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Appenzell, Switzerland
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Kat ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Appenzell, Switzerland on 06/29/2010 12:40:09 MDT Print View

This is the first trip my daughter and I took, after arriving in Switzerland on June 19th. We have been based at my cousins house, near Zurich, where we have been leaving most of our gear, only taking along what we need, according to where we are going. We rested one day and took off on Monday, June 21st. We took several trains and a long bus ride with the "Post Auto", the bus system that aslo delivers the mail.Our trail started at " Wildhaus". It was sprinkling, and we were told that the pass we were hoping to cross, over to a couple of beautiful lakes, had justbeen snowed on, with the possibility of a little more on the way. There was a hut that we could use, right before the pass ( Zwinglipass) ; it was not warded, but part of it was left open for use.
We started our journey with a gradual uphill on a coutry road that lead to a farmhouse, maybe a couple of miles. Next the trail brought us to a rocky, steady, steep climb, until we hit snow. We ascended about 1400 feet over no more than 2 miles. At first we were stoked about the snow and the scenery. Pretty soon we realized it was still a ways up to the hut, and all we saw was fog and snow. Now and then we caught a glimpse of the hut, far above us, but the rocky trail leading to it was quite elusive. We saw some of the red and white markings, then the snow was piled against the rocks and we could not find anymore markings. When the fog let up a moment we saw it again, then lost it right away, as all turned white and it started snowing sideways. We used out trekking poles to gauge our steps since we were off trail and on very steep, rocky terrain. We finally reached the hut, tired, but glad for shelter.

The beginning of our trip, before we reached the farmhouse.


Libby, ready for the uphill




First bits of day old snow.

first bits of snow



Looking back from where we came.

looking back

At this point we were still happy to be in the fresh snow

still happy to see snow


The next morning, I took off on my own to see if we could make the pass. I am the little black spot in the middle of the picture. I found a couple of trail markings, then lost them where the snow got deeper. Ahead was just snow and fog and I decided to get back to the hut and head back down with Libby and try to get to the lakes a different way, which meant a few buses and starting again at a lower elevation, without having to go over this high of a pass, which was actually just about 7000 feet. I was a little disappointed, but it wasn't worth taking that kind of a chance. By early afternoon we got to the other side of the range and started up again. On this side the sun was out for the most part.

next morning

We closed down the hut. The night before we found wood and a wood stove for cooking, as well as a big pot, which we used to melt snow, as the hand pump inside was
frozen. The tiny stove put out little heat but we had our sleeping bags ( Megalite and Montbell Superstretch 2) as well as down jackets. We placed our thermometer outside the window and at 9 pm it read 22 Fahrenheit.

closing the hut.

We are now heading back down, retracing some of our steps from the night before , and finding the actual markings .

heading back

We quickly leave the snow, to find the green valley we started at.

back in the green

On the way down we saw quite a variety of wild flowers, some places there must have been over 20 different species within a square foot.




A yellow " Papaver sp."



We are now going for our new approach to the valley. This is the last farmhouse on the way up. This area ( Appenzell) is known for it's cheese, the large old farmhouses, and according to my cousin: " The people there are so different.... they are so friendly, tiny in size and have the nicest dialect.". This area is just an hour drive from our hometown..... We did find the people we met to be very kind, if not particularly tiny. During this second day, we encountered a few hikers, some well into their seventies, with bowed legs and Leki trekking poles. Once we left the farmhouses, the trails were once again very steep and rocky.


The first valley we hiked down into, after our 3 mile ascent. Here lies the Samtisersee ( Lake). Our destination is another valley that lies past lower pass then the first one we attempted.

The first valley we hiked into, where the Samtisersee ( lake) lies.

We are now approaching our next ascent, over the snow dusted pass.

the pass.











Edited by Kat_P on 06/21/2011 20:55:22 MDT.

Trevor Wilson
(trevor83) - MLife

Locale: ATL -- Zurich -- SF Bay Area
re: Appenzell, Switzerland on 06/29/2010 13:15:48 MDT Print View

Thank you very much for posting! From what I have heard, it seems as though Summer has been slow to arrive over there and your pictures make it definitely seem like that's the case. Your pictures from the lower elevations are beautiful though.

Are you planning to post more of your trip reports from Switzerland? My wife and I are hoping to move the Zurich in the next couple of months so I will be watching your posts eagerly. Thanks, again!

Kat ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
more trip reports on 06/29/2010 14:36:49 MDT Print View

I am working on a second report of our trip to the higher Alps South of Bern. It will take a little while to get that all uploaded, meanwhile on Thursday we are heading out on our third multi-day trip to the south in the Graubuenden region. That report will also make it eventually. I am originally from near Zurich, so if you have any specific questions, you can pm. me.

Kimberly Wersal
(kwersal) - MLife

Locale: Western Colorado
Re: more trip reports on 06/29/2010 22:03:19 MDT Print View

Thanks so much for posting the report! I look forward to seeing more of your travels. It is MANY years since I was in Switzerland, but it is such a lovely place, and your photos bring back pleasant memories.

Trevor Wilson
(trevor83) - MLife

Locale: ATL -- Zurich -- SF Bay Area
Re: more trip reports on 06/29/2010 22:51:24 MDT Print View

I'll definitely be looking forward to the additional trip reports. I might have to take you up on your offer to ask some questions at some point. Good luck on your next trip!

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Appenzell, Switzerland on 06/29/2010 23:17:22 MDT Print View

Beautiful Katharina. You girls are awesome. Glad you had a great trip and a safe trip home. Hope to catch up with you later this season. Great that you travel with your own model. Just like Tony with Jeremy.

Ruan Kendall
(Ruan) - MLife

Locale: UK
Re: Appenzell, Switzerland on 06/30/2010 11:12:22 MDT Print View

Beautiful photography.

I don't think I've seen any pictures of hiking in the Swiss alps before; the landscape is quite a different shape to the mountains I've visited in the past. Another place to add to my ever-growing list of regions to visit, but at least this one is a little closer to me than the US national parks which are the usual content here!

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Appenzell, Switzerland on 07/01/2010 18:06:39 MDT Print View

Snow, fog, warm hut, wildflowers, sun, grand vistas, grassy valleys, glacial lakes, good cheese, better company...sounds like a couple good hikes combined.

FYI, the cheese can be specific to the place it is made due to the type of mold found in the building. You may not be able to get that cheese anywhere else.

Thanks for a glimpse at Switzerland!

Kat ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Appenzellerland on 07/04/2010 14:55:47 MDT Print View

I have to say that even though our other two trips took us to some majestic places, there was something special about these Alps. The formations were really unique and the altitude of under 2000 meters made it a very lush and friendly place.

Kat ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
A year ago today on 06/21/2011 09:26:17 MDT Print View

It's such a beautiful day; the ocean looks great, the birds are singing, the redwoods are offering some nice shade....but I am dreaming of the mountains.
A year ago today, my daughter and I embarked on this wonderful trip. The first of three great adventures. I have some great trips planned for this summer, but she won't join me on the longer ones. Maybe next summer I'll have another chance to take her back to my mountains : )

David W.
(Davidpcvsamoa) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
Trip Report on 06/21/2011 13:04:41 MDT Print View

Beautiful photos and write up Kat. What a fantastic trip to be able to do with your daughter.