Adventures must be done!

Caching, Abseiling and River Crossing (23rd Feb 2008)

Brilliant sunny day, but alas, this is on too short a notice to get someone to join me on a little biking and caching trip. Nae bother! Time for a solo trip!
I'm starting in Winterthur and after a first warm-up cache, bike up a hill towards a big tower, sporting some antennae of some sort. Looking for the cache first and then noting two dudes setting up ropes on the tower!

Awesome! I wanted to see some action, but there was none, as one dude showed the other how to abseil (about 3 metres of the ground). Boring!
I was having a closer look anyway, saying "Hey, this looks pretty good ..... erm, pity I haven't got my harness with me!", trying to sound a bit disappointed.

'No problem, you can have mine!', the instructing bloke said, adding
'Know how to work it?'

"Sure! That's great!"

I put on the harness, got up the tower, inspected the fastening of the rope and then clipped in and swung over the railing! Good stuff!
I was down pretty quickly, beaming: "Hey, thanks guys, that was way cool!!!"

'You wanna have another go?'

"Why, yes of course! I'll take a picture this time!"

Great! But now I had to bugger off, more caches were on my list.
I was just getting out of the forest when a police car crossed me, traveling uphill!
"Poor buggers!", I muttered, as I just could not shake off the feeling that they were going to the tower! Makes you wonder what people call the police, just because someone is ab'ing off some building in the middle of a forest! Honestly .....

A few more uneventful caches followed, hardly worth mentioning.
The last one was, however, a wee bit more adventurous. It was down in a gorge and I had descended on the wrong spot, leaving me 400 metres short of the cache. No way I was to bike up and around! Only one other option: travel upstream! I followed a gravel spit first, but then eventually had to cross the stream. I took off my running shoes (didn't fancy riding a bike with wet shoes and sit in the train afterwards ....) and waded across. Water wasn't too warm really, well, what can you expect at the end of Feb in the Northern hemisphere! Near the next crossing I came upon a dude doing some gold washing!

"Hey, you're getting anything out of here?"

'Haven't checked yet, there might be some', he replied a bit evasively.

"Uh, right ...."

Three or four crossings later I got to the cache, couldn't resist to take a timer shot of me fording the last stretch, meaning I had to set up the camera and then hurry back into the stream!

"Bugger this! That picture better be good!!!"

Brilliant afternoon with unexpected adventures!

Chörbsch Horn Ski Tour (17th Feb 2008)

I had the dearest desire to test my brand new ski touring equipment.
Therefore I gladly accepted the invitation by Yves and Ladina to join them on a day trip above Davos. I got up early after a shortish night and sleepily made my way towards Davos, arriving there by train around 9am.
We took another train up to the Schatzalp (1861m) and started our way uphill.
I was not perfectly fit today, in fact, I could feel a cold coming, but despite that things were going splendid. The air temperature was getting high above zero in the sunshine and we sweated our way uphill.

Yves en route to the Strelasee.

We got onto a first broad ridge above the Strelasee where the SLF research team had been digging snow profiles. Here we had a first break, sitting on some yellowish grass that the wind had blown clean off snow.

We continued up to the Latschüelfurgga, a kind of pass that leads down towards Arosa.


The final approach to the top was along a ridge with hard snow and some grit that had been eroded from the windward side.

Yves approaching the summit.

The view from the Chörbsch Horn (2650 m) was very good and we had a bite before we got too cold in the breeze that seemed to have picked up since we arrived.

Us on top of the Chörbsch Horn.

The downhill was somewhat strenuous for me as I was not accustomed to free riding. I had some funny crashes, the best one involved me falling sideways on the downhill side, rolling over by back and getting onto my skies again!
We managed to ride all the way down into the valley (1550m), thus a good 1000 metres of descent. Not bad, but I was knackered and promptly down with influenza the very next day!

A Sundays Stroll on the Weissenstein (3rd Feb 2008)

Christine and I had decided to get some fresh air and see some snow and sunshine.
We thus headed for the Weissenstein, carrying along our GPS and a list of caches to be discovered. We took an airy, old cable car up to the top, eagerly awaiting to top out of the mist, which we eventually did. Brilliant sunshine, crisp snow and the Swiss Alps taking up the Southern horizon!

View from the Weissenstein towards the Swiss Alps

The beech forest was partly covered with ice and was magnificent to look at.

Beech forest.

We tramped up to the highest point of the range: 1395.5m asl.
Here we noticed some big cornice overhanging the cliff with the stiff wind drifting snow over the lip.

Cornice on Roeti (1395.5m)

Snow structures formed by wind.

We then went after a number of geocaches, not trivial with the snow cover, but I was surprised to be rather effective at finding the boxes, annoying Christine who wanted to find a cache herself for once ;-)

En route to our last cache.

Christine beating the track towards the horizon through wonderful powder snow.

From that last cache we headed for the valley, descending a good 600 metres in a short time by jogging along snowy tracks.

A good day's outing indeed!