Davos am Schönsten ist – Hiking in Davos, Switzerland, Pt. 1

(For the non-German speaking readers: the first headline is a very bad Dad joke. Kalauer, Kalauer, as we like to say. You should not be surprised)

My mum and I went on a holiday together. Just the two us. Six days in a hotel in Davos, Switzerland, with half-board and plenty of mountains to conquer! German Summer 2021 has been basically non-existent while other countries were suffering from heatwaves – f*ck climate change, so for our September holiday higher up in altitude we packed lots of rain gear, wind gear, bad weather gear, warm undies, woollen leggings and whatnot to be prepared for the worst. and got the best: 4 1/2 days of solid sunshine, the occasional mountain weather phenomenon and just one rainy afternoon. We couldn’t have been luckier.

I hereby invite you to tag along and let me be your mountain guide through the Graubündner Alpenwelt. Maybe you will find inspiration for your next active holiday or maybe you will get infected with the Gipfelfieber and my love for mountaineering.

“Because it’s there.”
– the most famous three words in mountaineering, by George Mallory upon climbing Mt. Everest

TOUR #1 – Davos Dorf – Weissfluhjoch – Weissfluhgipfel – Parsennhütte – Davos Dorf

Disclaimer: We didn’t check the exact distance or altitude nor the time but to give you an idea, I can tell you what my smart watch told me at the end of the day // Distance: 22.3km // Altitude: ↗️324 ↘️1.300 // Duration: 6h including railway and generous rests

After a lush breakfast at Hotel Bünda, we packed our backlogs and headed towards Parsennbahn, the Parsen red railway funicular to lift us from 3,609ft to Weissfluhjoch at 8,835ft with a change of carriage to chair lift halfway through. We stepped into bright sunshine and despite the fresh breeze, our jackets would not be needed anymore that day. From Weissfluhjoch, lazy tourist take another cable car to the top whereas my mum and I climbed the steep rocky path to Weissfluh summit at 9,327ft. It’s a 45 min hike and sure-footedness a must but no mountaneering experience required. Due to all the tourists and buildings up there, we felt robbed from that particular feeling of reaching that highest point on your route, when you’ve beaten nature and get that endorphine shock of summiting. It felt sort of unsatisfying or, as the Germans say, the Belohnungsfaktor blieb aus. Nonetheless the view was spectacular. We ambled about half an hour along the platoon and peeked down into the valley and along the horizon before our descend. Instead of taking the more popular route towards Strela pass we descended upon the other side – through vast stone deserts.

Parsen is a famous skiing resort – and that took its toll on the landscape. Ski slopes in summer are one of the most depressing signs of human arrogance above nature.

Hobby geologist sure get their money’s worth – the stones, rocks, boulders are quite unique. They come in all sorts of colours and often, one side of a stone is in a totally different colour than the other!! My backpack was much heavier at the end of that section and I have quite a collection now. Shortly before we arrived at Parsennhütte, we entered a scenery of lush meadows and pastures and had a lovely lunch break before taking the panoramic route along the mountain flank. Our final descent towards Davos was interrupted by an extended blueberry picking break, the first of many. I mentioned it before (here): my mum has incredible blueberry instincts. If there are any, she’ll find them, no doubt about it. She’s a truffle pig but for blueberries (maybe a bit more civilized) and any hike will inevitably contain an episode of berry picking whenever it is the season.

The last section of our first hike went straight down in very steep and narrow serpentines. The midday sun was burning hot and we were glad some part of the way lay in the shadowy forest. Since it’s the little things, and I tend to have an eye for them, I found a picture book toadstool and we admired it adequately. ➡️

The rest of the day was dedicated to sun bathing on the hotel’s terrace and becoming more and more impatient for dinner, followed by a private sauna session and early bedtime – for tomorrow, the first REAL alpine hike would take place.

Grueziwohl, my friends!

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