A tactical mistake

October 23rd

A beautiful sunny day!

The day’s target was Piz Chavalatsch, the last summit before Müstair.  To avoid too great a height difference, I decided to leave from the Umbrail Pass road at about 1830 m, above Gasthaus Alpenrose.  This route involves a traverse of about 6 km at 2300 to 2400 m.  In summer this would have taken me 2-3 hours.  But with 30-40 cm of snow on the ground …

After yesterday’s experience, I went to a sports shop and rented snowshoes for 2 days.  This gave for a late start and the snow was soft.  And the path was not easy to find above the tree line.  As a result the first 3 km of traverse took over 3 hours of floundering in the snow, sinking in up to my ankles and beyond, even wearing the snowshoes!

Then it was time to abort the exercise, to find a path down to the valley before dark.

Itinerary:  Umbrail Pass Road at 1830 m – shepherds’ hut Pin Grond – Müstair village.

Distance:  15,1 km
Time:  6 hours 15 minutes (plus 45 minutes for the stops)
Vertical distance: 640 m uphill;  1220 m downhill.

Night: Chasa Chalavaina, Müstair


Piz Chavalatsch, in the centre, still some 4 km away, as the crow flies …