Friends Trek in the Engadine • July 22-28, 2013

Grant Carnie, of Denver, CO, organized a group of his friends to come trekking with Kathy in the gorgeous Engadine Valley of Switzerland. The week was full of "greats": the walks, the views, the food, the company, the experiences. Even the weather, mostly!

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The crew, from left to right: Derek, Barb, Brooke, Bill, Carolyn, and Grant.


We began our week in the village of Zuoz; a sunny and tranquil spot in the Upper Engadine valley.


Our first hike was to the Es-Cha hut, which Mark and I had visited in winter a couple of years back. It looks quite different and quite inviting on a sunny summer's day! We had a delicious light lunch there before continuing back to town on a long loop through alpine meadows and tumbling streams.


An idyllic spot if you're a cow, too!


Our second day's hike took us into a remote high valley, after crossing a pass still slowly melting out from under this year's epic snow cover.


Our day's walk ended in the village of Samedan, whose beautiful Protestant church dates from the 1700s.


A short train ride brings us back to Zuoz, where we celebrate and cool off over a couple of beers.


Next, we took in the famous Muottas Muragl funicular railway, to start another day's walk.


Photos from the top are "de rigeur"!


We make the acquaintance of this, the guardian of the Segantini hut, where we stopped for coffee and some of the region's specialty barley soup.


Onward in a traverse up hill and down dale, the skies begin slightly to threaten.


We made a quick (very quick!) detour up the lofty Piz Languard, before escaping the afternoon showers by a hair.


Descending the tricky and exposed "trail" of the Piz Languard.


Back in the comfort of our hotel, tales of the day's adventures begin to get taller!


The next day we took a bit of a rest, scattering to various explorations and activities around Pontresina and environs. Brooke and Bill on the trail up toward the Boval hut, with the Morteratsch Glacier and Piz Palu behind.


Brooke has a little hitch-hiker along!


Our next day is a long one, beginning with a very pleasant ride up the Roseg valley via horse drawn wagon. Great views of the cirque of peaks feeding the Roseg Glacier come into sight as we near the start of our walk.


Continuing up the valley, we draw abreast of Piz Bernina high above. Bill admires the famous Biancograt, which Grant had climbed the previous week with Mark.


Piz Glüschaint and its neighbors from the shores of the "Glacier Lake", Lej da Vadret.


After a strenous hour or so of steep hillside scrambling, we pause for a brief picnic overlooking the lake.


Our next day's walk brings us out of the Engadine, or nearly so, into the upper reaches of the Val Bregaglia. The granite peaks of this part of the region, appear in the background. Martagon lilies in the foreground! A somewhat rare sight, always beautifuli.


The trail is hot, but the views ever better.


Higher up, lingering snowfields help us cool off as we approach the summit of Piz Lunghin.


We made it to another top!


Descending from the summit, portions of our next day's route come into view on the left: the high and lonely Val Maroz.


Pausing on the descent to take in the views.


High up in the afore-mentioned Val Maroz, a remote outpost serves as summer home to a herdsman. Several seriously protective dogs help him deter the tourists and keep the cows in order.


We exit the valley stage left, and approach a high pass which will bring us back into the drainage of the Val Bregaglia.


At the pass, things get seriously scenic! Including Carolyn.


As we began our descent, Brooke spotted a large, prolific patch of the ever-elusive Edelweiss! Our day is complete!


... that is, complete, but far from over! Our very long descent begins by traversing high alpine meadows, home to presumably very happy cows, with stunning views across to the granite spires of the Bregaglia range.


Bright wings embellish this already colorful rampion.


A very long trail brings us at last to inviting sub-alpine forests and meadows, as evening draws in.


One imagines Heidi and her grandfather living here! Actually, the setting for the story by Johanna Spyri is just a few miles away as it so happens.


At long last, our destination comes into view, the lovely village of Soglio.


We are just in time for an apéritif, shower, and a long, lovely dinner on the terrace.


All too early the next morning, we had to pack up and begin our journey home. But we leave with fond memories of this most unusual and picturesque corner of Switzerland!

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