Tuesday’s weather was promising to be gorgeous, and I could not let such a day pass me by – despite an afternoon full of meetings. Waking early, and browsing the weather maps, train schedules, and hiking routes, I decided to return to Flumserberg – because it is close and offers many options. The catch?: the best train would leave in 13 minutes. Good thing I keep my backpack ready to go! Jump on the train with me, read on, and check out the gallery.
Thirteen minutes is enough time to grab my pack, put on my shoes, walk to the train station, buy some breakfast at the café, and climb aboard. About two hours later I was back in Tanenboden, after a gorgeous 20-minute gondola ride from the shores of Walensee to this busy little ski village. This time, though, I was feeling strong and wanted to climb from here to the “top” of Flumserberg at Maschgenkamm, rather than cheating my way up the gondola as I had done two weeks prior. So I strode up the sunny trails, passing the restaurant, the cow barn, and the other restaurant in quick succession, soon crossing a fenceline into an active cow pasture. The ringing of cowbells portended their presence well before they came into view, but as soon as they saw me I became an object of curiosity for them. Moo! Watch the video, and ponder this dual-use approach to land management. Free grass cutting and fertilizer, too!
The sky was blue and the air was cool, but warming fast, and the summits ahead started clinging to the passing wisps of cloud. The views across the Walansee valley were lovely, but not as clear as on my last visit. Fortunately, there were plenty of wildflowers to enjoy, and the friendly marmot pictured above.
I reached Maschgenkamm, the top of the lift, in about 1h25m, better than I expected. The clouds were obscuring much of the far-side valley, sadly, but I could see it had vastly less snow-cover than it did just two weeks ago. I snapped some photos, including of some fun geology-themed activities they’ve created in recognition of this area being a UNESCO world heritage site. For example, in a tiny pond (which is invisible under the winter snows) they placed a wooden pangaea jigsaw puzzle, whose pieces you could manipulate with a magnet attached to a broomstick.
I left quickly, heading down a different route – first following the alpine wildflower trail along the ridgeline, then dropping steeply in parallel to (or sometimes along) a mountain-bike trail. Along the way, I encountered many interpretive signs highlighting the unusual geology of this area, including this impressive S-shaped fold in the trailside cliff.
Though it was mid-week, other walkers were starting to arrive and the parking lot was full by the time I reached the base and ended my hike at about 10:30am. After the gondola ride down, I had 10 minutes before the next train, so I walked the short path to the lakeshore. Walensee is beautiful from there as well!
Hike stats: 10km in 2h52, including 2h45 moving time and 7m pause time; ascent 611m and descent 627m.