Almost Dawn Patrol 15.1.2016

The cold came to Basel this week and with it the first snow flurries. Not enough to stick to the ground but at least it feels like winter. Just a few minutes from our office in the Jura however there is enough snow for touring and we set off today on our traditional dawn patrol destination of Hohe Winde. Early morning start took as a little longer than expected so we caught the dawn at the parking but instead we got to see the sun once we made it to the main ridge. The top part is almost bare because of strong winds but lower down the snow was great all the way back to the car. A good way to start your work day.

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Feldberg 10.1.2016

Practice makes perfect they say. So we practiced again, thanks to our friends from Picos we had a nice wintery avalanche burial workshop.

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Birehubel 9.1.2016

A short tour today, staying on the safe side. Conditions treacherous and the weather weird. We took a not so early train to the heart of Berner Oberland where we met our ex colleague and drove towards Gantrisch Naturpark. Raining all the way up to 1300 m but then just as we reached our starting point the scenery got white and it started snowing. Funny. The snow was still wet and it was really windy. Luckily we anticipated that and stayed on the eastern side, at least somewhat sheltered from the elements. From the hut it is just a short skin up to the top of Birenhubel (1850 m). The top was cold, windy and foggy and so we were quick to ski back down to rain.

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Oberbärgli 1.1.2016

New Year and still no snow. Well, not anything worth mentioning anyway. So we went hiking again. From Kandersteg up to the frozen Oeschinensee (1522m) and from there further toward Blüemlisalp. We only went as far as Oberbärgli (1978m), a nice little Alp below the glaciers where we sat in the sun and enjoyed the views below. Then back down to the lake and across the ice for dinner in the village.

 

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Mönchsjoch 27.12.2015

Winter is missing and to see snow you need to go high. We left Basel at 4.30 in the morning for Interlaken, where we boarded the train that takes you up to Jungfraujoch station (3454 m). Several highest here: highest railway station, highest observatory, highest radio relay station, highest chocolate and watch shop and as a christmas special it also hosts the highest christmas tree in Europe. And the views are of the highest calibre as well…

We set off towards the Mönchsjochhütte (3658 m) which is situated just above the Obers Mönchsjoch (3627 m). In winter they don’t normally maintain the route for tourists but with this weather there were quite a few people going for the free Gletscherkaffe – coffee with lots of Schnapps. We left the hut and crowds behind and continued on across the Ewigschneefeld towards the Unders Mönchsjoch (3518 m). Fantastic setting and wonderful albeit way to warm weather.

Unfortunately you need to play the sardine on the way down as the trains are packed with Japanese and American tourists from Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. In Interlaken we finally found some peace and quiet for a nice Rösti and some beer before going back home.

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Mont Raimeux 26.12.2015

A little hike up to Mont Raimeux (1302m), the highest peak of the Canton Jura, to see the Alps on the horizon. Cold on the northern side but super sunny and warm in the sun. And great views.

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Grand Ballon 29.11.2015

Temperatures are going back up and we chased the cold early Sunday morning. One hour drive to the Vogesen to skin up the Grand Ballon (1424m), the highest peak. It was raining all the way there but then just as we reached the bottom parking the scenery turned white. We were the only two people there so early and we had to break trail on the grassy slopes. We made two loops up and down and then headed back home for lunch. Good start of the day.

 

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