Moving Time: 4h 13m
Distance: 9.6 miles
Max Elevation: 8,520’
When we were in France we spent at least 100 € on water in one form or another. The water out of the tap tasted hideous and restaurants treated it like gold. Here in the Engadine region of Switzerland, Evian flows into your morning bath! All of these villages have these great public fountains flowing with cold, wonderful water that you can fill up your bottles to your hearts content with. These are all over the place and are a key enabler to the long distance hiking that is so common in this area.
We changed our hike from the schedule today and instead of hiking from Guarda to Zuoz, we took a train to Zuoz and then did a loop hike out of Zuoz. The hike was spectacular with the only complaint being a rather long “road hike” to get to where the real hiking starts. We left right from the front door of the Posthotel Engiadena and hiked out of town. The road pitched up immediately to at least a 20% grade as we were hiking out. We ascended around 300 meters and I was dripping wet with sweat before we even lost site of the village.
We spent the first 2 hours of the hike just going up, and up, and up. We ascended almost all of the 900 meters of elevation in the first half of the hike. It was hard, but very rewarding. Tammy and I accompanied by Daniel, one of the guides, were the first to make the hut. I pushed harder up the last steep ascent to get to the hut. The push was more of a “horse to water” thing than any kind of machismo.
Our destination was the Chamanna Des-Cha Hut where we had a great lunch. We brought some bread and cheese in our packs, along with a some Swiss chocolate. We also ordered Roschti Natural at the hut, a potato dish which is most similar to hash browns but different, and very good. We had a big lunch with the Grand Massif in the background and after an hour continued around the rim of the valley to the other side where we descended back down.
Descending those 900 meters was in some ways harder than the ascent. It really kills your legs, knees and feet in such a different way. My toes were aching on the descents and I was pleasantly surprised when I finally got my boots off and found that I did not have any blisters. Tammy chose to wear her Keen hiking sandals and it worked great for her, although her feet felt tires I think due to the lack of support.
My legs are feeling pretty tired today. Tomorrow we are going to be in a town that will have spa facilities and I think I’ll look for a massage to rub out some of the ache.