11.5 miles   1858′ ascent   5682′ descent    Richetlipass – Pass #2

After mailing the purloined key, we decided, along with the other hikers, to take the bus up to Ober Erb as today would be a tough day.  While waiting for the bus we walked around town.  The local playgrounds all had extensive rock climbing walls, preparing the Swiss kids to challenge their alpine surroundings as they grow up I presume!  Looking up at the surrounding mountains we could see a hole in the cliffs above us, St. Martin’s Hole.  Twice a year the sun  shines through this hole and highlights the 15th century church in the center of town. See the little patch of light in the middle of the picture?

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Soon we were on the bus winding up the hill to Ober Erb, a local ski area.  On the way the bus had to stop for sometime to wait for a herd of cattle, border collies and the herder to pass by.  They were in no hurry and were very entertaining to watch.

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We were deposited at the “resort” and proceeded to climb up an unnamed mini pass.  The lovely  sound of cowbells resonated over the delightful Wichlenmatt basin as we descended.  We could see a herder high above us with his dogs moving the cattle along to their next pasture.

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One more steep up to Richetlipass (pass #2)

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and then 4 1/4 hours of down, down, down.  We did take the time to pet a few very friendly cows.

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At one point we walked along a crest with the terrain dropping steeply on each side.  I found this area fun to navigate but next we struggled in a muddy, squishy, steep, cow paddy filled pasture. Finally the descent ended and we arrived in Linthal.

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We were the only ones at our B&B because everything was closed, AGAIN!  We had to do a little searching to find dinner.  The only restaurant open was a very pleasant, family run place.  Robert from Cardiff was eating alone and asked us to join him.  The rest of the hikers had gone on to Braunwald, up the lift on the next mountain. Looking back, I would do the same as Braunwald is a charming mountainside village.

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