Piz Scalottas – 2,3211m snowshoe trek

Sunshine! Snow! Lab paid nights in hotels!

It was our annual lab ski/snow/winter trip this past weekend and we went, as always to the massive resort of Lenzerheide/Arosa. Located in the east of Switzerland, it is massive, they advertise over 225 km of ski pistes, have great off piste skiing, winter hiking trails, cross country skiing,,, you get the picture. I had been hoping to ski this year but every attempt left me with numb toes and a swollen knee (seeing a new sports medicine today so everyone cross your fingers they tell me what is causing my pain), so I had some snowshoe treks planned. The first option got cancelled because the one gondola was shut down, so I went for option two; Piz Scalottas. A cute summit with an epic panoramic view, and well worth the uphill slog.

Route map with both summits labelled

Route map with both summits labelled

It’s located at the south end of the valley and after an annoying bus transfer down the valley I headed up the first chairlift to around 1,750m. I started out a bit depressingly on the paved road, but transferred to the side of the ski piste, red, so apparently I can snowshoe up way steeper than I can ski down, yay! The rough route is below, but the app would only let me highlight the summer route so the snowshoe trek was a bit different. After making most of my way to the saddle on the piste I headed north and transferred up to the ridgeline. Most of the way was bravely going where no one had gone (within sight of the ski piste lol), but the solitude, un-tracked snow, and sound of the wind filling my ears was relaxing. There was a mini summit, pt 2251, and then more ridge line to the actual summit which unfortunately had a cable car, and fortunately did have a delicious restaurant.

Route on the topo, courtesy of swiss topo

Route on the topo, courtesy of swiss topo

It was a very satisfying tour. It was tough, and required me to focus on my feet, my balance, and I didn’t slip once which was cool. I kept control of my pace instead of worrying about catching up with anyone, it was sunny and fun though 550hm on snowshoes is quite a bit, and breaking trail most of the way made it even harder. I was pleased to do it in a reasonable time, with a good frame of mind, and enjoying every minute. I have been working on some mental training exercises that I got from the book by Eric Hörst; Training for Maximum Climbing. I get all excited to go, packed, up, train, get going and then bam, all of a sudden ‘it’s too hard, eugh I can’t do it, why am I here, blah this is too hard’. Then I spend about as much energy walking up the hill as I do engaging in the mental battle to continue driving myself to go up the hill. Energy which I shouldn’t be wasting! I have been working on it, but I really saw a lot of improvement in this thinking positive, enjoying the challenge and the struggle, and just the whole process. The mind holds you back way more than the body! Or at least mine does anyway 🙂

View of Piz Scalottas and the South West view from the Rothorn Bahn.


Another view from the winter trek down the Rothorn.



About adventuresunplugged

The world is a really cool place. I moved to Zurich almost three years ago to start my PhD, and have really enjoyed the different opportunites living close to the Swiss alps offered. This blog is about some of my adventures, climbing, mountaineering, rock climbing, traveling... life in general! Wow, haven't updated this bad boy in some time! While the above is still true I have gone on to finish the PhD, so that is Dr Unplugged to you. I also have landed a job in Switzerland and will be shortly moving to Geneva. Clearly I have some adventures ahead left to explore with you guys along for company!
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