Hochalp, Spicher and Hinterfallenchopf – a rather long snow shoe hike from Urnäsch to Nesslau

Published by 360 Pro , 5 March 2009, 22h39.

Region: World » Switzerland » St.Gallen
Date of the hike: 4 March 2009
Snowshoe grading: WT3 - Demanding snowshoe hike
Geo-Tags: CH-SG   CH-AR 
Access to start point:cff logo Urnäsch
Access to end point:cff logo Nesslau-Neu St.Johann, Bahnhof

Two weeks ago I had plans to walk to Hinterfallenchopf from Hemberg, but for several reasons I had to cancel the undertaking. On this day I wanted to make up for the missed peak and in addition add some more summits close by. This time I approached Hinterfallenchopf from Ausserrhoden, more precisely from Urnäsch and also visited Hochalp and Spicher. This area is ideal for snow shoes.

The Föhn did a very good job overnight: when I arrived in cff logo Urnäsch the sky was cloudless. I walked along the river Urnäsch to Grüenau and Schwantelen on the left side, and then crossed the river and went up to Steinenmoos, where I put on my snow shoes. According to the "Skitouren Karte" the area between here and Hochalp is a game protection area where one is allowed to stay on the described routes. So I tried to stay on the ski tour route (902a Skitouren Glarus – St.Gallen – Appenzell). There were actually all kind of tracks going up to Hochalp and I probably didn’t follow the “proper one”, because I went up via Langweid – Forenmösli – Unterstetten.

Once on Hochalp the Föhn was blowing pretty intense and even though the sun was shining and the view to the Säntis massif very good, I didn’t stay very long but continued to Spicher. The path from Hochalp to Spicher pretty much follows the summer route via Chenner - Ober Hirzen - P. 1361. The traverses on the south/west side of the ridge are actually the “crux” (probably WT3) of this otherwise rather easy tour.

Even though the wind was still blowing rather hard on Spicher, I made a short break and ate and drank something. I then walked along the marked snow shoe trail towards Chrätzenpass. According to my SAC Skitour map everything west of this ridge is not in the game protection area. So at P.1404 I went down to Horn in more or less a straight line. However, at Horn I found out (information board), that the game protection area was actually enlarged as compared to my map and now goes much further west, all the way to Ellbogen.

My original plan was to also make a little detour down to the Ofenloch before going up to Hinterfallenchopf, but because the Ofenloch lies in this game protection area, I decided to adhere to the rules and strictly follow the snowshoe trail to Ellbogen via Pfingstboden.

From Ellbogen I then walked up to Hinterfallen and Hinterfallenchopf. I made a short break and chatted with a friendly guy with a dog. By now the blue sky had turned into mostly grey with lots of rather low hanging clouds.

For my way down to cff logo Nesslau, I first walked down to Schirlet, Ji and Untere Chlosteralp. There I took my snow shoes off and walked along the more or less snow free street to Brüggli, just to put the snow shoes back on again. I finished my hike by going down cross country via Gublen, Ennetbüel and then further down to Unterhusen and finally to the train station cff logo Nesslau-Neu St.Johann, Bahnhof.

PS: This is another example of a game protection area, which is not published anywhere but on-site. I don’t quite understand though why this one is not present on the Skitourenkarte, because it is dated 2006, pretty much the same as the information board I saw at Horn.

cff logo Urnäsch – Grüenau – Schwantelen – Steinenmoos – Langweid – Forenmösli – Unterstetten – Hochalp (P. 1527.8) – Ober Chenner – Ober Hirzen – P. 1361 – Spicher – P. 1404 – Horn – Pfingstboden – Ellbogen – Hinterfallen – Hinterfallenchopf – Ober Schirlet – Ji - Untere Chlosteralp – Brüggli – Gublen – Ennetbüel – Unterhusen – cff logo Nesslau-Neu St.Johann, Bahnhof

Hike partners: 360


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