After yesterday’s climb ‘My Golden Mountain’, the legs felt surprisingly good so I set off to walk 3,250ft up the Trift Gorge.
The walk to Trift takes up to two hours, and is steep in places up a narrow gorge down which a torrent plunges. There are no mechanical uplifts and so this area is relatively quiet – the province of climbers heading up the Rothorn Hut or energetic walkers climbing the Mettelhorn or a high altitude balcony walk.
This is also a beautiful area for wild flowers and as you ascend you leave behind the long-stemmed meadow flowers and steadily enter the eco zones of much more stunted and hardy flowers – the same wide palette of colours exists, but everything gets tighter to the ground. Unfortunately I left our Alpine Flowers booklet at home and I cannot remember the precise names of some of these plants, but I found a German book that has helped.
The reward for the hiker who climbs high is finding Orchids and Gentians. The Vanilla Orchid grows in profusion. Pinch the stem or flower and you will get the distinct smell of Vanilla.
The small Gentians are less than a centimetre across…
The larger ones are bell-shaped.
Other more fleshy stunted plants improbably cling to the rocks.
The final high point that I reached was the flat hanging valley before the final steep climb up to the Rothorn Hut. Here melt waters from the Trift and Obergabel Glaciers lazily wind their way across this area before plunging down the Trfit Gorge.