Rätikon Höhenweg - Carschina- to Tilisunahütte

Our Circuit on the Rätikon High Trail

Start and End of our Circuit in the Rätikon Mountains was the Lünersee in the austrian Montafon. We started our hike there with a climb to the Totalphütte, continuing across the Schesaplana peak to the Schesaplana-Hut. From there we walked along the Prättigau Höhenweg towards the Carschina Hut. A shortcut brought us to the Tilisuna Hut, where we stayed two nights, before embarking on our last two trail days, of which the first brought us to the Lindauer Hut before we spent our last day walking back to the Lünersee.

We planned the fourth leg of our hike quite a bit different than it was suggestested in our guide. The previous day had been very hot and exhausting for part of our group, so we decided together that this day should be a short one. 

While the "original" Rätikonhöhenweg leads down into the valley to Partnun, and then around the Scheihenfluh, we decided to skip the part around the mountain and instead walk across the plateau above the Partnun-Lake. A short ascent over a "Fürgeli" should then bring us right up to the next hut, the Tilisuna-Hütte.

Since that also meant we had only two to three hours walking to do for the day, we took our sweet time for breakfast and didn't get going until 8:30. By that time the sun was already up again in the sky, and hardly any clouds to be seen. The first steps led us along the Rätikon-Höhenweg, but at the first fork in the road we left for our shortcut. The signpost at this intersection was quite something. It had to signs, proclaiming to go "left" to the right, and to go "right" to the left. But no destinations were given. Fortunately we knew already where we wanted to go. The path we chose now bought us close to the towering, steep rock walls of the Sulzfluh.

Along the trail we came across quite a few marmots really close to the edge of our path, so that we took a few long photo breaks. It almost seemed like the marmots enjoyed being photographed as they posed for cute pictures.

Soon the Partnun-Lake came into view in the valley to our right, and at it's edge the small village of Partnun that was the destination of the original section of the trail for today. The lake lay in there glistening in beautiful blue and greenish colors, with a little boat rowing across it. Quite picturesque.

We continued hiking, and suddenly Tim saw a chamois high above us in a patch of grass on the side of the mountain. It crossed the grassy patch at full speed and disappeared just as quick as it had ran into sight.

To get to the Tilsuna-Hütte we had three different paths to chose from. To our left a steep trail leading up into the rocky sided of the Sulzfluh and passing a few small caves. The middle trail, an alpine track, more or less straigh across the saddle in front of us, and a more gently rising path that lead up to the Fürgeli in a big semicircle.

Tim and I chose the middle path, while our companions chose the right one. The alpine track was beautiful with a few bits where we had to scramble up some rocks, and take big steps across cracks in the rock below our feet. Other than that it wasn't particularly hard to walk, but requires hikers to be sure footed.

Once we had almost reached the end our trail, we could see the other too coming up their respective path on the other side of the valley. We reached the intersection, where the paths joined again, almost at the same time, and then continued up the last few meters to the Fürgeli together. There was once again a sign telling us that we were now crossing the border to Austria again.

At that point we were surprised to already see the hut just a bit below us. We had expected a short day, but had not thought to reach the next hut quite as soon. Since we were so early we chose to sit for a while and watch the marmots, that were once again sitting around really close to us.

After our little break we continued on to the hut, and felt a little bit funny checking in at only noon. Since we were so early and had nothing much to do, we chose to walk down to the Tilisuna-Lake. One side of the lake is a pasture for cows, but the other side is fenced off, so we walked around to that bit and had a short dip in the lake. It wasn't all that exhilarating, as the bottom of the lake was incredibly muddy, and trudging around in the lake led to huge muddy clouds in the water. The lake ended up making us feel dirtier rather than cleaner, so we opted for a shower once we got back to the hut. 

The remainder of the day we spent playing card games, writing our hiking diaries and talking to other hikers we met at the hut.


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