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Ice Age I in Hombrechtikon - Tobelbach and Eichwistobel

Published by iuturna , 24 March 2017, 14h06.

Region: World » Switzerland » Zürich
Date of the hike:12 March 2017
Hiking grading: T2 - Mountain hike
Geo-Tags: CH-ZH 
Time: 2:00
Access to start point:Busstop Post, Hombrechtikon
Access to end point:Busstop Garstlig, Hombrechtikon

Getting prepared
My project is to find and take pictures of waterfalls. Many of them in the canton of Zurich cannot be found on a normal map.
My sons gave me the book "Wasserwunder" as a birthday present. They are glad that their mother has finally found a hobby and no longer tries to persuade them to come along on hiking tours.
In this book I found some of the falls which I've already visited and a lot of new ones. I can highly recomment this book as the pictures are very beautiful and there is a lot of information on the formation of the landscape.

I was interested in the village Hombrechtikon. It is easy to reach for me and I have already found one waterfall, the Sunnebach-Fall on 1rst February 2017 Looking at the map of GIS-browser, I could find many places which looked like waterfalls.

Ice Age
The area around Hombrechtikon was formed during last Ice Age, "Würm", 120'000 - 10'000 years ago. North of the village there is a plain left behind by a glacier. On this plain there is a protected moor and the small lake Lützelsee, known for its floating islands. This plain is soaked like a sponge. Hombrechtikon is situated below of this plain on a hillside facing a southward direction.  Many creeks run downhill through the village in large, deap ravines. These ravines seem totally oversized compared to the quite small creeks. They were shaped during Ice Age as subglacial channels draining huge streams of melting water in direction of today's Lake of Zurich.

Tobelbach (T1)
On 12th March I started out for an other excursion. The pictures are sorted in a more meaningful order than they have been taken. I have walked to and fro for several hours as I didn't know which of the ravines would be interesting for me.

Lets start with the creek called Tobelbach. On some maps it is called Feldbach, but this is confusing as there are two or three other Feldbachs. To get a good impression of this creek you should start at Lützelsee. There is a parking area near to the open air bath. Arriving by bus, get out at Hombrechtikon Post or Plattenhof and follow Bochslenstrasse and Bochslenholzweg northward.

In the north of the village there is a short valley in which Tobelbach flows out of Lützelsee. There is a hiking path on top of the ravine. To get a good impression, you better follow the dirt trail as close as possible to the rim.
When you reach the end of the ravine you are at Lützelsee. In summer there is a public bath with a cafeteria. You could extend your excursion by hiking aroud Lützelsee and looking for the floating islands which are in fact pieces of moor.
Now follow the hiking path close to Tobelbach in the reverse direction through the ravine towards the village. It's a well kept path but it isn't on the map. The walls of the ravine are build from Nagelfluh, a molasse conglomerate. There are interesting caves up in the rocks.

Reaching the village at a wide curve of Rütistrasse, you can already see the water gainig speed before disappearing in the underground. Just opposite, behind the curve, there is the first waterfall of Tobelbach. It's almost 15 m high. An access to the bottom of the fall is not possible as the lower part of the ravine is on private ground. To get down the slope one would need a rope as it is very high and steep, even overhanging.

I got back to the street and followed Weberweg downhill. I came across an old building which has probably been a mill according to the millstone next to the entrance. Further downhill, Tobelbach is a quiet little creek flowing through a maddow. Unfortunately, the day I've been there, the water was dirty and had a bad smell.

Following the creek I came across an erratic block, another leftover of Ice Age. I followed the water and reached the former factory Eichtal. The creek crosses Eichtalstrasse underground and reappears in a natural channel running next to the buildings. The factory was built in 19th century for silk spinning. Thanks to Ice Age, the machines were run by hydro energy. Watching the water rushing through this natural channel is quite spectacular. At the far end I could see another waterfall and looked for a possibiliy to get there. Unfortunately the whole area is private and everything was closed. I followed a hiking path on the right of the building leading to the end of the ravine. There I found a wide path or even a street following the creek upriver to the factory building.
I took my pictures of the fall which is shaped a bit like Rheinfall in miniature. Unfortunately it is polluted and smelly. At last I climbed over a fence to have a look to the channel from down.

Returning to the lower end of the ravine I ended up at Feldbachstrasse. On the opposite side of the street there is the industrial park Garstlig. Below this site there is the junction of Tobelbach and Sunnebach. Not far from here I have found my waterfall on 1rst February.

Eichwistobel (T2 to T4)
I followed Feldbachstrasse westward to reach Eichwistobel. The character of this ravine is completely diffrent from Tobelbach. It is an idyllic place in an almost undisturbed nature. There is bear's garlic growing all over the valley floor. In Eichwistobel I expected to find three waterfalls: One big one at the end (T2) and two smaller ones in Laufenbach (T4) and Breitlohbach (T3) which are running into Eichwisbach.
At Breitlohbach I found my favorit waterfall, the ideal place for hot summer days! I've been sitting behind the water courtain enjoying the athmosphere.

In contrary to this picturesque place, the main waterfall of Eichwistobel is a huge arena of molasse conglomerate (Nagelfluh). The day I've been there, there was only few water. In times of flood water the sight must be very spectacular. There are lots of tree trunks which have fallen down into the "crater". The archaic ambience gave me the impression that Ice Age had just ended. Standing behind the waterfall and gazing the scenery I expected a mammoth to come along every moment.

Hike partners: iuturna

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Comments (2)

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gbal says:
Sent 25 March 2017, 17h55
Hi Nina. Then you will collect not only strange bridges but beautiful waterfalls too. I think that these are very nice hobbies and....if you could reach them with a was the best!

iuturna says: RE:
Sent 26 March 2017, 10h17
Hi Giulio
In fact my waterfall project is older, I started end of January. I have still got winter tires with spikes on my bike. I must change them, than I will find my waterfalls by bycicle. (I promise.) (Maybe.) :-))
Ciao Nina

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