Hiking in Europe
Read all about the hikes I did in Switzerland, France, Italy and others
The first three days of the Alta Via 1 started with a steep climb up to Rifugio Biella and continued along various mountain huts offering stunning views of the Dolomites. On the third night we slept at Rifugio Scotoni, just off the official Alta Via trail, avoiding the the defiantly high Lagazuoi hut.
The Alta Via 1 is a 120 km (75 miles) hike through the South Tyrolean Dolomites. The trailhead to this hike happens to sit at one of the most beautiful lakes of Europe: the Lago di Braies. Before Christine and I started the Alta Via 1 we stayed in the magnificent Hotel at the lake. The 3 days at the trailhead became a fantastic holiday in itself.
In the summer of 2022 Christine and I will hike the Alta Via 1. The AV1 is one of the classic European thru hikes. Hiking this 120 km (75 miles) trail in twelve days, we will exclusively spend the nights in mountain refuges. After all, camping is not allowed nearly anywhere on this trail. The AV1 is traditionally meant to be experienced as a hut tour anyway.
The final part of the Kesch Bergell Trek was mainly a downhill hike, after the initial ascent to the Grevasalvas pass. From the pass I descended to an elevation of almost 2.000 m lower at my final destination in the village of Promontogno.
Ending the Kesch Trek in Bergün, now the third stretch of my thru hike started. Hiking up to the Ela Hut, to Alp Flix and finishing at the Julier Pass, I traversed the entire Parc Ela in 3 days, with one of the most spectaculair passes of all: the Fuorcla digl Leget.
The Kesch-Bergell Trek part 2 consists of the spectacular Kesch Trek. A four day hut-to-hut mountain hike. Because the first hut on the route (the Grialetschhütte) was closed all season, I hiked the trek in 3 days. And I included the ascent of the 3.147 m high Flüela Schwarzhorn at the start.
The Kesch-Bergell Trek is not one continuously marked trail, it is not even one trail! This year I built a 12 day route from various longer and shorter trails in the canton Graubunden, Switzerland. The core of my plan was the Kesch Trek, a 4-day hike to and from the famous Kesch Hütte.
For the Kesch-Bergell Trek in 2021 I swapped some of my gear for lighter variants. But I also carried some heavier items than last year. This resulted in a base weight just below 7 kg (15.4 pounds), not bad for a 12 day hike in the Swiss Alps.
The tenth and final day of the Haute Route started with the nerve wrecking Charles Kuonen suspension bridge and featured more sketchy passages along the trail to Zermatt, the end of the thru hike.
On day 9 of the Haute route I hiked the valley bottom of the Mattertal to the village of Herbriggen, because the first half of Europaweg to Zermatt was closed. Then I climbed out of the valley again, up to the Europahütte, halfway the Europaweg trail.