Swiss National Route 6, Gruben to St Niklaus (Day 3 of 3)

Unusually, I was up at the crack of dawn for the last day of my walk.  Well, the hotel bar shut at 10pm, so what else was there to do but got to sleep and even I can manage on 8 hours!  So it was that I set off well before the ‘Brits’ (see previous post) and, if you don’t count cows or birds or butterflies, I never saw a soul until I got near to the Augstbordpass, where I espied someone on the horizon.  (I later caught them up on the descent – see pic 17).

The weather was dry, but rather dull, with high cloud, so not great for photography,  The highlights on the ascent were spotting and capturing (on camera, that is) 3 birds – one I knew, one I thought I knew, but didn’t, and the other I have no idea… (Help!?)

The descent was ‘interesting’ shall we say, as there was still a lot of snow around and I’m not happy walking across, especially sloping, snow in what are effectively trainers – oh yes, and without walking poles.  (Although they are useful in some circumstances, like 1% of the time, I’m not a fan of poles as, to my mind, they are extra baggage and they get in the way when things get a bit bouldery and some scrambling is required – which it was on this trip).  Anyway I survived about 5 or 6 short(ish) sections and my leg only disappeared once up to the knee.  I should have taken a picture – there was already a big hole and now there are two… 🙂

Later, the sun started to come out and the last section down from Jungen was a joy to behold, with butterflies everywhere.  I was being teased by Apollos and even a Swallowtail fluttering around my head but, when they landed, they were out of reach and I would have needed to hang off the cliff face to get a picture.  I saw more Marbled Whites than I’ve ever seen in my entire life (and that’s a few – well, maybe 12) and a host of others, not shown below, simply because they either didn’t land or I have no way of identifying them and there’s enough in this gallery anyway.

I couldn’t leave this post without highlighting two flowers…

Pic 12: I’m 99% sure are called King-of-the-Alps.  They look like Alpine Forget-me-nots, but they only grow to a height of between 1 and 6 cm (unlike their look-a-like, which grows to 5 to 15cm).  My book describes them as “Rather rare” and I think it’s the first time I’ve seen them, certainly posted a picture of them.

Pic 27: Has the delightful name of Swiss Treacle Mustard and if that’s not a name to conjure with nothing is.  🙂

10 thoughts on “Swiss National Route 6, Gruben to St Niklaus (Day 3 of 3)

  1. What a very cool adventure with nature, Mike!! I can only imagine how it must feel to be one with nature as you did, hiking along these walking paths for three days. The words ‘glorious’ or ‘inspirational’ come to mind! It had to be wonderful for your heart and soul!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it was a great trip. Many thanks for those identifications. And you were right about that other butterfly with the elongated black spots. My Swiss book author has confirmed that it’s an (aberration of an) Ida’s Blue. By happy coincidence, I’ll be attending one of his field trips this coming Saturday, at the top end of our valley in (and above) Arolla. So I’ll have to report back on that. I’m sure to take my camera. 🙂 Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, me too. In his email, he says that he’ll bring all the necessary equipment for observation – nets, observation boxes and identification documents. So I’m also interested to see how we go about collecting them and releasing them, presumably unharmed. As you have seen, my method is to take a picture and then study it afterwards… Could be a fascinating day. Let’s hope the sun shines… 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to blhphotoblog Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s