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Drippy Days, Erstfeld Klettersteig

Drippy weather, drippy walls and overenthusiastic plant watering made for a wet week. Also did a klettersteig near Erstfeld



Drip Drip Drip

This weekend was the last chance you had to visit the Helvetia Platz bike market in search of birthday presents. The weather wasn't looking so dry, so staying near home and going shopping wasn't such a terrible idea. The moment you left the house it started sprinkling which quickly developed into pouring, and by the time you got to Helvetica Platz it had developed into a full thunderstorm with submerged streets. As a lucky consequence of the drippy weather, everyone had cleared out of the bike market. You had free reign over the whole selection, and so found what you were looking for.

After getting soaked, you came home and ventured into the basement to attach some wall mounts. You started drilling into the cement walls and were suddenly sprayed in the face with mysterious wall-water. Your immediate thought was that you had hit a water pipe, but the dripping was only very minor. You poked your finger over the hole and stood there looking stupid, thinking of so many children's stories... You had no phone reception, no one would hear you call out and there was nothing within arm's reach to block it. If this were a comedy show, you would be stuck there all night with a sorry look (and mud) on your face.

The quick-and-dirty patch-up of the drippy wall
The quick-and-dirty patch-up of the drippy wall

You patched up it quick and dirty to stop the dripping, and ran off to buy some food before the shops closed. Tonight Flora and Guillaume were visiting with their daughters for a BBQ. Knowing that the basement had sprung a leak was unnerving, but it was a nice evening with a very energetic 2 year old and some peach sorbet. She liked the sorbet so much she refused to believe there was none left and continued scooping in the icecream maker. She also decided your plants needed a thorough watering (drowning). Cute.

After such a wet weekend, come Monday the building bloke told you it was only a coincidental water bubble behind the outer wall. Nothing broken and no permanent damage done. Pfew!

Erstfeld Klettersteig

With your ladyfriend away for a week in München, you planned to get things done and, time permitting, visit Letten for a bouldering session with Andreas. What seemed ever-so doable on Monday turned into a last minute rush come Friday afternoon. You timing was so bad that you were in the shower as she arrived home, leaving her locked outside. You eventually came dripping down the hall, handed her a towel and a polite request to wipe-up your wet footprints, while you ran back to finish cleaning the bathroom floor, then dashed out to do the weekend shopping. Your suggestion that she "come home and relax" didn't quite work out.

Twelve-person hiking group
Twelve-person hiking group

Saturday's plan was to do a klettersteig near Erstfeld. Stefan organised it, with several people bringing a +1 or +2, so in the end twelve people came. The hike started steep up a narrow path beside a gushing gorge through a damp forest. Although without a view, the trail was very pretty with moss-covered boulders and numbered rocks. The Swiss are know to be organised, going as far as numbering trees, but putting a tag on a rock seemed to cross a line - was probably unintentional but good for a laugh.

Looking for the klettersteig
Looking for the klettersteig

You hiked up a few hundred meters above the forest into a steep open valley dotted with goats (or something, they were faraway). The klettersteig apparently started near the big waterfall, but there were no signs or trails whatsoever. Unperturbed by the lack of signage and spray from the waterfall, Charles bashed through the scrub making his own path and eventually found the cable. Seven of you roped-in and up you carefully went. It was wet, cold and slippery - perfect conditions...

Flowering Crassulaceae of some kind
Flowering Crassulaceae of some kind

The climb went back and forth up the cliff directly beside the waterfall. Flowering Crassulaceae grew out from cracks in the rocks decorating the otherwise bleak cliff surfaces. Foot holds on the rocks were few, mostly replaced by logs tied up by cables hanging in the air. It was a tad unnerving to shimmy along thin tree trunks with nothing whatsoever, bar a cool breeze, below you. The route was interesting until near the top where it became exciting: there was a flying fox traverse over the lip of the waterfall. Some people had to learn to trust their gear for the first time, much higher up in the air than would normally be the case. They seemed to have fun.

The way up across suspended logs
The way up across suspended logs

The 'lake' at the top turned out to be just a misty pond, and the others were no where to be seen. With no mobile phone reception, you volunteered to jog up to the hut to see if they had stopped there. The trail and surrounding landscape was really beautiful. Mist rose and fell, opening windows to waterfall views then closing in again. It was very green and there were lots of frogs hopping happily about. Nice place.

The misty lake at the top
The misty lake at the top

Up at the hut there was no one to be found, so you decided to jog back down the same way to see if they were waiting below. After a few hundred vertical meters you legs began to feel it. At the first hut / goat cheese shop the farmer bloke told you they had already left with a 45 minute head start. After a few more hundred vertical meters you feet were really feeling it. You met a farmer mountain-man with scruffy hair and a scraggly beard making steps out of stone. You complimented him on his fine work and jogged on, bumping into Bastian and his lady shortly after. They guessed the others were another 30 minutes ahead, so there was still a change you catch up.

Jogging with you head down, focusing on the ground and keeping the pace was a bad idea. All of a sudden out of nowhere appeared a cow fence. With no chance to stop in time on the slippery gravel road, you landed it on your backside and slid (heroically) under the wire, coming to a stop with the lowest wire just above your groin. You really hoped the fence was not electric...

A tiny salamander taking life at a significantly slower pace than you
A tiny salamander taking life at a significantly slower pace than you

You managed to jog into town five minutes after the others had arrived. A few missed calls and three other hikers met you at the station. Sandra bought everyone icecream. Good day. In other good news, your glass table top for the garden pallet furniture arrived and looks swish, and it looks like Shü can get a visa for Kyrgyzstan after all. Yay!