gaining the Gemschtobel requires a short scramble up a steep couloir. A natural choke point for the ski touring crowd as they have to take off their skis to climb. We weant at a steady clip towards the summit and reached it about 4 hours after leaving the parking lot. The summit features an enormous cross and a bench with great views. The ridge also marks the border to Austria which meant we had a fun mix of accents with people scaling the peak from either side.

Extremely comfortable resting spot on the summit.
What a view.
A kid once more.

Christian slipped, broke one of his hiking poles and bumped his knee. For a moment he was barely able to walk due to the pain. But luckily it improved quickly and it seemed like "just" a big bruise and no major injury. For a moment it looked like this perfect day in the mountains would find a very abrupt end. Serves as a reminder how a split second of inattentiveness can quickly turn an entire outing sour in a big way. Unforgiving terrain, even in the best of circumstances.

The steep bit. Doesn't look like much from this angle, but was quite intimidating, especially coming down.
Skiers queying up at the steep section behind us. Look at all these climbing walls!
Partnunstaffel in front of the mighty Schijenflue.

While we clearly envied the skiers on the way down, we nevertheless had plenty of fun ourselves. The slopes were steep enough in many places that we could just sit down on our bums and glissade down the mountain. We got back to the car after a great 7 hour, 16km and 1,500m roundtrip.

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