Where the Wild Marmots are – A three-day hike in Val Roseg

Glaciers, thousands of years old. Idyllic alpine lakes. Heartfelt welcomes in remote alpine huts. Marmots playing cheekily on hiking trails. Val Roseg, a mountain valley in the Grisons, boasts many highlights and is an ideal destination for a three-day hike from guesthouse to guesthouse.

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A leisurely start from Corvatschbahn to Fuorcla Surlej.

The three-day adventure starts easily with the Corvatschbahn, a cable way that takes you halfway up the mountain to Murtél. A gradually ascending trail leads you  to the  Fuorcla Surlej. The panorama from here is stunning: the whole Val Rosegg is visible with the towering Piz Bernina in the background.

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Stunning views at Fuorcla Surlej.
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Local treats and refreshments are offered at gueshouse Fuorcla Surlej.

The trail is now fairly even, even descends slightly, and after two hours the charming Chamanna Coaz alpine hut, can be reached. The hut is a sturdy, cosy fortress in this harsh alpine climate, tiny and rustic, with a beautiful outdoor terrace ideal for your morning coffee.

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Even ground from Fuorcla Surlej to Chamanna Coaz.
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A bright morning at Chamanna Coaz.
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The mountain hut is as close to the glacier as it gets.

The second day starts with a lot of switch-backs and over an easy rubble field down to the glacial lake. Alpine flowers bloom lushly along the way, butterflies and bees fly from blossom to blossom, and every now and then the shrill whistle of the marmots can be heard. Some retreat hastily into their burrows when they see a hiker approach. Other don’t mind these human intruders too much and continue their lazying around or cheeky playing on the trail.

 

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Marmots play on the trail.
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Glacier views, alpine lakes and wildflowers in full bloom.
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The trail leads through a beautifully rugged alpine landscape.

Yet the leisurely walking comes to an abrupt halt at the restaurant Roseg, where the trail leads into a side valley and the lost altitude has to be gained once more. Up the trail goes, along a glacial moraine into a harsh glacial landscape dominated by rubble and rock and snow. The view is specacular: The Tschierva glacier is in full frontal view and close enough that you can hear the ice move, creak and shatter.

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Heading up to the Tschierva glacier.
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Barely visible amongst the rock is the Tschierva mountain guesthouse.

Tschiervahütte, our sleeping quarter for the second night, is alpine lodging deluxe on an altitude of 2500 meters. It even offers double rooms in addition to the usual dorms and showers. The west-facing outdoor terrace is the perfect spot to end a strenuous hiking day watching the sunset and a spectacular alpenglow.

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Spectacular alpenglow vies from the Tschierva hut’s patio.
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The guardian of the Tschiervahütte.

The scenery is even more enjoyable when you know, that the third day will be a mellow one. Three hours only is the descent from the hut to the town of Pontresina. And for those who want to make their third day even more relaxing the restaurant Roseg, halfway down the trail, offers horse drawn carriages to take you into town.

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A helicopter brings supplies early in the morning.
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And back down we go.

 

Information:

Corvatschbahn: www.corvatsch.ch
Chamanna Coaz, dorm and half board 70.- CHF, www.coaz.ch/home
Tschiervahütte, dorm and half board 74.- CHF, www.tschierva.ch

This article was first published in German for the Swiss hiking trails association. Check out their many hiking suggestions here. And please consider supporting them – they keep your trails well maintained and marked after all.

 

 

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