On the road with Marina
Hike to S-charl
Snow – the fine ice crystals that make winter so beautiful fall in large quantities in Val S-charl. However, the side valley of Scuol is not only blessed with lots of snow in winter, but also with a wonderful tranquillity. Apart from the white splendour that covers the impressive mountain world, there is not much to see here, because the road is closed to motorised traffic in winter. At this time of year, S-charl is only accessible by horse-drawn sleigh or on foot and offers a welcome change from the hustle and bustle on the slopes. If you are looking for peace and a little distance from everyday life, this is exactly the right place. After all, where better to switch off than in nature?
Wrapped up thickly, we set off. From Sasstaglià our hike begins in the direction of the former miners' village and leads us, past sparse forests, rocks and the Clemgia River, further and further into the valley. The river forms the border to the adjacent national park. Here it can happen that chamois, deer or other inhabitants of the Swiss National Park find their way into Val S-charl in search of food. Since the National Park is closed in winter to give the wild animals the necessary rest during the harsh winter months, you should definitely stay on the trail. But with these amounts of snow, you do this voluntarily, because it would only be difficult to move forward if you had to walk the whole way in metre-deep snow.
The hike from our starting point to S-charl takes about two hours. However, it is better to allow a little more time, because you will stop and be amazed more than once on this idyllic path through the mountains of the Lower Engadine. Further and further into the valley, we follow the path, which meanders gently upwards between the gigantic mountains. So far we have not met a soul. Only the «Schlittrada da S-charl», which runs the horse-drawn sleigh rides as official passenger transport to the village, crosses us halfway along the route.
While the first half of the winter hike is in rather open terrain and rocky surroundings, the route changes the closer we get to the village. Trees surround us and line the path until shortly before S-charl. The tranquillity makes us forget the time. But it is not absolute peace. With a light wind in our faces, the rushing of the stream and a few chirping birds in the background, we take the last few metres under our feet and finally arrive in the village. The view back makes us fall silent for the last time. The Piz Pisoc and the other surrounding mountain peaks present themselves majestically – covered in snow in the last rays of sunshine of the day.
Marina Gachnang will complete her internship at the Engadin Samnaun Val Müstair holiday region in 2020/21 and will work at the guest information desk and in the content team at the Scuol location. In her free time, she loves to explore the Engadine on her mountain bike.