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Vorderalp Day-hike
Tuesday, June 18
By about 2pm, we had completed our siesta and were feeling a bit more energetic. With such a beautiful day outside, we felt a bit of an urge to get out and enjoy the countryside, even if it was only a short outing. I consulted the papers containing the "research" I had done on potential outings, and we managed to come up with an abbreviated version of a short day-outing I had proposed. The original version of the outing climbed one of the lower, non glacier-clad peaks on the south side of the Vorderrhein valley diagonally opposite from Waltensburg. This easier, shorter varient would not climb to the peak, but instead reach a high point at a high alpine meadow (called Vorderalp) at about 2000m (6600 feet), before heading down again in a loop.
Distant view of Vorderalp hike
Getting to the start of our Vorderalp hike involved a good thirty minutes of driving on [quite fun] twisty mountain roads. We had to make our way down, across, and up the opposite side of the Vorderrhein valley, climbing high up through the spread-out mountain communities of Obersaxen before reaching the trailhead in the middle of a grassy pasture with bell-ringing cows all around. It was now after 4pm, and we didn't want to get back too late, so we wasted no time in setting off.
courtesy JInnes
Across the Vorderrhein
Hay lofts and rugged peaks
Hay lofts and rugged peaks
courtesy JInnes
Mountain biking
Waltensburg from above
Curious Bovine
The trail led pleasantly upwards through open grassy pasture. Behind us was a beautiful panorama north across the Vorderrhein valley to the high crests of the Glarus Alps - the mountain range we had toiled so effortfully in just the day before. We could also see our temporary home community - Waltensburg, where the flat was located - about twenty kilometres away on the other side of the valley.
Start of Vorderalp hike
Starting off to Vorderalp
Another fine day
With only a light daypack of stuff on our backs and with grassy turf underfoot, the going was easy. We soon reached the upper end of the meadow we'd been hiking in, our trail plunging into a tall shady forest of pines and conifers.
Hiking up under Cavistrau
Grassy Path
Gentler terrain to the south
A short fifteen or so minutes of switchbacking up through the forest brought us to the lower edge of the upper pasture - the Vorderalp pasture.
Into the forest
Forest pasture
Upper Pasture
Once on the upper pasture of Vorderalp, the grade of the terrain started to lessen, and by the time the buildings at Vorderalp proper came into view, we were walking up only a slight incline. There was a 270-degree panoramic view all the way up and down the Vorderrhein valley from here.
Pasture hiking
Ever-improving views
Brian and Obersaxen
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[ Return to "European Hopscotch" Home page | Introduction | Switzerland | Oberalpstock I | Oberalpstock II | Alpenbreak | Vorderalp | Rheinwaldhorn I | Rheinwaldhorn II | Return to Germany | Daniel's Birthday | Turkey | Topkapi Palace | Hagia Sophia | Spice Bazaar | Blue Mosque | Grand Bazaar | Süleymaniye Mosque | Galata Tower | Farewell to Turkey | Turkey to Italy | Italy | "Tour" Day | Venice | Ferrata for Sophie | Ferrata for Luke | Epilogue | GPS Data ]

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