First snowshoe tour of the season - end of September! With a high bivouac on the snow-covered Furggeltihorn (3043m).
The summer has lasted a long time until it snowed up to 50 cm in two days last week - and the snowline has dropped to 1500m! Since then, much has melted, but still prevail high winter conditions. We want to do a relaxed hike, preferably with a nice bivouac, and maybe a little bit of clambering. The snow lets us redeploy, so the choice falls on the Furggeltihorn, an easily accessible summit in the center of Switzerland, on the border of Grisons and Ticino.
Yes is already winter?
By car we drive through the town of Vals to Lake Zervreil, on an adventurous road including single-lane tunnel. In the Chapel (P. 1984) We park over the lake. The Zervreilahorn opposite the lake captivates by its shape, it reminds me luckily more of mountaineering than of mineral water. It's lunchtime, so have a snack before it really starts. The backpacks are packed, the snowshoes, rope and winter clothes are all there. Contrary to the habit, it is down here first, to Canal Bridge (P. 1865)which runs over the southern arm of the reservoir. The dirt road is free of snow, otherwise there is a 10cm thick snow cover down here on the northern slopes. Shortly after the bridge, the trail branches off to the left in the direction of the Furggelt pass and winds its way through the lush vegetation. Despite the snow, it is easy to recognize, it seems like a leaked gutter. But when it comes to Butzeggen (about 2150m) we go for the snowshoes. The snow cover is not thick (estimated 15 cm), but at least closed, the winter feeling begins. The sun beats in the best weather, and we reach Ober Butz (P. 2462) and over a terrain level the lakes at P. 2598, The summit goal is ahead all the time, we take our time and look for a suitable bivouac site. Soon the sun disappears behind the pass, it gets noticeably colder. So quickly up to the Furggeltpass (P. 2712)Where the rays of the sun take us back and we calmly (and warmly) prepare our camp.
We were definitely very happy about the snowshoes. Since the snow cover thickness (what a word) varies between 10 and 40 cm and unobtrusively covers the holes on the scree, I would call it a cramp to trudge only here with mountain shoes. We also had enough wet feet. From the time we have probably used a bit longer than the specified, especially because of track work and heavy luggage.
The view up here is awesome, the clouds play with the sun and we make ourselves comfortable. Tea and warm pastries help against thirst, hunger and the creeping cold. Soon after sunset, only squats help, but soon we are pulled into the sleeping bags. It is now 8 pm, we have a long night ahead of us.
I wake up every now and then, the moon illuminates the mountains as bright as daylight, and the starry sky is clear, except for the few passing clouds. It is probably slightly below zero, because in the morning our water is frozen and the sleeping bags are iced with a layer of condensation. At 8 o'clock the sun comes over the ridge and warms the sleepy minds. Not everyone was comfortable warm.
A good breakfast with hot tea later we hide our belongings and make our way to the summit with light luggage. About the blocky terrain go the broad ridge to the south, sometimes with snowshoes, then again without and over the scree. Quickly we are at the foot of the steep upswing, which overcomes about 140 Hm. Here it becomes a cramp. There is so much snow that you can not see any more holes. On the other hand, there is not enough snow to walk over it. In some places, the loose boulders come out, and you have little support. But we have time, make very slow and after about 1.5 hours (from the pass) reach the summit flat, and after ten more minutes we reach that Furggeltihorn (3043m).
There is best summit weather! No cloud obstructs the view, it is pleasantly warm and you have a view from the Valais 4000s across the Nordkette to the Rätikon and the Bernina. In the south, the Güferhorn is still waiting for a downhill skiing, which is probably gorgeous. We enjoy the weather for a long time, and thanks to the rope and climbing gear, I still dissect the rocky spire opposite the summit stone man. An insane look south to the ...
The long way back
The downhill path is a bit faster, but we are still careful on the steep side. Again and again you sink to the hips in the snow because of these holes between the stones. Once at the bottom we shake all the snow out of our pants and shoes and are quickly back at the pass, where at the same time two hikers without a summit goal come up from the Läntahütte. We pack our seven things, cook tea again and start the long descent.
The hiking trail to Läntahütte (P. 2090) is partly steep and quite slippery because of the snow. Slow and cautious, sometimes with a lot of luggage sometimes a challenge. Everybody sits on the butt. Already in the evening shadow we reach the hut. The legs are getting tired now, but there are still eight flat miles ahead, through the beautiful valley of the Valser Rhine. With the last ray of sunshine we reach the Canal bridge, and after the counter-climb to the parking lot, we look happy and tired back to our summit, which towers far back, still white, covered.