Statistics: 14 miles ascent: 4954′ descent: 5256′ Pass #9: Hohtürli
Breakfast was enjoyed with a delightful Swiss couple that we met on the pass yesterday. They had the luxury of walking in this area almost every week.
Today we would climb the highest pass on the Alpine Pass Route. Most of my months of training were with this day in mind. I wanted to be able to hike this day and have fun, not just endure it! We found the path near to our B&B and started the ascent. The cat followed us for awhile before turning back.
Shortly, we were done with the green pastures and into a very steep, eroded slope of moraine deposits. Yesterday as well as today we saw professional mountain runners loping up these huge inclines. One girl we met had just returned from Bulgaria where she placed 15th in a world mountain running competition. Several minutes later her boyfriend appeared gasping for breath trying to at least keep her in sight. The view of the surrounding mountains was a good distraction as we took a breather.
Eventually, as we neared the pass, the path became a series of hundreds of steps and many ladders.
And then, yay, we made it! By this point we had climbed over 4700′ and only descended 27′, but it was well worth it!
There was no wondering what our descending trail would look like. It was laid out before us.
The Blümlisalp Massif is an impressive glacier that was in full view as we walked down.
As we descended our terrain was changing.
Oeschinensee was the jewel we encountered towards the end of the day’s hike.
So that we could take some time to enjoy this stunning lake, we stopped at the little restaurant, Unter Bergli, in the foreground for our favorite snack… surely, you know what that is by now!
Continuing on, we walked around to the other side of the lake.
The decision was made to take the gondola down the rest of the way (over 5200′ of downhill was enough for today). The gondola delivered us directly to our B&B!