Along the Keschtrek

Posted on 24 April 2017

Some month ago I was again in Switzerland with Marius for a hiking trip. We both wanted a relaxing getaway by train and Marius picked out the beautiful Keschtrek in Graubündenfor our trip. Our journey started on a Saturday morning  in Frankfurt we both met and took the train to Davos in Switzerland.

In the late afternoon we reached Davos and checked the schedule for the Bus which should bring us to the Flüelapass where our trip should start. Unfavorably we were too late to get a bus so we decided to jump into the next supermarket for some cold beer.

With beer in our packs we walked out of Davos to get to the pass until its getting dark. Suddenly a car stopped and we were kindly taken by a young Swiss man up to the pass. That was indeed excellent, because the trail up to the Flüelapass was directly next to the street and really boring.  From the parkside where we said goodbye to the driver we climbed up the trail for round about an hour until we found a comfortable campsite next to a stream to cool down the beer. The evening ended which pitching our tents, a delicious dinner and beer before we went in our sleeping bags for some sleep.

 

I slept like a bear in winter when Marius woke me up at around 5 o’clock in the morning. He said that we have to leave, because a armada of hiker is climbing up to the Schwarzhorn. An appreciative look out of my tent told me that there were around 15 hiker on their way to the top and we both packed everything in our packs and left this campsite after some minutes. I was really tired, it was early in the morning and I had no coffee and nothing to eat.

 

That’s not the best start into a morning when you have to climb 750 vertical meters up. Slowly I followed the path and Marius hurried ahead to reach the Schwarzhorn. For beautiful sunrise shots we were both to late and when I reached the top of the Schwarzhorn (3146m) all others went down. We made our entry in the summit book an decided to stay for a extended breakfast on that clear and sunny morning.

 

On our way from the top to the Fourcla Radönt we made another short coffee stop and to dry out our gear which was full of condensation from the cold night before we the thermometer dropped down to -8°C.  Obviously, we were in good shape, although we were not in training, because we arrived at the Chamanna da Grialetsch CAS in the early afternoon. The way to this mountain hut was well signed and it was a mixture of rock climbing and normal path with superb views.

For the reason that we are in the mountains to camp and not to sleep in these huts we decided to stop for a cold drink and a piece of these self-made cakes which are so delicious. Goal of the day on the way to the Scalettapass was to find a good campsite which as a bit more protected from the wind and definitely not right along a stream because of the higher condensation during the night.

On our way we passed the Furggasee and followed the Furggabach down in the valley where we enjoyed the view to Dürrboden, which is another starting point for the Keschtrek. Late in the afternoon on our way to the Scalettapass we picked up a campsite which was OK for the night, but in hindsight you are always smarter. During the evening we collected some berries and repaired broken gear for the next day. It is not a disadvantage to carry needle and thread!!!

 

This night was a bit warmer then the one before and the morning went as usual. Waking up, packing, COFFEE, snack and go. We decided to have a longer breakfast later on the morning in the sun. The way up was pretty good, because it is part of a bike route. It was cold and we walked all the way up in the shadow, while the sun was in the valley in front of us. On top of the pass we saw the big surprise. There was a beautiful wooden hut. Too sad that this one was not sign in the map. It would have been perfect for the night.

 

Instead of the track down in the valley to the Kesch Hut, we took a higher one. After a while of walking we stopped at at nice spot to try our wet gear and to enjoy a late breakfast. During that break a grasshopper enjoyed a power nap on my Therm-A-Rest sleeping mat. On our way we crossed small mountain stream which are a welcome refreshment on that sunny day. A bearded vulture still kept an eye on us during our way through the Val Funtauna.

 

For late lunch we arrived the Kesch Hut, a beautiful modern mountain hut which was rebuilt in 2000 and finished in 2001. We stayed outside an enjoyed the splendid view at the Piz Kesch and I started to dream how nice it would be to do the Graubünden Haute Route in winter with ski or snowshoes. Switch over to Hiking in Finland and read the teaser of his winter trip. A fresh and warm carrot cake and a cold beer sweated us the break before we went down the long gravel trail into the valley.

 

Target of the next day should be the Es-cha Hut on the other side of the mountain which means that we had to pass the mountain via the Fourcla Pischa (2871m) On our way to the Fourcla we passed the Alp Plaxbi which seemed to be abandoned because it was late in the year and all the cows were away. We stopped their for a last break and to look for a campsite because the ascent to the Fourcla Pischa was too much for us on that late afternoon. Suddenly a car came across and a woman told us that her father will stay during the night in the valley to hunt for deers. Half an hour later the older man came across and we checked our possibilities where to stay for the night.

Option one was climbing up to the Fourcla Pischa or staying the night in the cleaned cowshed. We took number two because the weather forecast was very rainy and snowy. After an uncomfortable night in the cowshed, because my sleeping mat had some tiny holes, we woke up in the morning and it was hardly raining. Surprisingly the older man brought us a pot of fresh brewed coffee which was a good start in the morning before we all went to the end of the valley to reach Fourcla Pischa and the older man to hunt some deers.

 

Finding to right way was a bit difficult. It was more rock climbing and looking for the trail. Suddenly strong fog came up and we could not see anything. After a while we found the right trail only some metres next to our way. The ascent was slippery and wet and in the higher sections we had more and more snow.

 

Finally we reached the pass. An idea was to climb up the Pix Blaisun, but the top was covered in clouds and the trail was covered in snow, so we decided to go directly to the Es-cha Hut. On our way their we found some late Edelweiß and met other hiker. This mountain hut was the last highlight of our trip. From their we went half an hour down to the street, but could not find a suitable campsite for the night. Walking down to Bergün is also part of the Keschtrek, but is not really a highlight, because the trail runs parallel the road.

 

In the end a car driver picked us up and brought us to Bergün, where we spend two nights at the local campsite. One night was planned anyway, because we had to leave Bergün early in the morning with the fantastic UNESCO World Heritage train. The other day we relaxed and explored this small village and the local delicacies.

 

 

Infos:

This trail is very easy to reach via train from Germany which makes the journey pleasant. You can book your ticket via the Deutsche Bahn. You can make a bargain for the ticket when you do not have a fixed travel time so you can vary your travel date. The other chance for a cheap ticket is to book early or you use the SBB to look for a ticket ( the chance to get a last minute bargain ticket is there much more bigger than at the DB). During the main travel time you can reach several starting points of the trail via the Swiss Postbus. Check out the timetable before you plan your trip.

If you do not wanna buy a map, check out this website for free detailed maps of Switzerland.

Local delicacies are worth to test. Specially when can buy directly from a farmer and do not forget to test these fresh and self-made cakes at the mountain huts.

Fore more photos please check out my Flickr Album.

 

Disclaimer: We made this trip on our own and without a support from anyone. This report reflects my unqualified opinion. Read the Outdoor Blogger Codex for more information on blogger transparency.


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