Hiking in Switzerland – Greina Plateau

Posted on 09 Oktober 2012

It is autumn it was time for the annual holiday with my wife. Again we spent this long holiday in Switzerland and I had the good fortune to be able to go hiking again, while my wife visited some friends. Going back in the Swiss Alps I could not wait to be there again. Some weeks before we started I bought a map of the Greina Plateau, the place where I wanted to hike and planned a four day route with some interesting points on my wife. The final day came nearer and nearer. During the last weeks I checked every day the webcams and the weather forecast, but it turned out quickly, that I could not expect a weather forecast like on my trip last year. After we had reached our holiday home in the Berner Oberland I spent two days with relaxing, because I had a cold and sore throat. On that cold Tuesday morning I went to the bus station and bought my train and bus ticket which should bring me to Sumvitg, a small village in the mountains, from where I planned to get the bus into the valley. That was my plan. After my arrival in Sumvitg came the disillusionment. They switched from summer to winter timetable and it does not provide a bus for the valley. This confused my plans completly, because now I had to walk the whole long way into and out of the valley. Taking a taxi would be a solution, but it was too expensive, so I decided to walk. I found a small footpath which I followed into the Val Sumvitg along the river.


Gradually it went uphill. I started on a level of 860m and my daily target was at 2170m. Though it should rain on that day, the weather was excellent. It was pretty warm and the sun was shinning. hiking through this valley was perfect. It was not to cold and not too warm.



At the end of the valley I reached some alpine meadows where the cows got the last green gras before winter and I had a first look on a glacier at the Greina Plateau

Full of anticipation, I set off on the trail, but it ended and I had to walk along the asphalted road. A suspension bridge over a tributarty was there so I could walk over it instead of walking along the road. Nothing for someone with acrophobia.

After round about 10 or 12 kilometers I reached a parking place and a small water reservoir where they produce electricity. The road ended here and the footpath into the mountains started. I had a look into my map and saw that I was on a level of 1350m. It was 3.30 in the afternoon and I had to climb up all the long way to the Camona da Terri CAS on 2170m. Before I continued my way I had some nuts and on my own made bars.

The trail was steep and rocky and sometimes slippery when water crossed the trail. It was amazing how the water formed the stones in the riverbed. Time for a photo stop and some cold water for refreshment. I started to kick myself in the ass, that I now had to follow the trail. Step by step I made my meters up to the top. A herd of ibex came across and watched how I climbed up to the top. I dreamed to be an ibex, because they run so nimble through the mountains. Wind came across the mountains and I put on my RAB Cirrus wind top. The sun was away andit was getting colder.

After a while I could see the Terri hut. It was 6 o’clock in the evening and a sign said that I had to walk only 30 minutes. Fantastic. The cold beer was so near. I hurried, but the way was still burdensome.Five minutes earlier than expected I reached the Camona da Terri. Lots of people were there. They all spent a night at the hut. I bought a big beer and sat down  to a few guys in my age.During the conversation they told me that they wanna climb on top of the Piz Gaglianera and invited me to come with them in the early morning. Good plan I thought and agreed. After another beer I left the hut behind to find a campsite for the night. Next to the hut there was a reasonably flat campsite for the night where I pitched my Locus Gear Khufu shelter. I made a big pot of tee ans had some salami and cheese before I went into my warm Katabatic Gear Sawatch quilt.


At 6 o’clock in the morning I had a first look out of my tent. It was cold last night and I did not feel well because of my bad cold and sore throat. But there was this plan to climb up on ones of these summits. A warm Via coffee was quickly made. Around my tent were lots of blueberries which I collected for my sweet couscous. After breakfast I packed everythinf together and went back to the hut where the others waited.

There are two ways to the Greina Plateau. We took the right way around the Muot la Greina. Then we walked past the Piz Greina to get to the Piz Gaglianera. We climbed up along a stream which came from the mountain and we had to pass a big scree slope. This is normally not my terrain. Hiking is OK but climbing is something new for me. After round about 350m altitude of walking through big rocks I stopped, because of my acrophobia and my bad cold. I was completly exhausted and decided to walk back on my own. Annoying, but I have to lose this fear. The other guys continued the way up and I stayed there for a longer break before I climbed down to the plateau.

Back there I walked to the Passo della Greina in direction the the Cap Scaletta. Bad weather came up through the Val Camadra and I decided to walk back along the other side of the plateau.


Stone art near the Passo della Greina

My health condition did not get better and after another stop in the afternoon I made the decision to climb down in the Val Sumvitg to stop this disaster on the other day. Never felt so bad in the last time. I was looking forward to this tour for such a long time and it ended like this.

The last meters on the plateau led me through a muddy and boggy area and I got this wet feeling from my Norway trip back. I started to smile.

With a perfect view at the Camona da Terri CAS I started my descent down into the valley where I planned to stay for the night

The way down was as hard as the way up it was. My knees began to tremble and in then late afternoon after some stopfs and refreshments I reached the valley. Some people come across and wanted to reach the Terri hut on this evening. Not it was time to find a campsite for the night and dry wood for a campfire.

A last look into the valley before I followed a small trail on the other side of the street and river. It was a small footpath and nobody was there. Next to the river at the shoreline I found a perfect campsite for the night with a glacier behind me. I had a final look into my map before I started to pitch my shelter on that stony ground.



Clouds came into the valley and veiled the glacier. During the night I had a short rain shower.


Guesthouse Khufu with warm down sleeping gear. Perfect for a sick and depressed hiker.

With my Sanpo CF stove I made some warm water for a big cup of tea and noodles with porcini mushrooms. It was a very delicious dinner at the end of this short trip.


I finished the evening with relaxing at the campfire. After a while I started to sleep there, but was quickly awakened when the fire extinguished. Now it was time to go to bed. A last photo of my Khufu by night did not really work. It was too dark and late and I only had this small head lamp with me. Bedtime. Good night.


Oh my god I thought when I woke up on the other day. It was 9:46 in the morning and I slept like a bear in winter. I put everything in my pack, had a cup of coffee, some nuts and a bar until I started to walk down the valley. This way was anything but good. It was next to the mountain slope and lots of mudslides came across the mountain and destroyed the trail. Sometimes it was hard to find the way, but finally after a 3 hours walk I reached Sumvitg where I took the train and bus back into the Berner Oberland. At home I went to a docter and he diagnosed a bad flu and I had to stay in bed for some days.


Good by Switzerland. I’m coming back.

Last but not least a short video of my trip.

5 responses to Hiking in Switzerland – Greina Plateau

  • Joe Newton sagt:

    Bails are never easy to accept Beni but fear not, the mountains aren’t going anywhere! 🙂

  • Martin Rye sagt:

    You will go again.  Wonderful mountains and what time you spent there looked great.  

  • Shelly Dore sagt:

    Hi – thanks for sharing! Hopefully you’ll be able to go back and enjoy the experience in better health. I envy you for the open walking – so different from bushwalking here in Australia

  • […] did it again. After my aborted trip at the Greina Plateau in October I was again in Switzerland for a hiking trip. This time I was once again in the Engadin […]

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