Monday, 21 July 2014

Switzerland: St. Moritz, and Brambruesch to Chloster

Reached Barenalp
Reached Barenalp
My last day in Chur, and I overslept! The celebrations that went into the night, car horns hooting in celebration of the German, their neighbours', World Cup win over Argentina, obviously kept me awake.
By the time I had found myself a cup of coffee in town, come back and packed, it was gone midday. I got the cable car up to Brambruesch again, but this time, I had no agenda in mind, no peaks to go for, instead a gentle amble picking my way along a path just above the tree line, before heading down.

Before I go into the walk, a bit about the day before; Sunday had seen more inclement weather so I jumped on the train to St. Moritz for lunch. a couple of hours away, it was a rewarding journey through some spectacular scenery.

Glacier Express carraige
Glacier Express carraige
The Landwasser Viaduct
The Landwasser Viaduct
St. Moritz itself? a bit posh, and the only explanation I can have for why on earth that would come about, is that it was a renowned spa town back in its day, and was the first alpine resort in the Alps.

The Lake at St. Moritz
The lake at St. Moritz
St. Moritz
St. Moritz
The lake it sits by is picturesque, but no more extraordinary than anything else I had seen in the Swiss Alps. Hardly a reason for still being the place for the rich to seek out, yet here they were, a plethora of "well to dos" in expensive down jackets (I was glad I brought mine along to fit in!) doing lunch and admiring the British vintage car rally that clogged the main street.

River
River in St. Moritz
The Lake at St. Moritz
The lake at St. Moritz
Classic British Car Club Rally
Classic British Car Club Rally
Classic British Car Club Rally
Classic British Car Club Rally
After lunch, I wandered awhile, thankfully the majority of those noisy automobile contraptions had left, but honestly, the journey was so much better than the destination, and I was soon on my way back to Chur.

Now to the walk;

Today was warm, and I was enjoying the long spell of sunshine. With any ascent of note out of the way early on, and a gradient that suited me as well, I could enjoy this without over exerting myself.

I was on a road through the village, and up to Malixer Alp, but once passed the restaurant there, I was on a dirt track in sloping woodland.

Looking down Spinatobel
Looking down to Spinatobel
The going got a little tougher when I ascended right onto a saturated path of mud. It was drier going out of the trees, and it afforded some fine views of Gurgaletsch to the east.

Before me I could see Gruenenbuel, at 2043m. I entertained the thought of bagging it, but, in truth, it wasn't one I weighed up for long. I was soon taking a left turn down into the forest, near the hut at Galtialp.


Grüenenbüel above
Gruenenbuel above
The shade was joined by a cooling alpine breeze which made easy work of the walk down to Barenalp 1682m.

Alpine woodland
Alpine woodland
Tadpoles
Tadpoles
Alpine woodland
Alpine woodland
Barenalp, looking up to Grüenenbüel
Barenalp, looking up to Gruenenbuel
I now stepped into Pradaschierer-Wald, a continued descent of switch backs on dirt roads and wide paths.

Into a clearing, I was met with a beautiful view of the mountains on the other side of the valley. Good decision to come this way!

Out of the woods into a clearing and stunning views
Out of the woods and into a clearing with stunning views
Hitting the road above Churwalden
Hitting the road above Churwalden
Soon after, I had reached a paved road and was down into Chloster, where the bus stop for my ride back to Chur was found easily. A short walk today, but worthwhile, and given that I had slept in, it was all I could really find the time, or inclination to do.

Chlöster
Chloster
And the route: