There are almost 200 lakes inside the National park of Aiguestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici and lake Sant Maurici is one of the most beautiful of them. One can reach there from Espot – by foot or by taxi. We have selected the second option. The taxis are waiting for us in the centre of Espot. Not ready to go yet because they need at least four passengers for this. Luckily enough another two hikers arrive soon and we move on to the lake.
The road is rocky and bumpy so the taxi drives slowly and carefully. It takes about an hour before we reach the lake. The driver reminds us that the last taxi back is at six and off he goes.
The track starts with a broad path that follows the lake border. A lot of people hike here usually during the hot season. Today nobody is here but us four taken here by the taxi. The path brings us to the other end of the lake and then starts to ascend by the slope. Soon we are at the Ratera waterfall and then move on to some other lakes higher. The weather changes all the time – sunny, then foggy, then hail comes down. When we reach the lake Gran d’Amitges it’s sunny again and we can enjoy the view at Las Agullas d’Amitges – two steep rocky summits.
We select another path for a way back that takes us to the view point with a gorgeous view on the lake Sant Maurici. We are at half past five at the taxi stop. Two passengers are already there, three more join the company after us. Luckily the taxi that arrives has room enough for all.
We drop in in a small cafe in Espot for some tea and coffee and then drive to our hotel.
We had a single day track in mind for the penultimate day of our journey. When we arrive at the lake Presa de Cavallers the weather is sunny and the mountain views gorgeous – we decide to try staying at night in a mountain hut instead of driving 80km back to the hotel.
At the beggining the path follows the shore of the lake, soon after we have left the lake behind we drop the planned track for the another one that leads to the Ventosa i Calvell hut. We don’t know if the hut is still open so we feel delighted when noticing from the distance that the window shutters are open. To be on the safe side we drop in to ask – and yes, we can stay here and get some dinner, breakfast and the picnic (something to take away tomorrow).
We have a couple of hours before our dinner hence we decide to take a short hike to Travesani lake and summit. Watching the lake from above and the summit from below – the latter looks like one should have to be a mountain climber to get there. And we see a couple of them just doing that 🙂
They save power consumption and fuel for the furnace in the hut (the season is over, we are almost the only guests here). We keep close to the small oven which is the only one in the large dining room. They serve traditional Spanish onion soup and some other superior meals. When going off for the rest we take on every cloth we have and put two blankets on top. The forecast about freezing to death turns out to be wrong though.
We get our picnics 🙂 after the breakfast and take a departure. The plan B in case if we don’t manage to climb the 3014m high Punta Alta de Comalesbienes summit – is to go back the way we came yesterday. The plan B fades though gradually as we move on (the track this way grows longer 🙂 ).
We reach Estany de la Roca (i.e. rock lake – it has a rock in the middle indeed) by a comparatively easy track. The path gets steeper after the lake and brings us into the shade of the mountain. They have frozen soil and ice covered stones here. It happens somehow gradually and soon we understand we are on the steep damned slippery slope. We move forward as fast as snails because there is nothing we could cling to and slithering down does not look as an attractive endeavor at all. We both try some nevertheless – nothing more than a couple of scratches and torn trousers luckily.
Not sure if we should proceed to the summit, yet turning back and going down looks even more dangerous. Then we get the glimpse of sunlit rocks some twenty meters ahead and move on. Soon enough the dangerous part is left behind – the rest is just an ordinary rock climbing 🙂
The summit drowns in the sunshine, clouds, summits and lakes (we count more than ten) all around. We enjoy plenty of this and then down we go by the opposite slope. No surprises there apart from the descend being longer and tougher then we might remember from the last time we were here. In three and a half hours we are at the parking place.
We’re driving to Chur, which takes us back across two mountain passes. Our plan goes something like this – we make our way up the Furka pass and we take a little walk in the mountains. I have found the Klein Furkahorn peak, which is 3026m in height and looks like its right nearby the road. The climb isn’t too tough, since the pass is almost 2500m high. We are not aware about the possible difficulties of the climb, so we will observe it on the spot – we’ll go as far as we can.Continue reading »
Sunday, on the 19th of October in the south of Switzerland, in the Canton du Valais, happened the event of the mountain run/walk, which has been happening since 2001.
Jeiziberg mountain run
Although the day is quite sunny, it feels rather cold. Nordic walkers have their start at 10:30 in the morning, runners start an hour later.
The start was quite surprising, since almost everyone started to run ( the acctual difference between running and walking wasn’t that clear).
The beginning of the track was leading trough the streets of the city and was later continued on the trail, which went up the mountain all the way to the goal. The track was 6.15km in length with 855m height difference. It was unusual and quite difficult – we could observe some of the participants sitting at the side of trail. Weather was getting warmer. Other participants, on the other side, were feeling quite well, one of the female participants was yodeling the whole way trough. Lot of the participants were families with children. One little girl was helping herself by holding onto her dad’s pole. There were many supporters on the way, especially in Jeizinen, were they were actively cheering every participant. We really had to pull ourselves together, since we were getting really exausted.
After making our way back we realized that it’s not even the middle of the day – so we still have an off chance to do something else. We went to see Moiry – one of the biggest dams in Switzerland.
Moiry dam and lake
The dam is 148m in height and 610m in length, it is situated 2249m high in the mountains about 10km from the border of Italy. It’s a 20km distance on the serpentine to get there.
We leave our car by the dam (it’s possible to get even further) and make our way up the mountain trail, walk across the dam to the other side of the lake. There through the tunnel, followed by honking, a public bus was making it’s way to the parking lot – quite an unusual view.
On our way back we stopped near a small chapel which was near the edge of the cliff. It’s dark when we arrive at the hotel. We are eating the special meal served in pan.
We go up on the opposite side of Montafon valley to the Bartolomberg village church (in the dark it’s well lit and can be observed through window from Mansaura). In the church, the backs on the chairs were at oblique angle, which makes standing on the knees more comfortable than using the seats.Continue reading »