Alpine Pass Trail – Week 2

After 3 rest days at home I started the trail again in Ilanz! I needed this break more emotionally than phisically. I also came home to get my hiking boots.

Day 7 – Ilanz to Lumbrein

I took the train to Ilanz at 9am, which is a really nice ride through the gorge of the rhein river! It was a warm day and the ascent was steep in the beginning. In Morissen you had the first view of the Valley Lumnezia. It means actually the Valley of Light 🙂 The walk was most of the day on roads and always up and down. Around midday I could already feel my heels in my boots! Shit, I was already getting blisters… I had to take more breaks than normal, because of my feet. In the afternoon I decided to go home again to get my other shoes. Otherwise I couldn‘t walk the next day and this would be really annoying. So I took the bus/train home. Luckily home isn‘t too far away and public transport is just amazing here! Almost everywhere you got a bus or train stop!!

Day 8 – Vrin to Terrihut

After again a night at home I took the train and bus to Vrin. I skipped the section from Lumbrein to Vrin, because it‘s mostly on the road anyways. So I arrived in Vrin pretty late (about 10.30am) and started hiking towards the Greina plateau. It followed first the road and then switched to a hiking trail. While I was walking uphill to the pass it was really warm. It was a sunday and lots of people where on trail. I was bouncing around with a lot of people. I didn‘t have to hurry because I knew I couldn‘t camp before 6pm and somewhere close to the terrihut. The Greina plateau is a nature reserve and it‘s not allowed to camp there. After the pass you could see for the first time the plateau, woooow! I had a longer break at the stream, which was nice to put in my feet. After all people left I also looked out for a campspot. I found the perfect spot next to a lake close to the terrihut. It was perfect because you couldn‘t see the hut from the tent.

Day 9 – Terrihut to Oncedo (Camperio)

I had a good night and started as usual around 8am hiking. The trail was leading past the hut and a bit uphill. On the highest point you had again a really beautiful view of the plateau. I met some other people and we chatted for a bit. Walking up to the greina pass was really nice! I took a break to enjoy the last good view down till I was on the pass. There was a interesting rockformation all in white in the middle of the valley. On the descent I walked by the Scalettahut, also a really nice hut. But I didn‘t want to stop again, so I hiked down to the valley. It was getting warmer and warmer as I went down to the valley. There was no shade and I hiked on and on. I ran out of water and was really happy to see the fountain close to Campo Blenio. I drank almost a liter straight away.. I met the guys I chatted with in the morning again. They were walking in front of me till they all stopped. I asked if everything was alright, one girl tripped and hurt her foot! I tried to help and gave her my hiking poles. I walked slowly with them for a while and then past them to Olivone. I went to the grociery store and bought a coke and icecream 🙂 I waited at the bus stop till the group came. Luckily she felt already better. I had a long break there and had a late lunch. I wasn‘t sure where to camp so I took the bus a bit further up. When I hit the trail there was a sign that they are cutting wood and the trail is partly closed. Great! Still I managed to get a nice spot on a meadow close to the forest. I cooked and went to bed early, it was a really long day. But it wasn‘t enough.. At 10pm I woke up because my whole tent was bright right after thunder! I was scared as fuck!! I immediatly put on my rainjacket and ran out of my tent to the next tree. In panic mode I called at home in a mix of crying and yelling what I should do. It was raining heavily and I got wet also under the tree. I was standing there (like 45min) and waited till the thunderstorm went by. I had a hard time falling asleep again after this happened..

Day 10 – Oncedo (Camperio) to Acquacalda

I was still pretty shocked what happened in the night. In the morning it was perfect weather! I had to walk on the road because of the forest work. I didn’t mind it and the views were great! It was already warm in the morning and my water empty because of cooking in the evening and breakfast. So at Dötra, a little village I was happy to see a fountain. The trail was still following a gravel road up to the pass. From there you could already see Acquacalda down in the valley. My plan was actually to walk further over another pass and camp somewhere. But the weather didn’t look good. The clouds were clearing the sky. When I was in Acquacalda I wasn’t sure what to do. It looked like it could rain in a minute. So I drank there a cafe and tried to decide. For sure I didn’t want to get in a thunderstorm again! Once was enough!! I decided not to walk further and took the bus to Piotta. Tomorrow was my birthday and I was meeting a friend above Piotta. The busride was long. I took the funicular railway up to Piora and walked to the Lake Ritom. I booked a room in the restaurant up there.

Day 11 – Zeroday at Lago Ritom

I washed my shirt in the sink the night before and it was still a bit damp when I put it on in the morning. The breakfast was a little bit disappointing, but I got a large coffee! After breakfast I left my backpack at the restaurant and walked around the lake. My friend was coming about lunchtime, so I still had some time. Firstly I thought she arrives earlier and I hurried to be there on time. I got only reception at the front of the lake. Then I saw that she just missed the funicular railway and the next was going in a hour.. So I made some calls and tried to kill time (I was really impatient that morning). I was really happy when my friend Luana finally arrived! We walked a bit uphill and had picnic there. She bought sooo much food.. A hour later my mom also arrived and we made our way up to the hut, which I reserved for the night. To the hut it was about a hour walk all uphill 😉 It was a small and very steep trail and above us were dark clouds. I was a bit worried about the weather. The hut was right under a mountain top and the trail was therefore pretty exposed. So I hurried up there, left my pack and ran down to get my friends pack. She was already struggling enough before! And we made it before the rain 🙂 First things first, so we drank moscato! We had a great evening up there, making spaghetti and drinking wine and playing cards. It was a great birthday and it was really nice to have company! I miss that!

Day 12 – Airolo to Passo San Gottardo

On this day I didn’t hike on the Alpine Pass Trail. I decided to hike with my mom up to the Gotthardpass and stay the night there. I’m not a purist so it didn’t matter to me if it was another trail. Luana drove us to Airolo and we started around midday the ascent – great timing! We had a longer break, because we met a woman who’s hiking the number 2 (Trans Swiss Trail). I was pretty grumpy afterwards, because it was hot and steep and were still kinda in the valley. Bu se made it up there anyway 🙂 We walked next to the famous Tremola road, which is the old pass road which many many switchbacks. Also special is that the road is paved with little stones! We got lucky and got a nice double room for the two of us. It also had paintings on the ceiling 🙂 We treated ourselves with a three course meal and some wine (out of a jug, only in ticino).

Day 13 – Passo San Gottardo to Cruina (Nufenenpass)

Instead of going back to Airolo, I decided to hike from here further. The trail was anyway meeting again with the Alpine Pass Trail. I was just on the other side of the valley 😉 We had a really nice breakfast buffet and I ate a lot.. (hikerhunger is a thing). The weather forecast was rain for lunchtime. So I tried to hike fast, but it didn’t work out and I got rained on already a hour in! The trail was on a gravel road, which was kinda nice because of the rain. I was really fast also because it was almost flat or even slightly downhill. After 3.5 hours, two hours in the rain I reached the Piansecco hut. I tried to dry my stuff on the heating and ordered coffee and cake. It was also raining outside and I was glad to be inside. After about 2.5 hours there the weather looked better and I spontaneously decidied to hike on. It turned out to be not the greatest decision.. I hiked about a hour to the road which leads up to the nufenenpass. Dark clouds covered the sky and I wasn’t sure (again) what to do! I still was thinking about that night with thunderstorm.. I ended up taking the bus to Ulrichen and got a hotel room, which was kinda expensive. Of course the weather was better in the evening than expected! I was annoyed and just in a bad mood. I called some friends which was really nice!! Thanks again for cheering me up 🙂

Day 14 – Ulrichen to Cruina

I decided to hike the part that I skipped yesterday in the other direction. After a nice breakfast in the hotel I started hiking up towards the Cornopass. The walk started in the forest which was nice and cool. It was a warm day. I walked also over a little suspension bridge and then close to the road. Before it got steep I took a break. I was slowly walking uphill as it was really warm. The trail looked new and soon I was up by the wind turbines. It was kinda surreal having there huge wind turbines up there on the pass. There were also these cute sheep and the incredible view of a glacier! And you could see over into Italy 🙂 I took a short break to enjoy the view. Behind a building there was sitting an eldery man who painted the whole scenery, sooo cool! Shortly after, I met a german hiker, the first Alpine Pass Trail hiker!! We chatted a bit and both of hiked on. I had a long lunch break after the pass. The trail was really crowded that day. Then I walked down to the Capanna Corno Gries and had a coffee there. I had lots of time because my bus back to Ulrichen was at 4pm. So I chilled at the hut and enjoyed the nice view. The walk down to the road and bus stop was short. Back down in Ulrichen I dedcided to stay at the campground. First I planned to hike on and camp somewhere. But it was really nice at the campground. I bought a beer and a bag of chips and phoned with a friend!

So fast and another week on trail went by! Crazy I’m already two weeks on trail.. time flies out here! Stay tuned for Week 3

Happy Trails, Tinkle

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