Monday, June 29, 2009

The "South" or the "North" route?

I got up early Friday morning and headed from Zermatt (Taetsch) to Fiesch. I connected with the local school and got a lot of information from Xari and Benno (thanks again to everyone). I got one flight in the morning just before the thunderstorm was starting in the early afternoon.

Due the bad weather development I headed east and then to the south over the Nufenen Pass. This pass is where you come over when you travel the “South Route”.

There are 2 main routes you can go after the Marmolada.

The traditional is going via Meran, Ofen Pass and the Fl├╝ela Pass, then over Davos to Chur and over the Furka and Grimsel pass ins Wallis.

The “South Route” is going over Bozen to Sendrio, the Como Lake, then over the San Jorio pass to Bellinzona and then over the Nufenen pass into the Wallis.

Which route is the best? Well Alex Hofer proved at the last x-alps that the south-route was the best due the weather conditions. This is why I wanted to drive the “South Route” and the “Traditional North Route” to get a better idea about the terrain.

So, after getting over the Nufenen pass I drove to Dongo at Como Lake. This is in Italy and it is very surprising that the word “Internet” seams to be a foreign word. It is extremely hard to find a place offering Internet.

Saturday morning I got up early and I started to hike up to the San Jorio pass. I thought it would be good to get some more training in. Well, some training …, this hike ended up into a 6 hour hike up to plus 2000 meters elevation (1800 meter elevation gain) and a total distance of 40 km. I thought 2000-meter height is not to bad, but I did not realize right away that Como Lake is only at 200 (plus) meters. Anyhow, the hike was great. After a good shower at the campground I was heading to Meran. The “South Route” drive was very interesting and certainly has its pro’s and con’s and I am glad I drove it. At around 10:00 pm I ended up at a viewpoint overlooking Bozana. This is where I stayed overnight. The morning was awesome. I had a great view over the valley going from Bozano to Meran.

After a short breakfast, I headed to Meran and planned to go flying at Laas. The weather showed signs to overdevelop again and so I decided to drive to Flims (near Chur) to check out the “Traditional North Route”.

After a long day of driving and checking out terrain I ended up in Flims at the Gondola station. There where a ton of paragliding pilots at they just rounded up the Swiss champion ships. I met Alex Hofer (he was second at the Swiss Championships) and we talked a bit about the routes. The flying for the Swiss championships where not good at all (based on Alex) and I did not miss anything from a flying point of view.

Anyhow, tomorrow I plan to fly here in Flims and hope the weather will not again overdevelop later in the day. After this, I will head back east into the dolomites.

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