August 2012 ~ Vrenelis Gärtli Glacier

Vrenelis Gärtli? What kind of name is this for a mountain? It literally means “Verena’s little garden” and has its roots in an old myth around (read more at the end of the article).

Anyway, this summit is in the eastern part of Switzerland, in the canton of Glarus, and probably one of the lowest glaciers in the country. The hut is at 1990m, the peak is only 2904m, so there is hardly any altitude problems which makes it to a very common tour among beginners.

 

 

We had planned this tour with Tanja & Olli, and took it easy, arriving at the hut late afternoon on a Saturday.

 

 

As expected the hut was pretty fully booked, and we decided to start early next morning. The route had one bottle neck and we wanted to avoid having to wait in queue until we could climb that spot. So, 5.15am and we were already on the way up. 

Reward: amazing sunrise!!

 

 

 

 

After about 1 hour 20minutes we put crampons on and hiked up across the glacier, the "Glärnischfirn" to the bottleneck. And our strategy had worked, although some faster hikers passed us, we were early enough to avoid rush hour at the so called “Schwander Grat”, the ridge. Another 15-20 minutes over the ridge to the actual peak, that we actually had 5 minutes to ourselves - unbelievable on a tour like this with another 80-100 climbers lining up! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great tour with our friends and beautiful weather! 

The legend of Vreneli:

Vreneli was the daughter of a sheperd, and lived on the mountain, in her garden. She married a poor guy from the valley, whose mother came to visit frequently. Vreneli was proud of her money and that arrogant that she had built  stairs made from cheese up to her garden, to show off her wealth. She didn't like poor mother-in-law and treated her snobbish. With the result that the mother-in-law at some point on her way back to the valley cursed her and wished that the stairs that led to the garden turned into stone.... and was soon covered with snow. 

Source

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