2018 was a year full of experiences, changes, growth, and broadening of my horizon. At the end of the year, I needed a holiday that would enable me to process all these impressions and let them pass in review. Hiking on snowshoes in Switzerland was just the thing! Four unforgettable days in Val Müstair with a perfect mixture of physical activity and relaxation.
A paradise for snowshoe hikes: Val Müstair
Even the journey by car over the Fernpass (a mountain pass) was a great experience! From Germany we crossed the border to Austria. Then along many serpentines and through endless tunnels to Italy. The rock faces, which often piled up to the right and left of the road, were almost breath-taking. Finally, we also crossed the border into Switzerland and after six hours drive, we were in our hotel.
DAV Summit Club
We had booked a great package through the Summit Club of the German Alpine Club: On snowshoes in Switzerland. Five nights with breakfast and delicious dinner, sauna, equipment for the snowshoe hikes and a guide who had prepared a really nice tour for each of the four days. The DAV Summit Club really impressed me: They offer exciting trips at good prices all over the world. Our group consisted of six participants plus a guide.
First day: From Fuorn Pass to Lü
On the first day we took the post bus up to the Fuorn Pass after breakfast and then walked east on an easy mountain trail. So we first came to the Alp da Munt, a small ski center at the mountain Minschuns. Through really deep and glittering snow we went on to the Alp Champatsch and afterwards on a wide cross-country trail to the high situated village Lü. There the other group members drove with a bus back down to the valley. We had a cappuccino on the sun terrace of the cosy restaurant Zum Hirschen and then hiked down to Valchava, to our hotel.
Second day: Munt Buffalora
On the second hiking day we drove with our cars over the Fuorn Pass to Buffalora. There we put on our snowshoes and walked south through a snow-covered riverbed to Alp Buffalora and finally up to 2630 m to Munt Buffalora. The ascent was quite exhausting, but the 360° panoramic view rewarded all our efforts. As on the previous day, the sun was shining and everyone enjoyed the view in silence. To the south the Munt Buffalora borders on Italy and you could even see the Lago di Livigno.
Third day: Alp Sadra
On the third day we took the cost-free ski bus to Tschierv and hiked from there through a dense pine forest to Alp Sadra. After that we walked along the mountain flank westwards through untouched snow. We made our own trail and often sank deep into the white glitter carpet. The many bulges and hollows let us guess bigger rocks under our feet. But thanks to the snow we were able to walk over them almost effortlessly. Once, however, the icy cover between two stones collapsed and I disappeared up to my chest in the gaping hole. Adventure! We then descended again to the village of Fuldera and finally through the valley back to Valchava.
Fourth day: Muntet
On the fourth day our highest ascent was on the schedule: the mountain Muntet, with 2763 m. Therefore we drove again with our cars up to Lü (1900 m). With the snowshoes we first went up to Alp Valmorain and then to Alp Tabladatsch, where we had a short rest. On the saddle between Muntet and Piz Terza – the Fuorcla Sassalba 2619 m – an icy and stormy wind blew into our faces and we quickly put on all our layers of clothing. We followed the ridge to the west and finally reached our destination. It felt great to climb the steep slopes one after the other in slow step. The wind was getting louder and louder and when you opened your mouth your teeth hurt from the cold. The view was again indescribably beautiful!
I am simply happiest in the mountains! I hope to be back on snowshoes in Switzerland soon!