Today I get up at 04:50. I do not want to have the risk that I will get stuck in a traffic jam. The breakfast is ready as promised. Somewhat later 3 others enter, 2 guys and a girl. They will also go to Axalp, but somewhat later. I eat the breakfast as quickly as possible and leave the hotel.
Outside everything is covered in fog. Driving is quite difficult and I take a wrong turn several times. After a while I find the steep little road to Axalp. As expected I am not the only one. Soon, a long queue of cars is driving behind me. Now I have to pay attention that I do not go wrong here, because then I will end up somewhere behind all those cars.
Unexpected a lady in yellow jacket appears. She asks what my plans are. At first that seems a silly question but there are two possibilities: by chairlift and by car. For the car you need a special permit I do not have. Parking is possible in front of the chairlift. Soon we are waiting with a couple of people in the cold darkness for the lift to open in half an hour. Slowly it is getting a bit lighter. Some already depart walking.
De chair lift goes smooth. Everybody is helped into their chair with bag and all. The lift covers quite a distance and I am happy that I have waited for it.
Somewhat further, some high cliffs appear in the twilight. Is that where we have to go to? Leaving the lift you are standing in the mud and you can start following a line of people going up. The track is narrow and rocky. Twisting your ancle is very easy. During some 25 minutes the track goes up easy. Soon after that it becomes much steeper and after another 10 minutes we have to turn a corner and there appears a long and very steep path going up the cliff. Easily 45 degrees and a couple of hundred meters long. It looks like it was just roughly plowed. No one is going up easy here. Soon I decide to go from left to right and back instead of up in a straight line. Just like sailing against the wind. The distance becomes much longer this way but much less difficult. Luckily it has become lighter now. The climbing is really heavy, especially with all that luggage. I had heared horror stories before but this is really extreme and the end of it is far away. Far above me I see people walking.
30 paces climbing followed by a little rest. After a while we arrive at a staircase, followed by another hill, somewhat less steep but much longer. There is path in the snow now, that really helps. In the end you arrive at the top of the hill and then you have to walk a couple of hundred meters.
The track ends on the high cliff and the aircraft will fly later in the valley between this cliff and the one at the other side. But this is not before another couple of hours. It is quite cold here but luckily there is not much wind. I am completely soaked because of the heavy climbing, so first change clothes. The place where we are standing is sloping and covered with cow crap. Unbelievable that these animals come here.
All photographs of the airshow can be found here (Axalp Air Show 2011).
Maps, Charts & Downloads
GPS Map with color coded altitude information
Color coded distance/altitude chart
Download the original gpx file here.