Mild Dermatographia

Hike: Bockmattli


After over a week of not really doing any exercise, gym or hiking, I figured it was time to crank out a quick hike. Since the weather was supposed to be bad (a few mm of snow at lower altitudes), I figured I’d do a shorter, safer hike, and picked Bockmattli thanks to its sub-30 degree incline for most of the ascent, lower altitude, and proximity to another hike I had previously done but never gotten a good look from afar, Gross Aubrig. Up until the switchbacks between Bockmattli and Schiberg went without a hitch; a bit of mud and maybe a few cm of snow, but nothing a pair of waterproof boots couldn’t handle. The views of Gross Aubrig and Fluebrig coated in snow with the lush fields around Waegitalersee was quite a sight.

The storm blew in as I passed Bockmattlihuette. The switchbacks were covered in nearly knee-deep snow drifts at some sections, visibilty was down to near-zero, and the wind was ferocious. I had the foresight to get properly winterized boots and jackets, but not so much a balaclava/goggles or gaiters/softshell pants, and so with the combination of all the above + wet ankles and a cold face, I decided to turn around about where the path splits into two (and conveniently disappeared under snow drifts).

Lesson learned; I need probably a combination of proper softshell pants and gaiters to protect my legs, and a nice thick balaclava and goggles to protect my face. I should also not go into the mountains when it’s snowing, since “snow” up there seems a helluva lot more aggressive than at lower altitudes, including wind with enough force to blow me over if I had been facing into or away from it. An obvious lesson I refuse to learn is to bring a partner; unfortunately, I don’t know anyone interested in winter mountain hiking.