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The Höhenweg 3. Topali to Randa

The Höhenweg 3. Topali to Randa


Postby past my sell by date » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:47 pm

Date walked: 27/08/2017

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The next stage of the Höhenweg continuing South from Topali to Randa is a classic "Balcony" walk and rather less intense than stage 2 . I prefer to continue to Täsch (part 4) as the descent to Randa is distinctly underwhelming but that makes it quite a long walk.
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Topali to Randa
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Leaving Topali
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A route to the Schöllijoch - and the Turtmanntal heads up and across this stony valley - Chella - but it's another story
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The track then climbs and heads East to reach a viewpoint : looking back to the hut and to yesterday's walk from the Wasulicke
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A wider view
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Early morning view north to the Oberland - Bietschhorn and Aletschhorn standing out
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A sheep fank on the route
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But you have to climb a short ladder to continue
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The route now crosses the Talli - a wide flat-floored valley leading up to the Schöllijoch : The 3583m Inners Barrhorn on the R
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A wider view with the Brunegghorn Left and the 3499m Schöllihorn centre
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and a final one back up from the valley floor

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You then descend quite steeply for several hundred metres to the 2284m flat area bottom left - bobbing and weaving between the gullies
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A zoomed view
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The path can be seen clearly in this picture
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Goats again - they are actually very friendly :D - though smelly :( - and came rushing over hoping that I had some treat for them :lol:
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Just before you reach the bottom you cross a major gully
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Looking back across the bridge, the waymark - centre - shows where you went before the bridge was added
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Looking down the gully to the Mattertal floor 1000 m below
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Looking back up - it is difficult to see any sign of the path
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Continuing South - it's roughly level for a while
In contrast to yesterday's walk there were a lot of flowers in evidence
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Phytuma globularifolium - Globularia-leaved Rampion
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Pedicularis kernerei - Kerner's Lousewort
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Androsace alpina - Alpine Rock-jasmine
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Another precipitous gully
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The path the splits and you can head steeply down to Herbriggen
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Minuarta laricifolia - Larch-leaved Sandwort
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Looking back
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And a wider view North across the Rhone valley
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The path starts to climb again
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And heads across towards another gully
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Glad there's a bridge here :D
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The Brunegghorn is directly above now with the 2893m Gross Kastel on the Left - though the path goes further Left Still to reach the top of the "great Slide" at just over 2400m
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The great Randa rockslide (ca 30million cubic metres) occurred as a series of collapses in April and May 1991 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randa_rockslides
Fortunately, as there had been cracks in the ground above for some considerable time, engineers had been able to calculate the time and magnitude of the fall with reasonable accuracy and no-one was killed, though a few houses and barns were destroyed, the river was blocked for a while, and the road and railway had to be rebuilt. I'm afraid it's destined to be an eyesore for hundreds maybe thousands of years
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There are still cracks in the ground - monitored by strain gauges - and rockfall is continuing all the time - though on a much smaller scale :)
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The Weisshorn appears: a path leads up to the Gross Kastel from here, (see signpost centre R) but it's a 450m climb and I've never had the energy to do it :lol:
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Zoomed view of the snout of the rapidly retreating Bis glacier
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Up the valley towards Täsch and Zermatt
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Botricium lunaria - Moonwort
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Aquilegia alpina - Alpine Columbine - I've only seen this once before
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Pedicularis tuberosa - Tuberous Lousewort
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Dianthus carhusianorum - Carthusian Pink
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The path zig-zags down more or less North to reach the first of the two streams in the Bis tal at about 1850m. Both streams are easy to cross and this photo shows the various tracks that have been taken
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View back up from across the Mattertal near Randa
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And with the paths set out in red
The standard descent to Randa (1) is over stony ground: it's long and twisty and finishes in a quarry - a miserable end to such a superb walk: there is also an abundance in the Summer of a rather unpleasant smelling shrub :(
It is better to cross the two streams (quite high up) and descend pleasant grassy slopes (2). These end abruptly at a cliff edge :shock: but a narrow gully on the Right takes one on a diagonal line through woods. You still have a bit of quarry to negotiate but it's much nicer :)
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Looking back after crossing the second stream
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Pleasant grassy slopes
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Lower down the streams are not easily crossed; - there were bridges at one time, but they kept getting destroyed in the winter :lol:
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Better still after crossing both streams is to take a horizontal track into the woods and continue to Täsch (3). This is a zoomed view of the stream crossings and the route on to Täsch at around 1800m
past my sell by date
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