Hupfleitenjoch and Höllentalklamm

John borrowed a book from a friend entitled “Wandern mit Kindern” (hiking with children). So it turned out to be a beautiful sunny Saturday (the rest of the week had been rainy) and we decided to do one of the hikes the book suggested.

We got a little help getting to the top of the mountain via a gondola. All we had to do was hike down. Easy… or so we thought.

Turns out that the first part of the hike was up hill (the first hour+, that is) to the Hupfleitenjoch (a “joch” is the ridge between two mountain peeks). The trail wasn’t bad, not too narrow and not too steep. You couldn’t have asked for a better day or a more beautiful place to hike.

There were butterflies every where. I’ve never seen so many butterflies in my life. It was simply beautiful.

At the top of the Hupfleitenjoch

The next part of the trail is what makes me question whether this is really a hike suitable for children. It was a steep rocky descent with a sheer drop-off to one side. As a mother this equaled hours of pure torture as I anxiously watched my girls hiking down.

After hours of hiking we came to the Höllentalangerhütte, a chalet/restaurant that is on the trail and stopped for some apfelstrudel and water. We were terribly hot, and hot apfelstrudel might not have been the best choice, but it’s become kind of a tradition when we go hiking to stop when there’s a chalet and have some dessert. Of course we forgot to ask for water “ohne kohlensäure” so we ended up with bubbly water that the girls wouldn’t even drink.

After the chalet the trail became quite tame, and this last part of the hike was the reason we decided to do this hike in the first place. A “klamm” in German is a gorge, and the Höllentalklamm is a gorge that’s been carved out of the mountain by a stream that runs off the glacier. They have made a path down in the gorge where you can follow the river. At times there are staircases carved in the rock; at times you have to go through tunnels. It’s very cool.

Höllentalanger stream above the gorge. The cleanest, clearest water I've ever seen.

You get pretty wet walking through the gorge. We thought we’d have a chance to dry off as we walked back to our car, but we were about fifteen minutes from the car when a thunderstorm rolled in. We were walking through a farmers field at the time, so there was no where to go for cover. So we walked the last fifteen minutes in the pouring rain with no umbrellas or jackets. As we were driving away (soaking wet… sitting on grocery bags trying not to get the car too wet), we saw the most beautiful double rainbow.

You may only see one rainbow in the picture, the second one didn’t photograph through the car window very well :) .

The next day at church, John mentioned a double rainbow in his testimony and how beautiful it was. The girls and I were trying very very hard to surpress our giggles. Most of you can probably guess why, but if not just search double rainbow on youtube.

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