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Published by Stijn , 6 November 2017, 22h44.

Region: World » Switzerland » Grisons » Prättigau
Date of the hike: 4 November 2017
Hiking grading: T5- - Challenging High-level Alpine hike
Geo-Tags: CH-GR 
Time: 6:45
Height gain: 1250 m 4100 ft.
Height loss: 1650 m 5412 ft.

Sassauna, Pfäwi, Lägend Sagettis, Hoch Sagettis, Girenspitz, Höchstelli and countless other small peaks in between. Linked together they make one of the most attractive grass/Schrofen ridges in Switzerland. Attractive because of the very consistent difficulty, always around T4, never much easier, but never much harder either. Attractive also because of the views, dominated by the iconic Rätikon limestone mountains of Schesaplana, Drusenfluh, Sulzfluh and others.

It is recommended to book the Fanas-Eggli cable car in advance. A strange problem with the phone connection prevents me from doing this. Thankfully, the main hiking season is long over, and it is no problem to spontaneously hop on the cable car.

A pathless direct ascent of the Sassauna would be possible, but we obediently follow the scenic white-red-white path which traverses through the west face before reaching the summit along the WNW ridge (Luderer Egg).

The Sassauna marks the start of the alpine ridge route. From here on, there is no real path and no waymarks (except for the occasional yellow-red lines, presumably meant for hunters), but the route finding is straightforward: simply stay on the ridge for the next 5 km.

We take about 3 hours from Sassauna to the Girenspitz, excluding a longer lunch break on Hoch Sagettis. It's an entertaining up-and-down along the ridge, often pleasantly exposed, yet never too hairy. Snow is not only lying in the north faces, but surprisingly often on the ridge itself as well. An ice axe is occasionally useful, especially at the beginning (Sassauna north ridge) and at the end (the steep upper part of the Girenspitz west ridge). One descent between Pfäwi and P. 2271 is rather delicate due to the slippery snow and the frozen ground. Otherwise the conditions do not pose any additional difficulties.

A visible trail descends from the Girenspitz via Höchstelli to the marked hiking paths at P. 2143. The descent of the Hochstelli south ridge is steep but surprisingly easy thanks to the comfortable trail. After reaching the marked hiking path, the ridge widens to a broad grassy crest. This part of the route no longer provides the excitement of the Sassauna-Girenspitz ridge, but it is still very rewarding to complete the full horseshoe around the Salgina valley. After passing the pretty row of traditional houses of the Schuderser Maiensäss, we take some short cuts over steep meadows to reach the Schuders bus stop with 30 minutes to spare. The restaurant at Schuders has closed down, but it's still a good idea to arrive here well in advance, because there is only one bus all afternoon.

Hike partners: Stijn

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