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Old 09.07.2010, 19:42
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Leaving for switzerland a week from today

Next Friday I leave for five weeks in Switzerland (have I made my feelings clear??). As usual, something old, something new, but this time the balance leans towards the new.

Week one will be in St-Luc, third visit. Tourist village (where the rentals are) is built on a steep hillside, hideous modern soulless buildings with great views. Here is a photo of the low mountains across the valley (most under 3,000 meters) after an early August snowfall:


Leaning out and looking to the south the Imperial Crown is just visible at the end of the valley:


Note the crane; construction was a constant in the tourist valleys in previous years (I wonder how the recession has affected this).

Then a repeat visit to Evolène, fourth visit to the village, third year I am staying in the same delightful chalet (ground floor):


Most days I have breakfast, pre-diner drink and dinner on the porch. Pastoral view of fields straight in front, going out to the garden I get a reasonable (tree spoils it) view of the Dent Blanche.

I feel at home in Evolène, more so in "my" chalet. Just thinking of my first evening on the porch there I have to conclude that:


After the familiar starts the adventure. This year I will spend no less than three weeks out of five on the "wrong" side of the röstigrabben. My first trip to the Berner Oberland in about twenty years will be to Mürren, which I believe I have never visited (have been to both Grindelwald and Kandersteg).

Then back to the Valais (or should I write Wallis?) for the final two weeks. First week in Saas Fee, the one major valley south of the Rhône I have not yet explored. Lots of wonderful hiking opportunities, both along both sides of the valley, and in the mountains above.

Finally a week in Brig, of all places. Why????

History (think Stockalper and the Simplon).

Hiking in the Simplon region, the South ramp of the Lötschberg and preliminary explorations of the lower Goms valley.
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  #2  
Old 09.07.2010, 19:45
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

man you've seen much more of CH than me and I've lived here already 6 years
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Old 09.07.2010, 19:47
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

Sounds like one hell of a holiday! Hope you enjoy your chalet, the mountains and the fée verte (don't let the Wallisers invite you for drinking games! you have been warned...)

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man you've seen much more of CH than me and I've lived here already 6 years
Hm, he probably has seen more from Switzerland than many Swiss!
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Old 09.07.2010, 19:48
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

I wish you a very satisfying and safe stay!
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Old 09.07.2010, 20:20
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

Don't, but don't miss out on the SUONs of Upper Wallis: fantastic. Just returned from a super 5 day trip. The best one is from Eggen up the Baltschiedertal and back down to Ausserberg. Not for the faint hearted though! Very narrow, precipituous, vertical drop on a narrow pathway adjacent to the Suon [Bisse in French and Falaj in Arabic] and against cliff faces, where a German couple we met en route had their children roped together!!! Do not attempt if you suffer from vertigo though, nor are an uncertain walker/hiker. But oh so worthwhile if you like excitement! Private pm us for further details and pix.
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Old 09.07.2010, 20:37
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

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Don't, but don't miss out on the SUONs of Upper Wallis: fantastic. Just returned from a super 5 day trip. The best one is from Eggen up the Baltschiedertal and back down to Ausserberg.
Thanks for the hint. One of my guidebooks describes it; it seems a bit beyond my comfort zone but we will see. Even if I decide this particular suon is not for me I may well do another easier one; I very much enjoyed the one I did in 2008.
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Old 09.07.2010, 21:08
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

Take the little train out of Brig right up the valley to Bitsch for lunch one day just so you can take a picture of the sign at the train station or the town entrance. Your friends back home will get a kick out of the name.
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Old 10.07.2010, 15:22
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

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Take the little train out of Brig right up the valley to Bitsch ...
Bitsch is about a 90 minute walk from Brig, most of it along the river. Possible rainy day walk???

More interesting, and similar name, would be the Bietschhornhütte. A couple of hours train/bus each way to Wiler or Reid, then a 3+ hours ascend, lunch, faster descent, and back to Brig. So many hikes, so few days

The Bietschhorn is a spectacular mountain visible from many places in the southern Valaisan Alps:


I would guess that this is a photo taken from the south, with Brig the large town a bit right of center in the valley.

[Added]Guessed wrong , see post below.[/Added]

Last edited by RetiredInNH; 10.07.2010 at 15:42.
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Old 10.07.2010, 15:31
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

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Bitsch is about a 90 minute walk from Brig, most of it along the river. Possible rainy day walk???

More interesting, and similar name, would be the Bietschhornhütte. A couple of hours train/bus each way to Wiler or Reid, then a 3+ hours ascend, lunch, faster descent, and back to Brig. So many hikes, so few days

The Bietschhorn is a spectacular mountain visible from many places in the southern Valaisan Alps:


I would guess that this is a photo taken from the south, with Brig the large town a bit right of center in the valley.
nope, that would be the view from hockenhorn/lauchernalp (wonderful small but big enough skiing/freeriding paradise with a lot of sun). the valley below is the so called lötschental. to the left your heading to the aletschgletscher (nice hike aswell) and to the left your coming to goppenstein (after the lötschbergtunel).
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Old 10.07.2010, 15:58
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

We stayed in Fiesch last week to go hiking (and escape the heat!) at a great B&B. It is called Baumhaus and it is directly adjacent to the Hotel du Glacier in the center of Fiesch.

The proprietor is a woodworker and he has renovated the entire building with native woods. All nine bedrooms are panelled in a different species. He handmade all of the furniture in the entire inn, right down to the toothbrush holders in the bathrooms. It was an AWESOME place to stay. 70 CHF per person per night including a fabulous breakfast made by his wife, Lilian, (who speaks English).

Our favorite hike was from Fiescheralp, around the Eggishorn on the Unneres Talli, past the Vordersee and the Marjelensee, along the Aletsch Glacier, ending in Moosfluh. That was 5 hours and 15 minutes. Then we cheated and took the cablecar down to Mitte for a very late, leisurely lunch. Great day altogether.

Here are some links:
http://activityworkshop.net/hiking/s...d/aletsch.html
http://www.baumhausfiesch.ch/
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Old 10.07.2010, 16:02
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

Just thought of another good one: take the cable-car from Gampel-Steg to Jeizinen, then walk along the fantastic belvedere and descend to Goppenstein. Turn south, take the path down to the valley again and back to Steg. Takes about 4/5 hours minimin depending on agility. Lovely views.
Another one, take the Postauto from Naters to Blatten then walk the "Massaweg" - also super and not too difficult. Temperature in the Rhonetal day before yesterday = 36.5!!!
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Old 10.07.2010, 16:10
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

Oh, yes, forgot to mention the heatwave. It was anywhere from 32 to 34!! down in the valley in Sion, Sierre, Visp and Brig, but then once you got up above 1000 meters, it cooled right down. Up on Bettmeralp and Eggishorn at 2700 meters or so, it was really pleasant.
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Old 11.07.2010, 16:38
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

Just come across this - very helpful, full of useful information:
www.valais.ch/files/?id=25696
good pictures too [not as good as ours, but then you can't have everything]!
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Old 11.07.2010, 16:55
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

Hope the trip across goes well and that no-one has built a massive high-rise block in front of one of your favourite views.

We did the Lötschberg Südrampe once - it was a wonderfully warm day but the masses of other people with the same idea did rather spoil the enjoyment. We must have looked like one of those picture of a trail of refugees plodding their way across the landscape. No chance of walking at one's own pace and it was quite difficult to find a spot to stop for a short break. Wonderful views though of course.

Hope you have better luck.
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Old 11.07.2010, 23:40
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

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We did the Lötschberg Südrampe once - it was a wonderfully warm day but the masses of other people with the same idea did rather spoil the enjoyment.
Was it a weekend?
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Old 11.07.2010, 23:45
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

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Just come across this - very helpful, full of useful information:
www.valais.ch/files/?id=25696
good pictures too [not as good as ours, but then you can't have everything]!
Thanks!

I have a printed copy of an older version of this, in 2008 I did trip #7, Bisse de Clavau, enjoyed it immensely.
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Old 16.07.2010, 00:45
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

I note you are now in Canada and should be here soon to St-Luc.
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Old 16.07.2010, 14:40
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

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I note you are now in Canada and should be here soon to St-Luc.
I am now in Brookline, MA, did the Canadians take it over while I was looking elsewhere

Leaving Boston tonight, arriving St-Luc tomorrow PM, hoping to hike from Sunday, weather looks really good at least until Wednesday: St-Luc forecast.
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Old 16.07.2010, 16:38
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

This might be an amazing coincidence--are you by any chance flying out on Swiss International flight LX053, today July 16? Because my wife and I are on that very same flight. If so, let's have a chat! We're a middle aged couple, each with a small backpack (major luggage is being checked through). Or you can find us in seats 41H and 41J on the plane, near the back so we get a good view.

We'd be doing more hiking if I had my way, but my wife has knee and foot problems and we do want to see different places, so we're mostly just touring.
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Old 16.07.2010, 16:54
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Re: Leaving for switzerland a week from today

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This might be an amazing coincidence--are you by any chance flying out on Swiss International flight LX053, today July 16?
Amazing indeed! I will be wearing my "Arolla" t-shirt, dark blue with a very discrete Swiss flag and the word Arolla on the front.

Continuing to Geneva, where I will be doing lots of transactions before taking train to Sierre, then bus to St-Luc.
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