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“If you’re not moving, you’re standing  still.”


Steve Trafton

Swiss Alpine Pass Route – Sargans to Montreux

The descent from Richetlipass was very steep on a narrow twisting path that was quite slippery from the recent rains. As I descended, the path gradually improved until I reached a small hut on a hillside spur. After this the path dropped to a moraine crest and was a pleasant walk along the crest to its end. There was a steep descent, along its right side through several large rocky crags, and it was protected by a fixed chain.

Sarg to Montreux 21The trail leading down the moraine crest before dropping into the Dornachtal


Finally, after an hour and a half descent from the pass, I arrived at Durnagel stream near the farm of Unter Stafel (1:00; ca. 4550 feet). Just beyond the farm, a track to the right crossed a dam/bridge and continued down the valley. Even though the paved road went all the way to Linthal I cut off onto a trail at a sign that read Linthal Bachweg. This trail cut through a sloping meadow to the left and then descended steeply through the woods, eventually arriving at a stream where I took a short rest. After resting I continued down the trail and through a tunnel which  had been blasted through rock. I then arrived back at the paved road into Linthal (ca. 2125 feet). After checking into the Hotel Raben I walked around town and listened to the local alphorn players entertain at the Hotel Adler at the far end of town.

 July 22 2005 Linthal to Altdorf

Sarg to Montreux 22

I left Linthal by post bus at 9:10 on the morning of the 25th for a short ride up to the Urner Boden Valley and then started hiking across the valley toward the Klausenpass. At 9:35 I walked past the small farm village of Urnerboden (ca. 4500 feet) before starting the steep ascent via road and trail up to the pass. About 1.5 km from the town, just after the first hairpin turn, the trail leads up a grassy bank to the left as a short-cut to the next level of road. From there the trail leads from level to level of road ever higher with one particularly long open hillside stretch (ca. 5900 feet) that provided a great view down the Uner Boden Valley. Shortly after this stretch, the trail climbed pleasantly through high pastures to Klausenpass (11:40; ca. 6390 feet). From the pass it was a long hot walk down the road to Unterschachen (2:00; ca. 3230 feet). Just after reaching Unterschachen a big thunderstorm rolled in and a serious rain storm began, so I opted to take the bus the last few kilometers into Altdorf (3:50; ca. 1460 feet).

Altdorf is the capital of Uri canton and is celebrated as the birthplace of William Tell. There is a large bronze statue by Kissling dated 1895 in the main square, the Rathausplatz, on the site where, according to legend Tell had to shoot the apple from his son’s head.

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