Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Sunday 30 August 2009 - Blue Skies over Switzerland

The Alpenglow has just faded on one of those idyllic Alpine days that encourages us to return again and again to enjoy the settled spells of weather that so frequently prevail at this time of year.

We started slowly - I blame the shutters - rising at 9 but then, moving quickly in a relaxed sort of way, we managed to get to the top station of the Sunnbüel cable car, suitable daubed with sun tan cream and ready for a good mountain day, by 10.45.

We ambled off amongst the hordes deposited up at 1900 metres by the crowded cable car. There's a motorable track across the Spittelmatte plateau, but we soon left this to explore the Arvenseeli, a small lake set amongst pines. The narrow path was deserted, with everyone else bashing on along the main arteries. I tried to picture the scene of my last visit to this spot, on skis in March 2006, when we spent some time watching a group being taught about such topics as avalanches, and how to make a snow hole.

Anyway, today there was hardly a patch of snow in sight. We returned to the main drag (hardly a drag in this weather!) and admired the view back over the Spittelmatte towards Kandersteg, hidden in the valley beyond. This is the subject of today's image.

The day rushed on. Coffees outside a busy mountain hut; lunch on a high col - Schwarzgrätli - 2400 metres. Then Sue headed along the airy Höhenweg Ueschenegrat ridge whilst I took a longer route, rising to 2639 metres on a broad unnamed summit overshadowed by a mountain that looks as impossible to climb as it does to pronounce its name - Tschingellochtighorn.

Fabulous views to far corners of the Alps.

Having encountered some slow sections along slippery vertiginous scree, and I reckoned Sue would have been waiting at our rendezvous point for a good hour by the time I got there. I waited there for 30 minutes - no sign of her. 'Must have gone down for a beer' I thought. So I returned to the lower cable car station - a 1300 metre descent altogether. No Sue. Luckily our meeting point was on a narrow toll road, so I hastily drove back up 500 metres to find Sue waiting, unperturbed, enjoying the last of the afternoon sun and pleased not to have to walk down the final 500 metres, much of which duplicated yesterday's pleasant woodland descent.

The shops were shut (we cater on a day to day basis) so we enjoyed a pizza at Pizzeria Antico tonight, before enjoying the stroll home in still warm mountain air, with the fading Alpenglow.

...I think that's where we came in...

PS Pleased to hear you are feeling better, Dot.
Robin - I think you'll find things here have moved on a bit since your childhood - you should plan to revisit. (We know of a nice apartment you could rent!)
Actually, for a period we were horrified to think that all the scouts may be staying in the International Scout Centre - a huge sort of Alpine Hut/Refuge - but today we were relieved to spot a few tents as well. (Better here than in the Carneddau!)

Next day

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