Please note that, with regret, this blog is now closed and no more posts will be forthcoming. This decision was made so I can concentrate on my role as contributor/webmaster for www.torsofdartmoor.co.uk. There is no immediate plan to remove the existing content so please feel free to enjoy. Thanks for following. Cheers, Paul
Switzerland: above Chur
had seemed a lot longer than just 3 days ago that I was out hiking. My
train journey from Zermatt to Chur, in the Graubunden region, had taken
the best part of Thursday under gloomy skies, and on Friday I was
resigned to exploring the city as there was no way anyone should be out
on the mountains in this awful weather.
tired and grumpy, I didn't afford Chur much credit, and it wasn't until
the next morning that I discovered it had some charm. The oldest city
in Switzerland, the architecture in the old town is worth a visit alone.
enough of that because this is a blog about hiking, and on Saturday,
the sun came out and the clouds lifted enough to make it worth exploring
JBN Hostel, where I was staying, is conveniently located a few doors
away from the cable car that takes you up to Kanzeli at 1170m, where you
transfer to a smaller capsule to Brambruesch, high above the city at
Swiss blaze to indicate a hiking route
the station, I was soon taking a path right, leaving the majority of
German hikers to head along the well trodden route, instead scaling a
narrow path through gnarly tree roots and mud. To the left, the edge of
the mountain dropped away, and the incline of the path had me gasping
The path to Spundiskopf
at 1847m, was my first peak of the day. A small clearing next to a
fence that protected both livestock and hikers from an untimely death.
There was a rock, marking the spot, but I couldn't quite make out the
Town of Dornat / Ems below
Moving on, to Spundiskopf See, a small pond some half a kilometre away as you exit the trees and step out into meadow.
Here, I picked up the main track taken to Dreibundenstein, a wide path dotted with cows and their cocophony of bells.
One standing, two sitting
I laboured on up to Huhnerkopfe, at 1947m, my next peak to bag, where a chair lift station sat idle in the summer months.
Looking back to Huhnerkopfe and Spundikopf
now, I could see the larger party of German hikers before me,
disappearing out of sight occasionally, as clouds drifted over the
ground. I blindly followed them, believing they were also heading for
the summit. Maybe they were, I never found out, but for whatever reason
they turned right and followed a mountain path that was soon contouring
Below, we were afforded occasional glimpses of the height we were at, but for most of the time, we saw only cloud.
Just see Dornat / Ems through the cloud
eventually caught up with the party, as they inspected a plaque by the
path, that was a memorial to a US Bomber called Lady Patricia, that
crashed into the side of the mountain in 1944.
Crash site of The Lady Particia
Caught up with them
following the Germans, passing them one by one as the ground widened, I
reached the point I should have been descending to from the summit. Not
one to let this pass, I carried straight up the slope, which was about
Approaching Term Bel
The path I should have benn coming down from Dreibundenstein
the summit, a junction is reached; left is Furggabuel, right was
Dreibundenstein. I turned right and reached the bullet shaped cairn that
marked the summit at 2152m.
Cairn at Dreibundenstein
Views from Dreibunednstein
retraced my steps to the junction but carried on up to Furggabuel, at
2174m. Much more of a summit feel to this peak, the other end of the
chairlift from Huhnerkopfe.
Views from Furggabuel
Views from Furggabuel
Chur from Furggabuel
lingered a while on Furggabuel. The unintended diversion to the crash
site had set me back a bit, and so I weighed up my options. I decided to
carry on to Feldis, and went back down the slope to Term Bel ski hut.
Term Bel Ski Hut below Tgom' Aulta
took a break at the ski hut, enjoyed a Nestea, and their toilet
facilities. Refreshed, I carried on, passing Tgom' Aulta. My
preoccupation with the correct location of this particular peak on my
left caused me to miss Sennestein at 2001m on my right, so I was a bit
miffed when I realised it later in the day. as it was, Tgom' Aulta
wasn't incorrectly listed in Geonames, it was one of two with the same
name within a couple of kilometres of each other!
stopped before Leg Palus, and sat on a bench, admiring Chur below. The
low clouds had long cleared and I had great views of the area below, and
could see the ridges of Spundiskopf and Furggabuel rising.
Spundiskopf and Furggabuel
Palus was a small lake, overgrown, but a pretty spot. From the lake, it
was short walk into Alp de Veulden. I walked though this small
collection of huts, and decided to ascend to Mutta, where I could take
the cable car down to Feldis, or so I thought!
Wooden sculptures near Leg Palus
Alp de Veulden
I reached Mutta, a peak at 1974m, with splendid views of the
Hinterrhein valley, it soon became apparent that it wasn't a cable car,
but instead a chair lift. Not being one for heights, I chose to walk
Wooden sculptures on Mutta
Looking south to Rothenbrunnen
first, finding the correct path down was confusing. For a while I
appeared to be heading back to Tgom' Aulta! Eventually the track veered
right away from the peak, and I descended a muddy cattle trodden track
through a meadow to Retga.
Muddy path down Alp Raguta
From Retga, it was steady descent, a mixture of road and meadow, with plenty of wildflowers and butterflies.
was next through Rumadetsch, and then on road, under the chair lift
from Mutta, and into Feldis / Veulden. I arrived at the cable car
station with only fifteen minutes to wait for my ride down to the train
Anyone who happens to read my ramblings will notice that the posts had dried up over the past four months. Fear not, I am still alive and very well! My attention to the blog has been remiss as I have been embroiled and a little overwhelmed by a special project that has now reached its conclusion and I am happy to announce here!
The law condemns the man or woman Who steals a goose from off a common: But lets the greater villain loose Who steals the common from the goose.
A rambler ascending from Belstone with the intention of reaching the summit of Cosdon, will likely pass a fine granite post close to the boundary wall of Skaigh known as Ska Corner (Grid SX 63307 93312). Closer inspection will reveal the intriguing inscriptions 'SZ1' and 'DC1’.