Kreuzboden - Gspon I
This delightful high level path which follows an ancient Walser trail is one of the most beautiful high-altitude trails in the Valais! Varied scenery of mountains and flower-strewn meadowsand alpine pastures following traditional irrigation canals ("suonen") is encountered on this 4-5 hour hike. It can be undertaken in either direction - slightly shorter timewise to Gspon as slightly more downhill. Not much in it really - some say views are better approaching Kreuzboden but you can always stop and look the other way. Let me show you a few scenes from the trail over the next few tips:
We started off from Kreuzboden (via cable-car head start again) and ascended slightly on the path overlooking the valley with views down to Saas Fee again.
- Hiking and Walking
Kreuzboden - Gspon III
Just as in the other direction to Saas Almagel we soon encounered a boulder path that lasted for about 40 minutes of the hike. I'm glad it was early in the day or the heat boucing off these exposed rocks would be unbearable. Once again clear red markings helped us find our way through.
- Hiking and Walking
- Mountain Climbing
Kreuzboden - Gspon II
The narrow, but safe trail is mostly just above the tree line which is great as it affords wonderful views of the glaciers of the mighty Mischabel range - Mt. Bietschhorn and the 4000-meter-high mountains ringing Saas-Fee: Mischabel, Alphubel, Allalinhorn, Strahlhorn.
kreuzboden - Gspon VII
We'd been walking some 3 hours now when we came across this mountain hut belonging to a wood carver - he will often invite hikes in to have a coffee or tea with him - be polite to do so although the tea i had had a most peculiar taste being infused with something - it cetainly invigorated the feet for the rest of the hike anyway!
What seemed even funnier was a bus timetable up here for the bus way way below in the valley!!
Kreuzboden - Gspon IV
The path crosses meadows to Grubenalp / lake Grubensee - although what we saw was a dried up hollow and rather disappointing -and then continues traversing the mountainside over streams and waterfalls to the Hoferalp above Maiensass Heimischgartu, some2,100m above sea level).
Kreuzboden - Gspon V
Next the path leads through the wonderful countryside to the Siwiboden, through woods of larches and mountain pastures - a really pleasant part of the walk and the coolness of the shade is great in the heat and especially when you have been walking on exposed paths for a while. Loved these tree roots encroaching on the path too.
Kreuzboden - Gspon IX
We peeped inside the little chapel - isn't it lovely to find that they don't have to be locked, no vandals here obviously. It was a simple affair with its shepherd and sheep altar - very fittig for its alpine meadow situation and modern colourful stained glass windows which all featured some alpine animals - it really was quaint.
Kreuzboden - Gspon
From Findelen the path contoured round a gorge in a forest - an easy wide path. The path had turned to some slight rain - the only rain we had in our weeks stay which was not bad for mountain weather! So not the clearest of views of the mountains around Gspon and down the valley below to Stalden - where the valley divided and heads up to Zermatt or down to Brig. However we enjoyed the architecture of the old barns and chalets in this old settlement reached by an old-fashioned 2-stage gondola from Stalden.
It was a lovely hike with varied scenery en route - pity the cafe by the gondola station didn't do apple strudel but the coffee was welcoming. You could of course walk down to Stalden but 5 hours hike was enough and we rode down the easy way and caught a post bus back to Saas Fee.
kreuzboden - Gspon VI
The path in the forest aslo follows ancient water pipes ("Suonen") - similar to trails we had encountered in Crans Montana several years ago.
kreuzboden - Gspon VIII
The path was all down hill now and about an hour from Gspon we passed the lovely little Walser settlement of Findelen with its little white chapel.
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