Saturday, August 31, 2019

Gruben to St. Niklaus (Saturday, August 31st)

Woke at 6am and slept just okay, even though the hotel was surprisingly quiet given that the bathroom was across the hall from us. Had the typical breakfast and hit the trail (literally in the back of the hotel that we could see from our balcony) at 7:35am. This was actually the first time in all of our hiking that there were switchbacks! We started in the woods......



 .......with clear skies and amazing views.

 .....as we worked our way to the Augstbordpass.....



Hi Brad!

We saw cows this time as well, but they stayed far away.  Now we know why they have bells - to warn ya! 

 We continued our steady climb............


Continued to enjoy the views.......

Of course there were rocks and boulders........



We got to the Augstbordpass at 11:10am (elevation 2,894 meters; 9,495 feet). There were amazing views, unfortunately the clouds were starting to gather........

We continued to walk our way through bolder fields.........



With some breaks occasionally, but the boulders and rocks kept coming....

We had to put the camera away for a while and don our rain jackets as there were loud claps of thunder and the threat of rain. (We had great weather this whole trip so far, so couldn't complain - especially when all it did was sprinkle a wee bit.)  The skies were definitely getting darker however, and the trail continued to be rocky and steep as we made our way down.

This is the Dom (I think)....

Still feeling like it was going to rain, we kept working our way to the Jungu cable car, which we planned to take down to St. Niklaus. (Again, this would simply be a super-steep and forested path, so we decided to save our knees....)

It was really a cute place - they had a restaurant.......

And a nice pond and outside area - places to BBQ and wood provided...........

That's St. Niklaus below..........

We chatted with some friendly German-speaking women and and couple while we waited for the cable car, which was so small that four people sat inside while we stored our packs outside.

We took pictures as we descended........

The cable car was SUPER high - SUPER high!!!


St. Niklaus.........


Didn't I say SUPER high? 

Once we got to St. Niklaus, we each paid 12 CHF cash for the ride and walked our way to our hotel, La Reserve. (We made reservations online about a month prior as it's the only hotel in town).


We ate a snack and wandered around town a bit before having dinner - pizza and salads with our favorite new wine - Swiss Fendant! As we ate dinner we started to reflect on the hiking, now that it was almost all behind us: tough, spectacular, mileage doesn't reflect the elevation and rocky terrain, hard work, Swiss people are nice.




Oh, twice when chatting with other hikers we were told that one of the cabanes that we decided to not visit had closed for an entire month this summer due to massive bed bug infestation - people had to carry their gear into the cabane with totes and could only bring what they needed, etc.  Even more confirmation that we made the right decision to limit our cabane experience! 



Today’s numbers:

Miles
Elevation change
Hotel to Path
1.4
1,451
Path  to Path
2.4
2,031
Path  to Path
1.1
961
Path  to Path
2.5
1,115
Path  to Jungu cable car
0.8
712

8.2
6,272



Today's Word: Boulders.

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