Weekender - Leisure Dorado in Glarus
It's the weekend again, or rather: time for a weekender.
With the onset of spring in late winter, memories of autumn long gone come flooding back. My head was buzzing from the week at the office and Alex, the basement child, needed to get out into the fresh air again. As luck would have it, the rear kitchen for our Go-Outdoor was finally finished. So it was the perfect time to take the roof tent camper out for a walk. With so many beautiful places in Switzerland, you're just spoilt for choice as to where to go. We, at least, had been talking about the Klausen Pass, which separates Glarus from the original cantons, for weeks. So let's get there before Frau Holle claims it for her own!
The early bird gets the worm
Having worked late into the night in the workshop on Friday, we set off for our Weekender at an inhuman time of 5am. The roads are empty and only the starry sky twinkles at us from above. We master the first curves of the Klausen Pass in darkness. But as soon as we pass Unterschächen, the horizon brightens and the outlines of the imposing mountain landscape become visible. When we reach the top of the Klausen Pass, the world and especially a few campers are still asleep and we roll on leisurely towards Linthal.
Braunwald leisure paradise
Braunwald is a small enclave in Glarus that functions (as good as) car-free high above the valley. The infrastructure is also ideal for campers, as you can legally park right at the train station and only have to stumble into the funicular. We have packed both our paragliders and via ferrata set, although we probably want to deposit the former at the Gumen mountain station. The combined lift is not running at this time of day and we prefer the uphill adventure trail anyway. So we trot along the hiking trail, which is also open to mountain bikers, towards the mountain in a contemplative silence and enjoy the palpable moment when we emerge from the shade into the almost-winter sun.
To blow-dry or not to blow-dry, that is the question here
Anyone who lives in the mountains knows the phenomenon: hairdryers. And I don't mean the practical hair-care utensil with 230 V connection and certainly 2000 W power, which seems a bit out of place in a camper. I mean the weather constellation when there is a difference in pressure between the southern and northern sides of the Alps, which can lead to stormy, hot winds on the northern side, for example, while the south sinks into a dark, rainy dust cloud. An indicator for Föhn is a pressure difference of approx. 4 hPa between Zurich and Lugano or Innsbruck and Bolzano. However, so many other geo-climatic factors play a role in the expression of a foehn, so not all foehns are the same. When hiking, there is usually little to worry about, but the Föhn is a natural enemy for paragliders. And we were perhaps expecting a Föhn with around 4 hPa on the beautiful sunny day, but maybe it will just be a light southerly wind?
On the approach to the Eggstöcke via ferrata, I discover another bivouac box on the map and ask myself: why not start from there with the paraglider? We quickly decide to take the paragliders with us while climbing. Shortly before entering the wall, we meet three local pilots who are preparing to take off from the official launch site. I ask them what they think of the foehn forecast. One of them shrugs his shoulders and says: "In the past we would never have thought of flying in this weather! That's true, I think to myself. In the past, our neighbour was celebrated in the local newspaper because he hardly flew 20 km from Tegelberg to Breitenberg! And now? Now records of hundreds of kilometres are being broken, and it feels like every week. I think that, on the one hand, technology has of course developed a lot. On the other hand, the networked world is in a constant competition that keeps pushing people to their limits. But I think that in our dull everyday lives, we simply crave the thrill again and again and accept risks accordingly, for which the sight of the Zugspitze alone would have been enough in the past.
Relaxed scrambling with Tödi view
The nice thing about the via ferrata is that you can either relax and enjoy the panorama at difficulty C, or you have to fight your way up to Leiteregg at crisp D/E. From there, it's not far over the Vorderer Eggstock to the Charlotte Bridge, which makes your knees weak when you look down. However, I can't get the Föhn out of my head the whole time and keep looking for lenticularis in the sky. But instead of lenticular clouds, I only discover paragliders fighting their way up the southern flanks of the Eggstock group, altitude metre by altitude metre! From the looks of it: no Föhn! All the more exhilarated we follow the narrow ridge to the Mittlerer Eggstock and quickly descend to the bivouac. There are more and more pilots in the air, which on the one hand is positive, but on the other hand does not relieve us of the decision to fly. However, we decide that the air is more than friendly and save ourselves a long descent into the valley.
Berglistüber and Signalstock Arena
the campsites are closed in Linthal for seasonal and pandemic reasons, so we decided to go to Urnerboden. On the way, we visited an impressive waterfall that must have carved a cave into the stone in prehistoric times. At Urnerboden we strategically position ourselves to enjoy the sun as long as possible and start cooking. Our stomachs are already rumbling. The special thing about the Go-Outdoor is that life really does take place outdoors. Our camper neighbours hole up in the campers as soon as the sun no longer provides cosy warmth. We, on the other hand, just put on another layer of clothes and enjoy the fresh cold air. We cook outside, eat outside and enjoy a glass of wine outside. Next time, however, we buy firewood, because wet driftwood is not known to burn well.
Weekender in Glarus - the joy of minimalism
The night in the roof tent was cold. Only when all the warm air that had risen along the mountains during the day slid back down into the valley did it become almost pleasantly cool. In the mornings, you have to combine making tea with early morning exercise in winter, but watching the sunset at Urnerboden remains simply priceless. We are on the road a lot with the camper and there is always a lot of packing and scrambling, to be honest. The weekend trip to Glarus, however, showed me again how little it actually takes to experience an adventure and what matters to me at least: I want to chase curiosity and lust for life, and that's also possible roof-tent nomad. By the way, you can find tips and tricks for camping beginners in here!
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