As soon as we set foot on the mountain, we realised that we’ll need a change of plans…
A quick search last night for a possible trip led us to Graustock Klettersteig in the Engelberg area. Into the bag went the ferrata kit, along with the new superlight cutting board I got for father’s day, first aid kit, warm clothes, and cheese, avo and banana, ready for the next morning!
On our way through the station we grab some bread and breakfast – a decaf latte and ‘Nussgipfel’ for me and a decaf cappuccino and ‘Energybrötli’ for Barbara. We top up on coffees as we change trains at Luzern. When we get to the Titlis cable car queue, it is snaking back towards the main road! Fortunately we can bypass it by buying tickets from the ticket machine (I still haven’t worked out why people queue to buy from the cashier when the ticket machines are available. But, of course, as long as they do this, we are able to skip past the queuing brigade…)
As we head up to Jochpass in a heavy mist, I suggest that the via ferrata may not be a good idea. The metal staples on the top part of the ferrata, graded a K5 which is near the top of the grades, will most likely be wet and slippery, so we decide to find a ‘Wanderkarte’ (tourist map) and see what alternatives there are. In the end we decide to follow the high level route from Jochpass to Melchsee-Frutt, along a path that will take us past the three lakes before we arrive at Melchsee-Frutt cable car station.
It doesn’t take log for us to realise that while we may have missed out on a very exciting via ferrata, the scenery, in all directions, is more than making up for it.
The view down the valley, looking past the three lakes, is stunning! The krantzes on the opposite side of the valley majestic. And the field through which our path winds its way is covered in a feast of flowers of all colours, sizes and varieties. Tiny ones with petals no bigger than a pinhead. Bigger ones the size of a fist. Colours ranging from pale yellows to the brightest yellows imaginable! With cream and orange, lilacs and purples and pinks, and blues – from a cornflower blue to the deepest midnight blue and every hue of blue in between, thrown into the mix! Interspersed with sprays of brilliant white… An end to end carpet of flowers, as far as the eye can see!
Butterflies, birds and the odd fellow hiker cross our path, while the cacophony of cowbells, each chiming to its own rhythm, announce the presence of cows grazing calmly in the fields below.
Who says that changed plans can’t end up being a perfect mountain day!