This year's first hike was a family outing, in both terms of both participants and intensity. From Ziegelbrücke station south of Zürisee, the track, or at least what was left of it, went up towards Federspitz. The ceaseless heavy rain of late had heavily eroded the paths so it was a fun ascent.
The flowers were blooming and there were lots of wild strawberries to be picked. Somehow, most flowers and berry bushes grew tactically above ants nests, making them hard to approach. It was a nice steady outing in the sun - a good start to the hiking season.
In der Hölle Hike
With her parents visiting and the sun still shining, that same weekend you went for a Sunday stroll to the devil caves. Since it wasn't a very long walk you could afford to take some wrong turns and get your feet wet.
The caves were quite big actually. It felt good to escape the sun for twenty minutes inside the cold, drippy tunnels and look at some stalagmites and stalegtites. Was definitely worth the price of admission.
Sometimes you see daunting mountain peaks and think nooope, not without rope! Zindlenspitz, as viewed from the Glarner side of the boarder, was such a peak. Seen from Schwyz, however, it was just a steep hike.
A big discussion about if you'd taken this trail before was later resolved by GPS data. Yes, you had been here before. The descent was along the ridge as an alpine path - read: for those of good footing and climbing experience - and lots of fun. To catch an earlier bus home you jogged down the mountain in 1:40, beating the pants off the 2:15 given time estimate. Sore legs and stiff knees were felt for four days.
Four Lake Hike
Eve's plan for a hike with a couple of friends quickly became a mass outing when everyone agreed to come. The group was so big it had to split into several gondolas from Engelberg up to Trübsee. Titlis attracts a hefty percentages of the Indian and Chinese tourists, boasting amazing views and the world's first revolving gondola. The four lake hike diverted away from masses of tourists from the beginning, so you didn't suffer being rammed with prams for long.
The weather was so good you wanted to stroll topless; the others (mostly girls) didn't seem enthusiastic to this suggestion. Shame. Still, skinny dipping wasn't ruled out.
The top of the first hill was supposed to mark the last of the hard work, since the hike went mostly downhill after. Everyone in their straw hats thought it a top spot for drinks - the first of many very French wine and cheese breaks. Although stereiotypical, the French actually brought wine and cheese. There was some reminant snow lying around, just asking to be balled-up and thrown at Meike.
The path went up and down along really interesting hills saturated with colorful wildflowers. The lakes passed by, as well as a few cows, and the pace quickened to catch the good connection at the other end. You didn't end up catching the bus - instead watching it pull casually away from the car park from your gondola above - but enjoyed a panaché and an icecream while waiting for the next connection home.
Säntis is a big hill in Appenzell, primarily impressive because it stands alone away from the alps. It's yet another tourist magnet but luckily too hard for tourists to hike up, which is great for adventurers. The hike was from Schläfler, along the ridge, over the snowfield and up the rock face to the top.
The sun was blasted down, creating a stifling heat. The first half of the hike was spent on rocks craving for cool, while the second scrambling for stability on snow. At the first instance of shade Steffen buried his boots in the snow to cool his feet. His enthustic kick sprayed you in the face with ice. It was a serendipitous chilly ぶかけ。
The snowfield was beautifully bleak and dead silent. It was nice to stand below the towering Säntis peak while the wind blew over the snowfield creating a pleasant cool. The last climb up the rock face really took it out of you. You bounded a few leaps up the cliff then had to stop for breath. Sandra and her Steffen arrived shortly after.
On the topic of Stefen's, every second German seems to be named either Stefen or Andas these days so they all need qualifiers. So far you have:
- Sandra's Stefen
- Sandra's ex Steffen (she had a few)
- The Steffen
- Eleven leopards Stefen
- Pink-face Steffen
- Snowboard crash Stefan
- Climbing Andreas
- Mean-face Andreas
- Rubber parts Andreas
- Softy-pants Andreas
- Steffen's Andreas (roommate of The)