3 Monday 7.8.00
receiving advice from the locals about the Richetlipass (too much snow and
mudslides making it dangerous to cross), and hearing the news about three
walkers being killed in a mudslide near Grindelwald, we decided to abandon the
crossing of the pass. We met a Swiss man later in the week who crossed the
Richetlipass on Tuesday and said it was tricky with lots of snow and some
we walked down the Senfertal to Schwanden and took the train on to Linthal. The
paths were broad and generally downhill through meadows and forest. Even here we
saw numerous small mudslides, two of which were being cleared by bulldozers. The
weather was more pleasant with sun and clouds.
is a rather dreary place, with textile factories and a feeling of having “seen
better days”. The Hotel Adler (where we had booked) was having a Ruhetag and
despite ringing the bell we got no reply. Therefore we took ourselves off to
another hotel and checked in there. It had no en suite room but it was cheap and
quiet, and the food was good. It would probably have been better to have used
the funicular (which runs half-hourly) and stayed up at Braunwald where the
views are stunning.
reserved our seats for Wednesday on the bus from Klausenpass Hotel to Fluelen
just by giving our names at the local post office. No request for payment was
made-a typically trusting Swiss attitude.
We left Linthal via the funicular to Braunwald, a mountain sports resort high above the valley. We followed the path to the Klausenpass road near Urnerboden. Most of the way was easily graded with excellent views across the Linth valley. Again it was a lovely sunny day. The final section down to the road was along a rather vague path which turned off a clear farm track, and one of the few occasions that we found way marking poor. However, we made it down to the road and then followed it for about 2 or 3 miles. It’s a boring and rather dangerous road to walk on in places as traffic travels quite fast. Most of the way, however, we were able to use the verges. The valley is the largest grazed Alp in Switzerland. We had a drink at the Gasthof Sonne and graded the toilets 4 star; something that we often noticed on our walk was the quality of the facilities at restaurants.
Klausenpass from the east
From the Klausenpass looking east
path up to the pass avoiding the zigzags of the road was rather rough and, in
places, indistinct and had clearly been damaged in the recent bad weather.
Reaching the Klausenpass (1948m) we had tea at the café and then dropped
down along paths and the road to the Klausenpass Hotel. It’s an amazing old
wooden building with no running water in the rooms (just a jug and bowl). There
are good showers and toilets down the corridor, however. The bedrooms have thin
wooden walls and the whole hotel has a sloping floor. This is because every
winter the pressure of the snow mass behind the hotel causes it to lean forward
a few centimetres. The fire escape was a knotted length of rope secured to a big
hook in the ceiling! The evening turned out misty and cool so sadly no views of
Day Wednesday 9.8.00
day dawned beautifully sunny, the precursor of many more such d
Looking west towards Altdorf from Klausenpass
Fluelen we took the paddle steamer to Brunnen and after a leisurely lunch by the
lake returned to Fluelen and caught the bus, changing at the Altdorf
Telldenkmal (William Tell statue). Once again the dreaded Ruhetag struck
at our hotel. Fortunately, the proprietoress was looking out for her guests and
we were soon ensconced in our rooms. There was no food that evening but she
recommended a local restaurant where the somewhat larger than life owner
insisted that we tried the restaurant’s speciality – poulet- chicken eaten
with ones fingers. Delicious!