Red sky at night, snow shoe hiker’s delight, red sky in the morning, snow shoe hikers take warning!

Published by 360 Pro , 16 December 2008, 18h13.

Region: World » Switzerland » Appenzell
Date of the hike:14 December 2008
Hiking grading: T2 - Mountain hike
Snowshoe grading: WT1 - Easy snowshoe hike
Geo-Tags: CH-AI   Alpstein 
Access to start point:cff logo Weissbad
Access to end point:cff logo Gonten

The title proverb usually used with sailors instead of hikers (“Red sky at night sailor’s delight, red sky in the morning sailors take warning!”) was very true for me on this day. Even though the red sky probably didn’t have much to do with it, but simply the fact that the Föhn storm with its gusty winds made me change my original plan to walk from Weissbad up to Kronberg and down to the Schwägalp.

When I changed trains in Appenzell, the sky was impressively red and beautiful, but I also noticed that the Föhn was going to be my constant companion for the day: The temperature was probably about 10 degrees Celsius and the trash can of the Bahnhof-Kiosk was taken by a Föhn gust, flew across the platform and it’s content was evenly distributed all over the Bahnhof.

After arriving in Weissbad the situation didn’t really change. The expected snow for my snowshoe hike was almost all melted away and I started walking without wearing them. From the train station I walked across the Brüel- and Wissbach and went up to Hasler Steg. Still carrying the snow shoes on my backpack, I continued up to Chlispitz via Fuchsloch and then to Grossspitz. Only here I put on my snow shoes and went up to Chlosterspitz. From Chlosterspitz the path up to Kronberg more or less follows the ridge all the way via Neuenalp- Wasserschaffen - Blatten and Scheidegg.

Well, following a ridge during a Föhn storm is challenging to say the least. Shortly after Neuenalp the wind gusts started getting very strong and once in a while together with the snow gave me a free face peeling. Shortly before Blatten I was so impressed with the strong winds that I somehow wanted to capture this with my camera. I took a picture and a few seconds later a very strong gust threw me onto the ground into the snow!

After getting up, I kept walking to Blatten and Scheidegg and nearly got blown on the ground a few more times. At Scheidegg I sat in front of the restaurant for a while and hoped the winds would calm down a little bit. However, instead of calming down they got even stronger. Even though it was impressive to watch, after a while it wasn’t really fun any more, especially whenever the gust contained lots of snow.

I didn’t really feel like walking up to Kronberg along the ridge and then down to the Schwägalp under these circumstances any more, so instead I decided to walk down to Gonten. As soon as I got a few meters below the ridge after Blatten towards Chlepfhütte, the wind was sufferable and the further down I got the more it was enjoyable again. I walked down to Gonten via Schuemachershütte.

cff logo Weissbad – Hasler Steg – Halten- Fuchsloch – Chlispitz – Grossspitz – Chloschterspitz – Neuenalp – Wasserschaffen – Blatten – Scheidegg – Blatten – Chlepfhütte – Schuemachershütte – cff logo Gonten

Hike partners: 360

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