Wet snow at Stotzigen Firsten

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Sports & Travel, Story

Although the Stotzigen Firsten is probably one of the most popular ski tours in the Gotthard area around Andermatt, we both have never been up there. So now it’s about time for that. We get up early and set off in the dark. Already in the dawn we are at the starting point of our tour, a small parking place in Realp. We actually expected that there will be quite a lot going on here and now we are standing all alone on this parking lot. My first thought is of course immediately: “There would have been a few more minutes in the warm bed.” 😄 Well, now we are already here, so first of all it’s routine: Put on the skins and off we go.

Contourless, colourless, listless. Nevertheless, we're off.

Last night it even rained up here at 1500 m and the snow cover is extremely wet. The snow is quite heavy and sticky and our skins are completely soaked within a very short time. Ergo not only the skins sticks to the ski, but also the snow sticks to the skins. With every step we take, the lump under our skis gets a bit bigger and our mood gets a bit worse. Soon each of us is carrying a few kilograms more with us and in our nervousness we ask ourselves the philosophical question whether the German verb “stollen” comes from “der Stollen”? Because the size and weight of the lumps of snow remind us of a proper Christmas stollen! So it doesn’t help if the equipment gets lighter and lighter. 😉

Sun, wind, wet snow. Thoughts, movement...

After a few arduous metres of altitude difference the rain from the night has turned into sleet. The snow cover is not quite so wet anymore and my quite new skins think it’s great. Soon huge lumps of snow fall from my skis and the tunnel is over. *cough*

At least with me. Falko stomps behind me and swears like a reed mackerel. Why? His old carpets are soaking wet and completely unimpressed by the less wet snow. So he’s allowed to go on tormenting himself with the blocks under his skis. I just think to myself, as long as the air is still good enough to scold him, it won’t be so bad and I smile at myself.

…and finally the summit!

After all, the “heavy” ascent to the summit of Stotzigen Firsten was worth it after all, because up there we get to see a great panorama. The cloud cover has torn open and the foehn that pushes the clouds from the south over the mountain peaks creates a cloud play that we could watch for hours. But we already suspect that the warm wind will not only provide some nice cloud games but also a funny downhill with a lot of brawn. So not too much time passes until we get back into the bindings and start towards the valley.

Cloud games.

A small, steep and eroded traverse then provides for compensatory justice: Falko takes revenge for my grin on the ascent and immediately pulls out the camera when I clumsily try not to destroy my new skis immediately on the exposed rocks.

Afterwards the wide slopes down to Realp are waiting for us. In spite of sulphur and cardboard snow we enjoy the descent – after all, the sun is laughing from the sky and we have nothing better to do today than to spend some time in the snow and the mountains. And the extra training for the thighs, which are almost bursting by now, is free of charge. 😁

Little vulgarness must not be missing.

On the descent we meet many skiers who are still in the ascent. Meanwhile it’s midday, the foehn drives the temperatures up and lets the sun from the sky and the thighs burn thanks to Sulz. Even when we reach the forest road, on which we ascended the first part, we still meet two people in the ascent. So that would definitely be too late, too wet and too warm for us now.

Water and fire. Wet snow and burning thighs.

Thanks to the scorching sun we are now really hot and we are happy to reach our destination in a few meters. So we slide the remaining meters back to Realp and finish the tour with a parking lot picnic in the sun.

Actually a nice tour here at the Stotzigen Firsten – including moments of smiling for both of us.

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