Snowshoe hike to Alp Valpun

Alp Valpun (1’800 m); Distance: 10km; 400m ascent /descent; 3.5 hours of walking

Another sunny day with blue sky in pretty Prättigau.

Today we were ambitious and aimed at Philippe’s favorite mountain spot called Gafäll (2’000 m). The snow on the path to Boden was partially compressed and easy to walk, as it is classified as winter hiking path (“Winterwanderweg”), but after Boden it turned into just snow – no path. We put on our snowshoes,  getting ready for a 400m ascent in deep powder snow. Beautiful … and cardio!

After tramping on the snow for two hours, the majestic snow-capped Rätikon mountain range came into a view. We finally arrived at Alp Valpun, 1900m, just underneath Gafäll. Around the same time a group of snowshoe hikers came from the opposite direction,  St. Antönien.

The familiar Alp Valpun, where we come often in summer, was completely covered in snow, including our usual lunch spot.
Philippe’s favorite flying spot, Gafäll, was also in the deep sleep.
We had our sandwiches and a dearly needed cup of hot miso soup. But a light and very cold wind was blowing enough to make my hands and feet numb.

Soon it became too cold to keep standing and we decided to escape from this cold north slope as quickly as possible. To heat up our body we marched down at record speed!

On the way we stopped at the sunny Bodenhütte for a hot chocolate and enjoyed the warmth on our face, chatting away with friendly locals.

Pany in heavy snow

In Pany, we were welcomed by the blue sky and the heavy snow.  The record high snow – for early January – blocked the garage, entrance door and with it, the access to the snow shovel!

I volunteered to climb over more than 1-meter of snow to get into the house to get that shovel. No shovel, no access to the garage, no snow plowing machine… I am a lot lighter than Philippe, therefore flying over that snow, he thought. Well, I was sinking knee-deep into fairy-tale white snow.

After clearing the snow, successfully getting into the house and having a well-deserved break, we went out for a walk to Tratza. It was nice to see children enjoy skiing on close-to-perfect slopes.

The 2nd day: a snow-shoeing trip to Bova it should be. Our original plan was to go to Philippe’s favorite spot, Gafäll, but we had to start snow-shoeing right from the beginning and the usually paved winter walk path was not yet prepared. So we blazed into deep snow for a while and soon gave up the idea to go all the way.

Still, the sky was blue, the surroundings were covered by snow and except one lost soul on skis, no one was out there. We had our lunch picnic and a cup of hot miso soup to warm up and get ready for the trip back. Just happy!

The third day: A snowshoe round trip to Tratza and above. A fresh layer of snow from last night made the trip a very romantic one. Walking in the deep snow forest created an almost mystical atmosphere. We have been here many times but each time is special. The beauty of the nature surprises us again and again.