St. Antönien (1416m) to Jägglischhorn (2290m) to Madrisa Bergstation (1939m)
13.4km, 850m up and down
To Yasuko’s surprise, Philippe decided to accompany her for the last leg of the Prättigauer Höhenweg. He may have regretted it later (silently) as the wind for model airplane flying was good.
We started early from St. Antönien because the weather forecast announced a cloudy afternoon. The well-maintained road from St. Antönien continued quite high up and we saw the sign of “Zu Verkaufen” (For Sale) on the hotel-restaurant Bellawiese which we visited a while ago. It had a nice terrace and was popular with mountain bikers and hikers alike. Sad.
The asphalt road continued quiet high up to the alps and led all the way to farm houses at Arschariner Alp. A vast pastureland spread in front of a limestone cliff backdrop. Then the path went directly toward the soaring cliff of Rätschnhorn. Steadily climbing up the hiking path and gaining altitude. Looking back to the north-west, a panoramic view of all the mountain range of Rätikon appeared: Glegghorn, Grauspitz, a distinctive peak of Schesaplana, Kirchlispitzen and Drusenfluh, Schweizertor and Sulzfluh. They are all mountains we saw on the Prättigauer Höhenweg and it was wonderful to have a bird’s eye view. Schesaplana is so towering that we could not really see it at close, and now we could admire the majesty from a distance.
Arriving at the pass of Jägglisch Fürggli (2257m), a complete different view appeared: the entire Prättigau Valley with all the villages below and the snow-covered mountain peaks such as Weissfluh in the south.
The wind was strong, the air cold. Quickly going up to the top, Jägglischhorn (2290m), Yasuko admired a 360-degree view of the Rätikon mountain chain in the north, the Prättigau Valley and all the mountain peaks in the south.
Dodging the cold wind, we had a short lunch break in a full winter gear, admiring the view. Too cold to stay long, we started heading down to a quaint hamlet of Zastia. Several farmhouses were spread but no one seem to live there for a moment.
Under the roof of one of these farmhouses was an un-manned kiosk selling bottles of water and beer. If we want to buy any, we simply put money in the red coffee cup on the shelf. The coffee cup was full of coins and it was heart-warming to see that trust is being practiced.
From there the path led to the slope of the steep cliff of Gross Tärzanälla through rocks and boulders. At several places brand-new robust anti-avalanche fences were installed just above us, preventing snow from falling down to the bottom of the valley, several hundred meters straight down. It would be the case for us if we would fall…
With just a little push for the last climb, we came out to finally see the Madrisa Bergstation. On the way several benches are installed to admire a view but it was too windy to sit there long. We hurried to the tele-cabin station and hopped on to save our knee from a 700m decent and went down to Klosters with no sweat : )
In fact, the official Prättigauer Höhenweg adds another strenuous 10km ( ! ) to this final stage by going down via Schlappin, but we have done this stretch before and decided to spare us any unnecessary suffering…
Overall, we enjoyed this Prättigauer Höhenweg immensely. The scenery was spectacular and by walking through all the Rätikon region we could know this complex, intertwined valleys better.