Switzerland: The Italian Job

There is something exciting about walking over a mountain range into another country, so the opportunity to do so couldn’t be missed! Richard, Jack, Jim and I took up the mission to invade Italy via the Albrunpass, and we headed off to Imfeld where you can park the car. The route we took involved a fair amount of road walking for the first few miles but eventually we were on the “Birchweg” and descending to a crossing of the Binna river.

The valley is renowned for its rich mineral deposits, and the floor is littered with quartz that glitters in the intense sun along the route.

Wildflowers
Wildflowers

From Freichi, we climbed up into a simply stunning alpine meadow, where the Binntallhutte could be seen nestled below our objective, the Albrunpass. The wildflowers we saw there were vibrant blues, purples, pinks and yellows. Add to that the white dolomite rocks, cascading waterfalls and rich green pasture, the whole vista was quite an emotional one!

A quick bowl of coffee at the Binntalhutte, and then upwards another 150m to the Albrunpass, where you cross the border into Italy.

Italy
Italy
Bocchetta d'Arbola 2409m
Bocchetta d’Arbola 2409m

We stayed a while, the others scrambling up on one of the hills above the pass to get a better view whilst I pottered around taking more photos of the flora in the area.

Alpine Flora
Alpine Flora
Jack and Jim messing about on the Swiss / Italian border
Jack and Jim messing about on the Swiss / Italian border

Returning, we retraced our steps to the hut for some lunch, with some Marmot spotting included.

Binntalhutte
Binntalhutte
Marmot
Marmot

We set off back down the valley, this time taking the other bank of the river, via a lake called Halsesesee. This route didn’t involve any road until the last couple of kilometres and was much more interesting.

Crossing the Binna
Crossing the Binna
Jack beside Hallesee
Jack beside Hallesee
Rich beside Hallesee
Rich beside Hallesee

Back at Imfeld, we ducked into a hut to get a drink and ice cream. I was so dehydrated that the very large glass of cool Ice Tea was probably the best drink I have ever tasted in my 46 years! Seriously, I didn’t know whether to drink it or sleep with it! 😉

Published by Moorland Walker

Paul is a backpacker, tor bagger, Bibbulmun Track End to Ender and West Ham supporter. He moved down from London to live in Okehampton in 2016, after realising he was spending most of his weekends on Dartmoor and it just made sense to make it permanent!

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