In this variation of the picturesque ‘Alp- und Kulturweg Schrina’ hiking trail along the feet of the Churfirsten mountains in Switzerland, I elected to take the blue (higher difficulty) route diagonally crossing the circular original route, then continue from there and finish the route as intended, leaving out only the forested ascent in the East.
- Parts of this route being a T4 via ferrata, it’s highly recommended to be somewhat experienced in alpine hiking, light climbing, and to come equipped with a via ferrata kit for safety (helmet, straps, harness, etc.)
- Almost exactly a year later, I will have come back here with my wife to do the “official” route together: ‘Alp- und Kulturweg Schrina’ 2 – Electric Boogaloo.
The beginning of Autumn 2020 still very much felt like summer, and ‘Alp- und Kulturweg Schrina’ had been on my wish list for a while. So when this particularly beautiful day beckoned, I followed the invitation (Jenny was indisposed.)
Feeling a bit cocky and looking for a bit of a challenge, I decided to try my first blue (T4) trail and modified this near-alpine, circular hike into a Ø shape to accommodate the theoretical shortcut in the middle.
Two things were unplanned with this hike:
- I didn’t realize there would be a via ferrata.
- When setting off in Walenstadtberg I took the wrong route (surprise surprise).
Problem number two was solved by taking an unmarked shortcut up to Alp Schrina once I realized I was closer to the lake than I should be. And it wasn’t really a problem, as I would still see the intended road on the way back, provided I’d stick to the path this time.
Problem number one might have been a surprise, but it was fine. I didn’t really know what to expect from my first alpine trail, and I told myself I’d see if I felt like I could handle what I encountered along the way, and if not, turn back and do the official tour.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous about attempting my first (short) via ferrata, but it was the kind where there are steel handles, rails, and wires mounted on the rock face, so not the kind where you’d usually hook your harness up to longer wires along the way and climb the actual rock.
It would have been smart to at least wear a helmet, but there was no counter traffic in sight (all day) so I decided to go ahead.
About thirty thrilling minutes later, I had reached the top and made my way to Alp Tschingla, where my route would intersect with the official one.
Would I recommend others do the same? Yes, but only with the right equipment and either experience or a group. I should probably look into why I tend to take on unnecessary risks sometimes while hiking, whereas I’m a very risk averse person in general. (Yes, I do realize people do way riskier things for sport all the time. I may be exaggerating a bit, but think it wise to be cautious.) Oh well, moving on.
The rest of the hike was less thrilling but all the more beautiful. Gorgeous views in all directions, and I had the whole highland region at the foot of the Churfirsten to myself, which is always an awesome feeling while hiking.
I even managed to stick to the intended trail on the way back to the car.
Would you like to share your own experiences with this hike? Do you have any questions? Something to add? Feel free to leave a comment below 🙂
Route Report / Gallery
Don’t miss a hike 🙂
|Date of Hike:||2020-09-18|
|Technical Difficulty:||T4: Via Ferrata & difficult mountain trail|
|Net Hours (Est.)||5.5|
|Net Hours (Act.)||4.2|
|Max. Alt. (m)||1719|
|Net Hours (Est.)||4.5|
|Max. Alt. (m)||1719|