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Tuesday August 23: St Moritz Switzerland

Thursday August 25: St Moritz to Zermatt

Wednesday August 24: St Moritz Switzerland

Who Needs a Map???

Today was a mixed day. After breakfast, we felt like zombies, so we had a 45-60 minute lie down. Then we put on sun goop (Sam's face was bright red from the previous day), and set out.

The plan was to take three trams up this side of the valley. We first took a short one up to Chantarella. This started where I thought it did, but it started out in a long "tunnel" with buildings built over the line, before it emerged into daylight. Then we took a longer one up to Corviglia. This is sort of the main stop on this part of the mountain. Both of these trams were the funicular/cable-car on wheels style. Then we took an actual cable car up to Piz Nair. There was a short climb to the very top. Sam did that, but I was thinking that there was more exposure than I cared for, so I stayed around the cable car terminus.

Crazy Bicyclists Grinding Uphill
Statue of Ibex at Piz Nair
Sam Heading Down from Top
View Down from Piz Nair

FWIW, the elevations are:

St. Moritz Dorf:


6,056 ft



6,594 ft



8,156 ft

Piz Nair:


10,029 ft

A lot of people brought bikes up the tram and then rode them down, but it seemed like a non-trivial number actually rode them up themselves. We thought such people were nuts.

Originally, I had planned to hike down from Corviglia, but there, I started thinking about hiking down from Piz Nair. However, I was uncomfortable with the exposure, and I was afraid that I would get halfway down and be committed to something even scarier, so I decided to stick with the original plan and hike down from Corviglia.

Later on, someone told me that the lake nearby, Naturspeichersee, was very pretty, but that information came much too late to be acted upon.

We saw some marmots in the fields (among the cows), but they were much too far away for pictures. They blended in quite well--it was only when one was running that you would notice it.

Sam saw a stuffed marmot in the gift store and bought one. It turns out that this marmot yodels!

Since I had bagged going down from the top, I did a "quick" loop up to the Alpina Hutte and back. I started a timer when I left Corviglia. It ended up taking me 1:47 to hike down.

Terrain Around Corviglia
Path Down

I hiked down to above some big rock formations (Sass Runzol) and the trail split. I really should have looked at my map, but stupid me didn't bother. The right trail was labeled "St Moritz Bad", and the left one was "St Moritz Dorf / Celerina". I figured that I was headed to Dorf, and I wanted to go through the cable car stop in Chantarella, so I took the left branch. Unfortunately, I got "Celerina" and "Chantarella" confused in my mind. It turns out that Celerina is the next town down the valley. I really wanted the right one, and if I had bothered to check the map, it would have been obvious, but I didn't check.

Sass Runzol

The trail drops steadily. By the time I realized that this was not the way that I wanted to go, I had lost enough altitude that I felt committed. I really didn't want to go back up high enough to take the other route. I kept dropping and heading towards Celerina and the airport. I was rather unhappy about the state of affairs. I figured that if worst came to worst, I could always hike from Celerina to St Moritz, or take the bus perhaps.

Trail Down
Trail Continues to Drop
Cliffs on SE Side of Sass Runzol

At this point, I probably should also have looked at the map to find that I wasn't going in entirely the wrong direction, but I didn't look at it then either.

Celerina and Airport

The hiking trail then joined up with the road/bike route, and the sign there said (in one direction) St Moritz Dorf, so I began to realize that I wasn't heading off in totally the wrong direction. I had been heading pretty much down the valley, but here I passed by a small eatery (Alp Laret) and started traversing up the valley as I descended.

Small Eatery
Alp Laret
View Up Hillside
Cliffs of Sass Runzol

I met up with a fellow hiker, and she asked me to take a picture of her. So afterwards, I asked her to take one of me. She was the one who said that she had come down sort of the same way I did, but she had gone past the lake, which she said had been very pretty.

Jim in Front of Lake St Moritz
Significant Switchback

Eventually, I reached a trail junction for St Moritz Dorf and Chantarella. Out of stubbornness, I continued the traverse to Chantarella. When I reached the tram station, I had originally planned to continue up the valley a ways, and then drop down from there, but there was an apparently shorter path straight to St Moritz Dorf, so I opted for that.


That dropped me eventually onto a city street, and I made my way traversing downhill, until I found some stairs making a more direct route. I took those down, and I found that I was essentially just opposite my hotel.

The moral of the story is that if you have a map with you, USE IT!

Amy and Sam had come down the tram, gone up to the hotel room, and were just chilling.

Amy wanted to see the leaning tower of St. Moritz, so we left Sam in the room and went a few blocks over to the tower. it is a fairly old church steeple that started leaning, then they were going to tear it down, but then they decided to stabilize it and maintain it. You can't go up it, but it leans at an obvious angle.

Leaning Tower of St Moritz
"Bear" Fountain

Then Amy and I got something to drink and returned to the hotel room.

I went for a walk, plotted out a best route to get to the train station the next morning, then walked along the lake towards St Moritz Bad. I saw a bike rental place that was a lot cheaper than the one we found near our hotel. Unfortunately, we are leaving early tomorrow morning.

Turret on Some Building
Large Hotel
Etches Glasses in Store Window
Clock Tower Near our Hotel

I hiked back up to the hotel, took a shower, and then we headed out for dinner. Our plan was to eat at "Le Mandarin", which is presumably a Chinese restaurant. Unfortunately, when we reached there, we found that it was no longer there! The name was plastered across the side of the building, and it was in Amy's Google Map, but apparently it was now out of business.

We looked at nearby restaurants, and we went with one that was only slightly outrageous in prices. We opted to get a pizza for each of us.

Then it was a short hike back up the hill to the hotel. Sam took a bath, while I typed this up. We need to pretty much pack up our stuff tonight, grab a very quick breakfast tomorrow morning, and then dash down the hill to the train station to catch the glacier express. That will be an all-day trip to Zermatt.

Interesting Light on Wall in Hotel Room
Light Lit Up
Sam Lounging on Bed

Up to Danube/Alps: Sabbatical Trip, 2022 main page

Tuesday August 23: St Moritz Switzerland

Thursday August 25: St Moritz to Zermatt