“Lag Serein & Lag Crest Ault” (“Lakes Serein & Crest Ault”) is a round tour of the mountains north of Disentis, Grisons, Switzerland, including the two namesake lakes. Well, one pond and one intermittent pond to be more honest (see Impressions below).
In the original version, a cable car ride takes care of half the ascent (or descent), while in my version we do not take any such shortcuts.
- Signage very clear in general, except for one river crossing at the beginning (or end).
- Lag Crest Ault may or may not contain water. Your mileage may vary.
The mountain hiking season was almost over, but it was an unusually warm day in late October due to a high pressure system (“Föhn”) and soon snow would cover anything above 2000 meters.
So I decided to use the opportunity do do one more 2k+ hike from my wish list: ‘Lag Serein & Lag Crest Ault’.
The steep ascent through forests, then brown autumn grass and shrub covered hills was an intense but rewarding bit of cardio. For one because of the stunning views of the alps to the south, for another because of the great atmosphere of complete solitude.
Out of the forests, the wind picked up, but the temperature remained bearable until near the top, where I decided to hold off on changing into something warmer (and dry) until I’d have to set down the backpack for lunch anyway at the lake.
I also fully expected to meet my first humans since leaving the village once at the lake. I figured people would take the cable car, walk to the lake, then back. I was mistaken, and not only about the people.
The lake is a lie! Well, at least it doesn’t seem to be a permanent feature. At the time, I joked (to myself) “Well that explains it”, but now I’m not so sure. Try as I might, I haven’t been able to find any info on the lake being dry in autumn, so it’s not like common knowledge that only I wasn’t in on.
Granted, it was also a Wednesday and off-season for this place, but there’s a running cable car and I’m used to always seeing some people hiking in Switzerland, no matter the conditions. Especially if it’s an advertised route like this one.
That is not to say I wasn’t happy to be all by my lonesome up there, and the dry lake (pond) pit had its own kind of charm too. So I enjoyed my exquisite lunch of nuts and berries, took in the scenery and atmosphere, and reminded myself that the thunder I was hearing was coming from behind the mountains to the south and the risk of rain here was below 1% for today.
Next up: Lag Serein. About 30 minutes from Lag Crest Ault, 40-50 if you stop to take a picture every ten steps because you’re in an ecstatic mood, this lake (pond) was actually in attendance!
And again, I had the whole, extremely beautiful lake with its clear green water to myself, except for some fish swimming in it (do they survive winter up here?).
Another break to take it all in, then I began my descent. As usual, I try to plot my routes such that the ascent is steeper than the descent, so this was a rather easy and enjoyable stroll through the multicolored grasses and shrubs here in the Graubünden highlands above the treeline. It was vivid and magical, and totally doesn’t come across in the pictures.
At the cable car station I spotted my first humans since setting off. First, two youngsters with shovels working on something, maybe preparing for ski season, then maybe half a dozen people in the station’s restaurant. So I could still claim to not have met anyone along the whole trail.
The route I chose from there back to the village was less than ideal. Not horrible, just… drab. I chose it on a map for its soft descent, but if I visit this place again I’d choose the other, steeper, red trail down just to make it a bit more interesting.
And I do plan to come back some day in summer or late spring to see the difference, and maybe a Lag Crest Ault containing some actual water.
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 🙂
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