Tuesday, 20 September 2016

St Moritz Trails Part 2: East of the Lake

Aka Hostel - Forest - Staz - Celerina - Via Grevas loop

After a few days of cloudy skies, the sun finally shone on St Moritz this morning. And with it I was reminded of just how good the trails are around here, and how even if I was to stay for months I still wouldn't have explored them all.

Suitable powered on muesli (I am in Switzerland after all) and sunshine, I set off in an attempt to link two out-and-back routes I did on my last visit, and make a more interesting circle loop of the best bits of the forests east of the town.

Terming the route 'the best of', however, would do St Moritz a major disservice - I'm discovering new 'best bits' on every run and there appears to be no end to the surprises on offer - and so I've gone for the somewhat clunker title above.

This trail is approximately 8km long, depending on your starting point, but with lots of opportunities for add-on options throughout. It's more undulating than the lake loop, with a long gradual drag back from Celerina, but is still not anything approaching mountainous. On the forest section you can keep to the wider paths (as I describe here), or take the more technical routes for added difficulty and variety.

Starting anywhere in town, head to the forest entrance at the end of Via Surpunt, just beyond the Youth Hostel. Take the wider main forest path as it twists and turns through the forest towards Lej da Staz, a pretty lake in the middle of the forest. 

Continue past the lake heading north (slightly left at the far end), again sticking to the main path, down the hill until you come to an intersection. Take the route to the left and continue, mostly downhill, until you reach the edge of the forest. Once Celerina (and the pretty San Gian church) is in sight, take a left turn just before exiting the forest along a narrower path. This path will lead to the forest edge again after a few 100 metres, not far from Celerina/Schlarigna station. 

Leave the forest, cross the railway line and take the path alongside it back towards St Moritz. This section is gradually uphill the whole way back, and follows the river and Via Grevas back to the town.

Once you spot the railway bridge, you'll know that the climb is almost done, and soon enough you'll you'll be back at Lej da San Mrezzan and some flat ground.

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