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Since it was only 10:30 a.m., we had plenty of time in which to complete the hike back down to the car. We were pretty bedraggled and wet from our morning climb, so we decided to take a bit of time, and carefully peeled off what we could and laid it out to dry a bit in the warm sun.
Drying out
While on our break, we noticed a red helicopter flying to and from the lower Adula CAS hut. We concluded that today was probably the day that the hut was receiving its supplies for the start of the summer season.
Opening day at lower hut
An hour later we started our descent from the upper hut. The weather was still sunny and breezy, and it was a leisurely fifty minutes' walk down to the lower hut. There, we encountered many large white plastic bundles of supplies and gear on the front lawn. Several hut staff were busy ferrying things to and fro, and puttering about the yard. We exchanged friendly greetings, learning that the hut's wardens had just recently been to Canada - to Ontario and Algonquin Park, in fact. We told them that we were actually from a city very close by to there. Small world.
courtesy JInnes
Descending from hut
Upper Val di Carassino
courtesy JInnes
Grassy sidehill trail
Lower hut in sight
Supplies for the season
After another pleasant break (including a couple of cokes fetched from the supplies by the hut wardens), we started down the steep switchbacking section of trail into Val Soi. The well-constructed, well-graded trail lent itself well to a rapid descent, and seemingly in no time we were descending through the beautiful meadows of the hamlets of Jra and Soi.
Descending below Jra wall
Val Soi
Sunny forest descent
Back through Jra
Downwards to Soi
Arriving at Soi
Immediately after Soi, we were once again travelling on the narrow gravel access road (that connects Soi to Dangio). Our sunny day suddenly became cloudy, and soon a steady rain began to fall. It continued to rain steadily all the way back to the car, which we arrived at at 2:30pm.
Afternoon rain
A soggy finish
In the end, this turned out to be quite a varied experience. The many different facets and environments along the trail and the climbing route had been most interesting. Even considering the less than perfect weather, it had been very enjoyable and satisfying. Maybe next time we could do it without the summit thunderstorm, though.
Interactive trackmap with photo points - Rheinwaldhorn Day 2 - click map to view
Hut to Summit to Dangio - Climb Data (Rheinwaldhorn day 2)
Start Time: 3:01AM
End Time: 2:31PM
Duration: 11h30m
Distance: 15.63 km (9.71 mi)
Average Speed: 1.4 km/hr (0.8 mph)
Start Elevation: 7841ft (2390m) *
Max Elevation: 11176ft (3406m) *
Min Elevation: 3312ft (1009m) *
End Elevation: 3312ft (1009m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 3316ft (1011m) *
Total Elevation Loss: 7821ft (2384m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Graph
Since it was only mid-afternoon, we decided to drive up some of the narrow mountain roads on the other side of the Valle di Blenio, hoping to get a clear view back up the Val Soi and to the Rheinwaldhorn itself - sort of a final complete-picture view of what we did. While we did get a decent picture of the Val Soi and some of the alpine slopes above, clouds had returned to envelop the Rheinwaldhorn itself. No view for us today! (on the other hand, we did get a close-up view of a Swiss roadside lawnmower).
courtesy JInnes
Val Soi from afar
Swiss roadside lawnmower
A relaxing drive of about an hour brought us back to the flat, where had showers and a final dinner. Tomorrow morning we'd be heading off north to return to Germany.
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