Hike around Mürtschenstock

6h, 17 km, 900 m ascent, 1’400 m descent ; Filzbach – Berghaus Habergschwänd 1’278 m – Talalpsee 1’086 m – Spaneggsee 1’425 m – Mürtschenfurggel 1’840 m – Obstalden 685 m

We drove by the imposing Mürtschenstock next to the Walensee probably more than 100 times on the way to Graubünden. This time it was the destination.

Going around the massive Mürtschenstock (2’441 m) was on my “to walk” list for a while. I read in one hiker’s blog that he did not see anyone during the 6-hour hike, which made me hesitate to do a solo-hike.

Luckily Philippe was willing to tag along, not knowing how strenuous the hike is going to be – but I warned him.

Just after 9 am we took a rather antique chairlift, which brings us up to Berghaus Habergschwänd very slowly, and saving about 500 meters in altitude difference. From there, we hiked 200 m steep down in the forest towards Talalpsee – which also means that we have to regain this altitude at the very end of the hike to reach the chairlift.

We arrived at the remote and scenic Talalp lake not seeing anyone. The small restaurant was closed as well. The lake mirrored the surrounding and imposing mountain peaks. It was majestic. But we were conscious that the last chairlift to the village runs at 16:30, we cannot hang out too long. So we took some photos and kept going. After a short wide farm path, a relentless 500-meter climb started, zigzagging into the forest. Then the path finally opened up to a wider view and soon there was the turquoise lake Spaneggsee in front of us. The lake is quite a bit lower than the hiking path, with lots of cows at the lakeside.

The path continued to a farmhouse at Hummel, 1’560 m. I am always astonished to see that Swiss build farmhouses and barns even in very isolated and remote mountain areas like here.

Even though we have not reached today’s highest point yet, we decided to make a lunch break, admiring the east face of the unfriendly-looking grey rocky Mürtschenstock as well as Fronalpstock on the other side. Reaching the Mürtschenstock Furggel was rather easy with a gradual climb.

After leaving the windy pass quickly, we started walking around the backside of Mürtschenstock. A solid sharp rock surface towered above us. From here all the way to the Murgseepass its all lush green moors. Soon we were walking delightful alpine flower fields.

At Robmen, at the east side, we knew we wouldn’t make it in time for the chairlift. I checked the map and saw that we could walk all the way to Obstalden, adding to a total of 1’400 m in altitude downhill. My hiking buddy wasn’t happy.

Close to Meerenboden there were two men doing some maintenance work on the cow and hiking path leading to the alp. Most hiking paths originally were made to bring cows to their summer residence. Then, some 50 years ago, when hiking became increasingly popular, many of those paths were added to the hiking networks, as one of the men explained. Such maintenance is hard work and as a passionate hiker, I am very grateful for their effort!

But then we rewarded ourselves with ice cream at the Obstalden bus stop and cold drinks with a spectacular view of Walensee on the way back. Life is good.

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