Time: 9.75h. Up: 1450m. Down: 1770m.
Distance: 21km. Difficulty: hard.

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Stage 24: Elm (977m) to Linthal (662m)

Click and drag on map above to see area around trail. Click here for large zoomable map.

This will be a long, tough day, statistically the second most difficult stage after Buchboden, but made at least as difficult by the fact that the stages before and after are also long.

It starts off mildly enough with a pleasant path for several kilometers alongside the Sernf River, but then begins the long ascent to the 2216m Richetlipass. The descent is even longer, and initially very steep, so your knees will be bitterly complaining by the time you get to Linthal.

How much will they complain? Well, that will depend to a fair extent upon whether you have hiking poles, and the weight of your backpack... about which a short anecdote.

A couple of summers ago a brother of mine, who shall remain nameless, thought that because he was in better shape than the year before, he could carry more weight in his pack. That illusion -- and, among other superfluous things, the bottle of Bailey's he had brought with him -- did not survive the first day. It wasn't just his knees that were complaining... or if so, then they had commandeered his larynx!

There are roughly 2,870,000 steps on the H2H (1722km at 60cm / step -- short because of all the ups and downs)... I strongly recommend that you pack to make each of them as light as possible! You can see what I am planning to take here.

From Matt onwards, today's hike again follows the same trails as the Via Alpina. Cross to the southeast bank of the Sernf River and walk upstream for a few kilometers. When you come to a small road, cross back over to the other side of the river, climb a hundred meters or so to the "main" road, and turn left to walk along it. After several hundred meters an even smaller road, which turns into a path, climbs off to the right through Büel (1288m) to the tiny hamlet of Matt (1699m), and from there to the pass beyond Obererbs... sadly not the Richetlipass: that is even further. Beyond the first pass (2161m) you drop down to Wichlenmatt (2036m) before at last climbing to the Richetlipass (2216m). From there the trail drops steeply, at times secured by chains, into the valley of the Durnagel far below. Once there, follow the stream all the way down to the larger valley of the Linth, where a small road to the left takes you into the village of Linthal.

Alternatives: none. If the weather is bad, take a rest day. Although there are no really exposed places, the length of the hike makes doing it in the rain inadvisable (since the day will then be even longer).
Maps: ST-247T Sardona, ST-246T Klausenpass.

The House to House blog... stage 24.

<A couple of representative photos from this stage will be added here after the hike>
In the meantime, click here to go to all of the H2H photos on Flickr.

GPS Track
<To be added during or after hike>

Room and Board Options
Lunch: picnic -- and at least one hefty snack in addition!
Dinner and overnight: there are several places at which to stay and eat in Linthal (for a complete list, see here).

Getting There and Back
Elm: from Schwanden, where there is a railway station, regular buses run up-valley to Elm (for both bus and train schedule information, see the SBB).
Linthal: regular buses run from here down-valley to Schwanden.
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Elm, centered on Linthal.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

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