Altmann and Säntis

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    Altmann and Säntis

    What you can experience in 24 hours ... a not quite everyday mountain hike! Altmann Südkamin (... try) and Säntis over the Lysengrat.

    Friday at quarter past five in the evening I make my way to the notified Zwinglipass, to the next day the Altmann to climb. I want to try the South or Schaffhausen fireplace.

    Quickly I get up the Brültobel and up to the Bollenwees, need for this rather boring stretch not even two hours. Along Fälensee, behind the Fälenalp high, a short rest and a muesli bar, and on it goes. I leave Alp Häderen behind me, shortly thereafter it starts to dawn. Not quite as fast I climb on, now on something wilder, washed out and wet ways. The tall scrub moistens my legs.

    The hunger

    Below a snow field, I see in the headlamp light a small, flat elevation and wants to set up there already my little tent. So I could make water for cooking .... Moment! I dork have actually forgotten the pot! Indeed! The last meal, two hamburgers, was about three o'clock in the afternoon, and actually it was just the hunger that drove me up to the pass! I'm hauling myself up, at least I want to reach my goal. Five hundred meters further on the Zwinglipass. I'm looking for a flat surface without cow dung, build up my little bright green bivouac tent. I can not sleep because of all the trouble and hunger. The only muesli bar I have plastered in the valley at the Faelalp.

    The search

    In the morning a cow wakes me up. Such a cowbell can be very loud when the cattle starts to graze about two meters from the tent. I get up wearily, two marmots shriek in panic. I quickly pack up and go on. Left the Zwinglipasshütte, right the Altmann. Should I…? No, that will work, push me in an energy gel and climb away to the southern wall of the old man, put on my helmet and climb the snowfield at the entrance to the south fireplace on the right. Would have to go, here a kick, there a handle in the "smooth wallet". But even a climbing train further up the matter looks different. There, in the horizontal chimney, everything is wet, a bolt unsettles me in addition. Yes, that is clearly the key point. Maybe I'll get the next train up, but I do not know if I can continue with this bulky backpack and the 12 kilograms in creeping gear. I climb the two trains again. If I had a short piece of rope to tighten the backpack, and a belt with some loops to the drop height at least a little restrict ... Well, heck. Tired, hungry, disappointed, I pull myself back, south around the wall, and look for the entrance to the Schaffhauserkamin. Do not find a job that looks right at first. Then the normal way. The climb up to the Rotsteinpass again consumes forces.

    The old man

    At Altmannsattel. Someone in front of me is already climbing the normal route, I'm waiting a short time to give him a lead, and to minimize the risk of possible rockfalls for me. Quite simply (T5, I) I climb the greasy trail. Halfway up my predecessor comes to meet me again and I immediately notice his shaky knees. I recommend him to climb backwards. Down here it was not a problem, but further up he was turned around. We say goodbye, I climb calmly and keep focused. Suddenly I was up, still 10 meters to the summit cross. I deposit my backpack, the short ridge is very airy. Carefully I climb over, sit down to the two climbers, who just came from the south chimney. A nice conversation about the different routes and the Alpstein itself is developing. They were individually more often at the entrance to the south fireplace, but would not have dared. Now, with partners and minimal insurance, it was not a big deal. I get a muesli bar as a gift. Shortly a summit photo and we go. With their small, lightweight backpacks they are quickly out of sight. Tricky passages I climb backwards, because my 50 liter backpack is down a bit longer, so I have little control over my butt and just need more space for ass and backpack, as the rock offers me. But I arrive quickly and safely down and make my way back to the Rotsteinpass, Meanwhile, I feel quite exhausted, it takes energy.

    A coffee and bubbles

    The descent to Rotsteinhütte is quite fast, although not completely harmless. Still in the money-saving mode, I order a glass of hot water for two francs and pour the double portion of instant coffee into it. Wow! Really, it's hard to imagine that I got that far without coffee. I take a long break. That's how I gather new strength, but the bubbles I've been running up the hill to Bollenwees yesterday bother me. So far, I could ignore the pain, only now I saw the two - and what I saw did not look good. Cheap socks, from the own brand of a sports shop. It's the second time that I blow myself with it. I throw her away at home!

    I get on the way with the coffee. The last stage, the Lisengrat to säntis, promises great views and exciting route guidance. Every step hurts, the verve is quickly out and I stalk wooden on. Finally the path becomes more demanding, so that I can concentrate on going. I suck and suck on my hydration system - empty. Great. I probably need eternal, but no matter, now just not be unfocused. From Lisengrat I get rather little with, I'm too focused on going. On a plateau with sheep, the Säntis in view, I lay briefly in the sun, enjoy the view, the sun and the clouds that glide over me and bring refreshment.

    Sneakers tourists and soup

    Pretty much at the end of my strength the sneaker tourists on the last bit of rocky path to the old Säntis seem rather strange to me. At the first table I drop. I have to eat something now, no matter what it costs. Ask the young girl what is the cheapest food. She looks down funny: "Soup ... but then without sausage". I ask her to give me a lot of bread. "There is so much there" was her annoyed-condescending answer. No, stinking climbers with special wishes and little money, they are up here, on this ugly zugebauten piece of rock, not furnished. She brings me the soup with three half-pieces of dried bread and half a liter of mineral water. Fifteen francs.

    I sip my hot soup, feel life force returning, talk to a couple from Lake Constance. The two train for a Himalaya trekking, I play tired but friendly the equipment consultant. A short time later, I see myself buying a ticket for the cable car (ha! There is a student fare! Half price, but still seventeen fifty) with the two down swing. I am completely finished, sitting in the gondola and do not know who is more alien here. There is also a double biscuit for dessert, I slowly chew and come, the deeper we go, more and more back to the normal world. The two take me in the car to Constance. No idea what we talked about in the hour's drive.

    Italian coffee and conversation

    They let me out, I stalk across the street, do not want to go up the four floors and sit down in the pampanin, ordering an iced coffee exactly twenty-four hours after my departure in Brülisau. Coffee, fat, sugar. Right now I do not need anymore. A nice conversation develops, the Pampanin brothers are from the Dolomites, the Marmolada right at their doorstep. They used to climb a lot, but now with this job and their vacations, it is hardly possible anymore. Too much snow in the fall. You can only walk. I reply that this is also nice in the area. "But rock is rock," he replies.




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