Time: 9.5h. Up: 1890m. Down: 950m.
Distance: 20km. Difficulty: medium.

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Stage 27: Altdorf (458m) to Stäfeli (1393m)

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

Another tough day, with the longest climb of the H2H – it will take you around seven hours to reach the Surenenpass. Interestingly, it is not that the pass is particularly high, but rather that Altdorf, your starting point, is particularly low.

If it is any consolation, the Via Alpina, upon which this section of the H2H is loosely based, would have you go an extra two hours at the end of the day to the village of Engelberg. But the H2H is more humane and stops earlier at the mountain inn at Stäfeli. All hail the planner of the H2H !!

And while doing that, pray that you'll be able to reserve beds at the Stäfeli Berghotel, or one of the two other mountain huts nearby, when you call up a day or two before, because otherwise your alternative is... Engelberg.

Today's hike follows the same trails as the Via Alpina. Head southwest from the center of Altdorf and cross the Reuss River to get to Attinghausen (469m) where the long climb begins. Go up through Brüsti (1531m) past the top of the cable car from Attinghausen (see below), then climb to and along the Grat (ridge) to the Angistock saddle (2050m), and about 45 minutes later the Surenenpass itself (2291m). From there it is all downhill via Blacken (1773m) to Stäfeli.

Alternatives: if the weather is bad consider taking a rest day because although there is a less exposed route that avoids the ridge walk along the Grat, the hike is just too long to do when you are slowed down (and depressed by!) bad weather. To shorten the day, you can take the cable car up to Brüsti (leaves every half hour and saves 3.75h, +1060m, 4km). If you would like to avoid the ridge walk, you can go up past Brüsti to the Waldnachtersee and from there follow the path to the east up to the Surenenpass (time and distance about the same as the main route).
Maps: ST-246T Klausenpass, ST-245T Stans.

The House to House blog... stage 27.

<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: Berggasthaus Z'Graggen, 10 minutes after Brüsti, has a restaurant, but -- sad to say -- even though you won't reach it until after almost four hours of hiking it might be too early for lunch. The best thing to do is to take along enough food for a couple of picnic lunches (per person) and then if Z'Graggen isn't yet serving meals you won't be disappointed.
Dinner and overnight: the best alternative is Stäfelialp (+41-(0)41637/4511, 29 places in bunkrooms, excellent restaurant). If this should be full, another alternative is at Blacken (+41-(0)79642/3805, 30 places in bunkrooms) which shortens this stage by 1.25h, -380m, 4km, but lengthens the following stage by a similar amount and is reported to serve only simple (cold?) food. You can also eat and stay at Hohbiel (1673m -- +41-(0)41637/4137, 6 beds in rooms, and 14 places in bunkrooms), which you reach by taking the right-hand path a half an hour after Blacken (and the following morning continuing on via Äbnet (1670m) to rejoin the main route at Alpenrösli (1258m), with an option of taking a chairlift down from Äbnet). If all else fails, there are many places to stay and eat in Engelberg... two hours further down the valley.

Getting There and Back
Altdorf: there is a railway station here (for schedule information, see the SBB).
Stäfeli: walk about two hours down the valley to Engelberg, where there is a railway station.
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Altdorf, centered on Engelberg.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

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