On the road with Marina
Sunrise on Piz Daint
Night still lies over the valley as we mount our hiking boots and headlamps on the Ofenpass. «Who's up?» asks Aita, who, as a native of Münstertal, knows the region very well. So of course she immediately qualifies as our mountain guide and skilfully guides us through the landscape in the dark.
We can't see much at the beginning - the first section leads through a small forest, past high rock formations on the Jalet. An almost eerie silence accompanies us the whole way, unusual to hike through nature in the dark. Caution is required in some places, as the path slopes steeply to our left. But soon we reach the clearing «Davo Plattas», where we have our destination well in sight. Directly behind Piz Daint is the moon, increasing and as if it were waiting for us at the top.
Steadily uphill under the starry sky we progress and approach the mountain, which belongs to the Umbrail group. The well-maintained hiking trail ends shortly before the traversal and from then on leads over a scree field at the foot of Piz Daint. «Füess lupfa nid vergessa!», our tour guide Aita only said and enlightened us on our way about the local mountains, traditions and most beautiful hikes in Val Müstair. When we reach the next hill, our headlamps have also done their job. The first orange tones of the rising sun already appear on the horizon and we start to climb the last metres to the summit.
With the summit cross firmly in sight, we fight our way up the last few metres - two steps forward and one back. The path is steep, narrow and relatively slippery due to the fine scree. And suddenly we are there, at the very top at 2,968 m above sea level with an incredible and almost infinite view over the valley and much further. The Ortler also greets us in the distance and the surrounding mountains glow reddishly towards us. «Beautiful» - it could hardly be expressed more aptly.
At 5.38 a.m. the time has come - the sun rises. The play of colours, almost hypnotising, puts a big smile on everyone's face and has probably burned itself into all our memories. Silence for minutes, the sight makes us forget even the low temperatures and the biting wind. Mountains as far as the eye can see.
Of course, the entry in the summit book must not be missing and a good hour later we slowly make our way back down to the valley. We take the same path, but in the daylight it shows a completely different side. Flora and fauna are impressive - besides various mountain flowers, some of which we have never seen before, an ibex and a species unknown to us cross our path. After some initial uncertainty as to what a frog is doing at this altitude, the animal tells us otherwise - it flies away. Laughing, we realise that we know the region like the back of our hand, but we are certainly not ornithologists.
After about an hour we are back at the Ofen Pass and enjoy a well-deserved morning coffee at the Hotel Süsom Givé. Our conclusion: the two-and-a-half-hour hike to Piz Daint belongs on every bucket list - whether by day or by night.
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Marina Gachnang completed her internship at the Engadin Samnaun Val Müstair holiday region in 2020/21. Since April 2022, she has been back as Product Manager Summer and Online Marketing. In her free time, she loves to explore the Engadin on her mountain bike.