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Wiggis Hike

Years ago you went walking near the Glärnisch mountains with Gav but never attempted them. Now you finally went up one, and it was a long hike.

Wiggis Hike

Yeeeeaaaars ago you went hiking in Glarus with Gav, who was visiting at the time. It was one of your first "hikes" in Switzerland and the surrounding mountains impressed the crap out of you. Everything looked so picturesque it almost seemed fake. You had hiked from Glarus to Klötaler lake, which wasn't especially impressive now that you think about it. From there you saw several trails heading up impossibly steep mountains. Back then you put them in the too hard basket and went home.

Fast forward six years to the present day, and climbing up those kind of mountains has become normal. You're happy and comfortable to do anything up to a T4 — hard hike w. possible climbing sections — as long as it's with people you trust. This weekend you joined Charles and Xavier with Meike and Steffen and hiked up Wiggis, the sister mountain to the Glänisch in Glarus.

Meeting a donkey at the dairy farm
Meeting a donkey at the dairy farm

You arrived at the start of the hike by bus and started along the path. Not five minutes later, Charles realised he had let his fancy-pants hiking poles on the bus. He decided to wait for the bus to come back past while the rest of you headed off, saying he would catch up. The track was nice enough but a bit slippery in places. It quickly turned out of the forest and started zig-zagging up the mountain. It was probably the hottest day so far this year - it at least it felt that way in the sun. The trail stayed quite steep as it passed some Swiss Army bunkers and an old cable train track.

After about two hours you came to a dairy farm, where you had a snacks break. You decided to camp out here to give Charles a chance to catch up. Impressively — even after a 1.5 hour delay — he joined you at the farm after only fifty minutes hiking. He was a bit red in the face.

The Glänisch
The Glänisch

The trail changed from red-white (mountain) to blue-white (alpine) markings and became a bit more of a challenge. The path became significantly steeper up and over loose rocks. Xavier, who was a bit skinnier than you, seemed to be loosing steam. He had some sugar and got back into the swing of it. Your reserves did the same; you may be heavier but you don't run out of energy so fast.

Further up below a large cliff you had a water break in a tall cave. It was a relief to be out of the sun for a moment, even if it meant standing in mounds of poo. The cave had a cool breeze blowing through it, and was probably used by Steinbock at night for shelter. The trail led you to an open grassy area with a precariously placed path. Slipping here would have been rather inconvenient, if not fatal; the steep grassy surface would have acted just like a slippery slide down and over the cliff.

Looking for the way down
Looking for the way down

After 1600m ascent you made it up Wiggis. The panoramic view made the effort entirely worthwhile. It extended as far as Säntis to the north-east, the mountains near Chur in the south east and all the way back to Zürich in the west. Glarus seemed to be directly below you, just a few meters in front and 1.6km down. You all took off your shoes and had an extended break to snack, lie in the sun and wish the light planes buzzing about would be quiet.

It wasn't immediately obvious where the track was. You came across the way and followed the very narrow, slippery path along the side of the cliff. When a few small rocks came tumbling down in front of you, you looked up to see two Steinbock who you would have otherwise never noticed. They bounded down the mountain in places you'd be unhappy to even walk.

The reflective Obersee
The reflective Obersee

You left the path and traversed a wide field to skip Rautispitz. The way down was over jagged, slippery calcium rocks leading you to believe the hike in reverse would have made entirely more sense. Everyone was getting a bit tired after already seven hours hiking up hills in the sun, and so it was a relief to arrive at Obersee and call for a taxi to take you down the last part. The taxi was an old Ford Transit Minibus (ca. 1970), which was only slightly younger than the driver. It was so old it didn't have any seat belts — made before a time it was mandatory — but was in really great shape.

At the bottom you had icecream and caught the very packed train back to Zürich. It was satisfying to have finally climbed a mountain once thought to be far too massive to ever attempt. The next day some people had trouble walking up stairs...