August 31st, 2019


2019 August 31st

Aleks and I left Zürich by train at 7am to get to Schwägalp (Santis-Schwebebahn) (▲1352m) around 9am. Right off the bat we experienced what would become a familiar thought during the remaining 9 hour hike, namely wondering where the trail was and how the fuck we would get up those sharp and sheer mountain cliffs. Steel ropes and seemingly randomly bolted footholds guided us straight up the steep north-west wall. Of course we were oblivious to the even harder ascents awaiting us after Tierwies - mostly because we skipped the "warning" section on the trail website. But none of this seemed to bother the numerous Swiss families that just like us had decided to ignore the late afternoon thunderstorm predictions to enjoy the marvelous views offered by Säntis. We reached the peak (▲2502m) about 2 and a half hours later, beating the predicted time by an hour and feeling quite proud of ourselves. If you ever find yourself flying over the Alpstein mountain range, just look out for a LEGO-brick shaped building and a big weird needle.

After eating sandwiches and buying an additional 50cl water-bottle for 4.50 CHF each, we made our way down along some scarily narrow paths on the edge of Lisengrat (and the brink of death - no exaggeration) to Rotsteinpass (▲2119m). The slippery steel lines drenched in the sweat of previous hikers were of little comfort during that short descent, but equally breath-taking was the surrounding scenery of lush convoluted mountains and sharp peaks emerging in the distance. The final and most strenuous uphill effort to Fliswand Pkt (▲2334m) took us half an hour, three times longer than predicted - maybe because we had to focus a lot on staying alive. And the following never-ending descent to Wildhaus (▲1090m) marked the last step of that 9 hour journey.

Maybe we should have taken the gondola.

[1] Säntis - Rotsteinpass - Wildhaus, SchweizMobil

Camera: Fujifilm X100F
Notes: Turn off ND filter