Albula ski tour • March 1 - 7, 2016

We were back in the Albula Pass region of the Engadine in Switzerland this year, to repeat one of our favorite ski tours.

Other Trips with some of these folks

Amy Caddell - Silvretta - February 2016
Amy - Ortler - March 2012
Amy - Haute Route- April 2011

Norm Numerof, Alps - June, 2014
Norm, Alps - July, 2013
Alps - July, 2012
Norm, Alps - July, 2011
Norm, Alps - September, 2009
Norm, Alps - July, 2008
Norm, Alps - July, 2007
Norm, Alps - July, 2006
Norm, Alps - July, 2005
Norm, Alps - July, 2003

Return to all recent trips


Joining us were, from right to left, Norm Numerof, Amy Caddell, Mike Makaretz, and Keith Lurie (that's Kathy in back on the far left).


We began our week as we often do, by riding the cable car up to the Diavolezza station.


A mix of sun and cloud, with a nice fresh fall of light powder over hidden rocks (ouch!), made for fun but a bit tentative skiing!


Flat light and shallow snow cover meant roping up for the glacier, at least the first three of us.


Avalanche conditions did not permit our usual skin and ski from the top of the Isla Perse, but we did get up on the moraine where we found some very good snow.


Aside from the occasional brush with hidden rocks, this snow was exceptionally good!


Looking back up the Morteratsch Glacier, ours are the only tracks out today!


Heading to the ever receding toe of the glacier.


On day 2, we headed out into the back country. Goal number 1: the friendly and charming Jenatsch hut!


The snow cover was better for a recent storm, but still a bit on the thin side and the wind had been busy on the Fuorcla d'Agnel, so a few yards of walking were required.


Approaching the Jenatsch hut with the Piz Traunter Ovas in the background.


On day 3, we were wary of warm sunshine on steep and wind-packed slopes approaching the Piz Laviner, so we opted to go out to Spinas via the Bever valley.


Beatiful weather!


And pretty nice snow, though sadly this exit is quite flat.


More trucking down the beautiful Bever valley.


At trail's end, a restaurant, but our train is coming soon! So we simply packed up for the next phase...


... a train ride to Bergün, and the lovely Hotel Kurhaus. A beautiful old building, lovingly restored.


Day 4, and we're ready for more. Again, bad stability and incoming weather dictated caution and we prepare to move on to the Kesch hut by the conservative "normal" route.


The day begins with sunshine and light snow.


We wander up the Val Tuors past charming (deserted in winter) villages.


Breaking out at last above treeline, the last kilometers are exposed to the wind as the weather arrives.


We made it!


Day 5, we're still alive! A storm day at the Kesch hut. We get out and try to do some skiing.


It looks more like an exercise in... well... exercise! A few blind turns in the blizzard, but mostly a refreshing walk in a snowstorm.


Very nice to have a safe, welcoming and cozy hut to return to.


Afternoon hut activities kept us more than occupied. The hutkeeper, Reto, even put on a movie for us!


Day 6, the sun reappears. Almost too much fresh snow!


We got our workout breaking trail, that's for sure.


But the reward was worth it!


Nearing the top of our "run" at the base of Piz Kesch.


Our high point is the ridge notch just below the peak, on the right.


Beautiful weather.


The "Porta d'Es-Cha" is the notch in the ridge left of the skiers.


A viewpoint!


And some snow to ski! We can even see where we're going!


Celebrating our descent, we decide to go up for another lap toward the Porchabella pass.


Which involves breaking yet another trail!


Day 7, our last day, dawns clear, cold and calm. A parting gift.


We head toward the Sertig Pass.


The snow has had a chance to settle a bit, and is less deep here to the north.


We pass by a hut that the Kesch hut keeper Ursina had mentioned, tucked away discreetly near the Sertig Pass, where she remembered happy holidays as a little girl with her parents.


At the pass, we prepare to descend to the north.


Light, fluffy snow, just enough, good angle, oh my we are happy now!


Hunting for more freshies.


And finding!




It goes on and on.


We pause to admire the view before continuing down the Chüealptal.


And at the journey's end, because it's Switzerland of course, is rösti, schnitzel, bratwurst, and beer! All in a charming ambience. Thanks to the team for their good humor, strong efforts, and company! Cheers, and may we meet again soon.

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