Sunday, July 04, 2010

Day 18: Grindelwald to Rosenlaui

 
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The hotel's breakfast buffet was packed this morning, since a ton of folks had checked in the night before. Since we had climbed Grosse Scheidegg before, and had too much stuff to bring up the mountain, Lisa elected to ride the bus to the top of Grosse Scheidegg with the panniers, while I would get to ride up Grosse Scheidegg with the unloaded tandem. It was raining lightly as we left Lisa at the bus stop, but by the time we got to where the road became a single lane, the rain had mostly died down and I had warmed up to the point where I had to shed my jacket. We had mistakenly made the division wrong and calculated the grade from Grindelwald to the top of Grosse Scheidegg to be about an 18-20% grade. In reality, the grade varied between 10% and 15%, which was in line with what the other side of the pass would generate. Phil and I rode up steadily, and enjoyed the quiet and beauty of the pass where most of the tourists were scared off by the rain.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

Lisa met us at the top of Grosse Scheidegg, having waited for an hour and a half for us to show up. We mounted the panniers onto the tandem and descended to Rosenlaui just ahead of the post bus, which could not possibly keep up with a tandem on these grades. Upon arriving at Rosenlaui, we left our bags in the lobby and our bikes in the wine cellar (though I would learn later that the new wing had a special bike lobby!), and set off for Engelhornhutte. Phil and I had done this hike before the hard way, by going to Kalterbrunnen first, and I wanted to try it the easy way. I also noticed that there was a side trip from the hutte that would take you up to what I thought mistakenly was the glacier.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

Well, going up the route the easy way was pretty steep, but granted us great views of the Rosenlaui Glacier. As we wound up our way on the over-cast and cool day, we got grand views of the valley, including Hotel Rosenlaui far below us. Lisa decided to turn around just before we got to the hutte, and I made my way up the alternate track, which turned out to be just an ice field.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

Upon returning to the hotel, we found that our rooms were ready, and Christine had given us first choice of rooms in the hotel, which was very nice of her. Lisa and I ate an ice cream while waiting for Phil to catch up to us and Cynthia and Kekoa to come back from their visit to the Gletscherschultz.

The four course meal that Andreas served was as nice as ever, and it was good to see Cynthia and Kekoa now, right at the end of the trip. They had done several passes I had never done before, including Splurgen, Mallorja, and Julier, and Albula, which I had done before on a previous trip. They didn't have as good a time in Meiringen as we did in Grindelwald, and we exchanged pictures and trip stories. It sounded like they had a good time.
From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010

After dinner we took a walk outside in the cool misty evening. Gentle light from the setting sun filtered through the clouds and lit up the granite mountains around us. It didn't matter how many times I had returned here: it was different every time, and I was every bit as entranced.

From Tour of the German Speaking Alps 2010


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