• Appenzell
  • Falling in Love With Switzerland Over And Over Again – Hoher Kasten Edit.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Just when I said I don’t recommend sneakers for these trails, I caught the weekend crowds at the end of my Saturday speed hike from Hoher Kasten, half of them taking careful steps on the slippery and rocky path from Wasserauen to Seealpsee, and the other way round. Everyone has the right to their own style though, but still, I’d highly recommend sturdy hiking/trekking shoes for these trails. Or trailrunning ones, with the sticky sole. Because I’m really worried when looking you stumbling with the not ideal for the occasion, no matter how trendy, Nike Frees.

    This time I took my trailrunning shoes to Alpstein, to take a speedy tour from Hoher Kasten to Wasserauen. First, I took the train and bus to Brülisau and from there the Kastenbahn up to Hoher Tauern and the excellent 360° views (and many pics). From Hoher Tauern, after tightening up my shoes and backpack, I ran (and occasionally walked and stopped), past Berggasthaus Staubern and more nice views, before stopping for an Appenzeller beer at Berggasthaus Bollenwees.

    After the beer, and almost swim in Fählensee, I took the hilly route over Bogartenlücke to Wasserauen train station, from where the train home. Overall, it was appr. 17 km hike, which in the end would have been better the other way round, as the 1600m descent would have been better as the ascent, and the 1000m descent better for the ascent. Nevertheless, I and my knees survived, and you can do it the better way, now when you know (though in that case, please take into an account the gondola timetable from Hoher Kasten more carefully).

    Hoher Kasten, as I know very well by now, has one of the best views to Rhine Valley (Rheintal) and to the whole Alpstein Massif and Appenzell (the region, not just the town). And like said many times already, when hiking and running around here, the extensive network of guesthouses takes care of your energy and hydration level more than fine. Just remember to take cash and enough time with you when going.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä Hyvä retki

    Tiina Kivelä

    Where: Hoher Kasten – Staubern – Bollenwees – Wasserauen runhike, appr. 17km & 5h (map)

  • BLOG
  • In These Shoes And Trails I Walk The Alps

    Tiina Kivelä

    Just wanted to let you know in which kind of shoes I walk my hikes in the Alps. And sometimes dance a bit, like Julie Andrews.

    I’ve seen many a hiker in sneakers and even sandals and barefoot (greetings R), but my choice and recommendation are the category 3/trekking shoes. These for the Swiss trails marked with yellow and/or the red and white markings, as the trail in these pics from last Saturdays’a hike in Alpstein – the kind of which the most common trails for me and other hikers in Switzerland are.

    As you already know or see now in the pics, these trails are occasionally very rocky and slippery, and for that it’s good to have shoes which are supportive, robust and built for mountain hikes, including a good sole preferably with  climbing zone. And of course they should also have good looks and easy to clean materials – life’s too short for ugly shoes, even in the mountains where it might be that the only one seeing your shoes in addition to you is the marmot.

    My pair is the women’s low-cut Lowa Phoenix LL (not paid ad, bought and paid by myself). I’m not sure if the model’s in the production anymore, but it’s the kind of shoe I can highly recommend if you are looking for a simple and light trekking shoe for the easy and middle-difficulty hikes and day tours in the Alps (in the Swiss trail scale the yellow wanderwege and red-white bergwanderwgere), and even for the easier huttours.

    For me these shoes have worked more than fine in the Swiss trails and adventures for over two summers already, and even though after every 20km hike it’s nice to change to flip-flops or go barefoot I wouldn’t walk the trails with any other pair.

    Tiina Kivelä Hyvä retki

    Tiina Kivelä / Hyvä retki

    Tiina Kivelä / Hyvä retki

    Tiina Kivelä / Hyvä retki

    Apparently, I’m not as good choosing my watch to the occasion as I am with the shoes. DW is definitely not the best choice for mountains, but as far as I don’t have any other (though I do wonder how’s that possible with the second home in Switzerland) this has to go and collect scars as the reminders of good adventures.

    Tiina Kivelä / Hyvä retki

    Tiina Kivelä / Hyvä retki

  • BLOG
  • If I Would Write Reviews – Women’s Nike Air Zoom Elite 9

    Tiina Kivelä

    If this would be a proper running blog, I’d write here a lengthy review* of women’s  Nike Air Zoom Elite 9 trainers, the newest addition to my running shoe collection. But as this is not that kind of blog  (to be honest, this blog doesn’t seem to be any kind of blog), I’ll just tell that if you’re a running woman (or girl) and looking for a fast (unfortunately though these don’t automatically make the girl fast), super light, responsive and narrow pair, for training and shorter races on roads and non-technical trails, this is for you.

    Extra points for no plastic packaging if you order them from Nike’s own webshop, as I did. Fits the other good goals as well.

    And for the interested, my plan with these shoes is to train, maybe for Montafon Arlberg marathon, and maybe run a few fun races like this wine run in France (Running Wine). Yes, still not taking this running thing too seriously.

    And to not make the other shoes too jealous of the new baby getting all the attention, I’m browsing in here, for tips on what kind of adventures to do with the more sturdier pairs. But before those, a few more rounds on these home trails with the new babies.

    Anyone else up for a run this weekend? Or still skiing? Already cycling?

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä


    * For the lengthy ones I’d tip you to check Youtube which is full of running shoe reviews. Though I am kinda disappointed how it’s full of men reviewing running shoes for men. Where are all the women? Ok we should just start making those, but the brands and stores, why those are still mostly reviewing shoes for men only? Are we running women still so small in numbers? I’d doubt that.