Yesterday was the first time I met these fellas, Alpensteinbocke (Alpine ibex) in their natural environment near Augsmatthorn. Or well, for me first time wherever. And what a day it generally was, though they were definitely the highlight, exceeding expectations, posing there like trying to own the Graubünden ones famous for their YouTube..
But first; look at the frost! Winter is coming, at least in the Alps. I smelled the cold, I could feel the winter and that, if something, makes me feel home. Yes, I am strange; my comfort zone is ice and snow and cold, and I can’t wait for the ski season. And I shouldn’t need to say that northface is my kind of face, always, it’s just natural that when winter is calling, I must go. So there I was yesterday, waking up early to catch up with the first signs of winter and almost the first bus to Habkern, this cute little village nearby Interlaken. The 9h hike itself became something else than cute in the end, but that’s another story which I’ll tell you later. Let’s concentrate on the frost and steinbocks first.
After hiking up from Habkern and the frosty northface of Augsmatthorn, balancing further on the narrow and slippery mountain ridge, I stumbled into the^ jolly Alpine ibex* fellas (alpensteinbocke). I guess they understood their Instagram potential very well, posing with Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau in the background, some snoring, some seeming to think they had stumbled into wrong crowd themselves. This area around Lombach (part of Emmental, yes the cheese, alps) acts as kind of a reserve for them, species once almost disappeared from the planet* and therefore it’s extra nice to see them in their natural environment. Which also made me think (during soloing 9h one really had time to think) that when you are wild, your changes seeing other wild things are higher. And that if we all would be this wild, we wouldn’t need zoos… Or gyms either.
Hike: Habkern Post – Augsmatthorn – Hardergrat – Harder Kulm – Unterseen – Interlaken, about 9h
Postbuss 106 Interlaken West – Habkern 2,60 CHF with Half -Fare Travel Card by SwissPass (Halbtax).
*After being extirpated from most areas by the 19th century, the Alpine ibex was successfully reintroduced to parts of its historical range and all individuals living today descend from the stock in Gran Paradiso National Park in Aosta Valley and from the neighbouring French valley of Maurienne(Wikipedia)