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Aug 4, 2013 | Mountain Adventures, Part 2: Ebenalp

A continuing series on mountain climbing adventures – the goal: one peak a weekend. See part 1

Altitude: 1,640 m
Weather: Slightly cloudy, but cleared
Path to get there: Zurich HB to Gossau, to Wasserauen and gondola to Ebenalp.
Cost: 41.00 CHF with 1/2 Halbtax card, free 3dl drink at any Gasthaus on the mountain
Level of difficulty: 3
Hike time: 5 hours
Recommendability: Dramatic views, a lake below, and a great all around hike. Just a bit long to get to.

Left Zurich HB on the 8:09 train, with another RailAway offer that would get us the ride to and from for 41.00 and included a 3dl free drink. I was joining the “Z├╝rich fun indoor and outdoor Activities” meetup group and there were a good 20 or so of us who left together. We switched trains at Gossau (9:11) and then arrived at Wasserauen (10:11), at the foot of the Ebenalp mountain. The connection from Gossau to Wasserauen was longer than I expected, but we did pass through Appenzeller town. A gondola ride brought us up the Ebenalp station, where we visited the top and then made our way on the #9 route, as seen below. It was marked as a “challenging hike” and would take us 4 hours, but with breaks along the way it was around 2pm when we arrived at Mesmer to grab some food and rest. Along the way we passed the iconic Aescher-Wildkirchli with its small chapel as well as the Wildkirchli caves.

The hike itself was pretty challenging at times, but was a relatively uneventful walk. All along the way you’re hugging the mountain surface and making your way while looking down at the impressive valley. We spotted paragliders enjoying the thermals too. After a drink and an ice-cream at the Mesmer Berggasthaus (having debated how they got ice-cream cones up that mountain surface) we made our way down to Seealpsee, where there was some sort of alphorn festival. I wasn’t looking forward to the 3 hour ride back to Zurich, but at least I knew I could check off having visited an amazing Appenzeller peak.

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