swiss.crossing - Stage 9/12

Stage 9 – Bern-Guggisberg – 29.8km (total 285.4 km) / 1'073m D+ (7'923m) / 6 bridges (61) – stone in the shoe 0 (5).

The one where I had a tough start, and where I saw some waterfalls.

All you want to know about the swiss.crossing Lake2Lake adventure, is here.

The departure from Bern is very harsch. I cross the district of Marzili then go up towards the district of Monbijou. I don’t have a lot of energy, and above all I have some worrying pains along my right tibia. I resist on, telling myself that it will pass, but this prevents me from enjoying this departure from Bern, even if it was nothing special, nor was the crossing of Köniz, a small town with residential areas.

And it is precisely after Köniz, when I leave the urban area, that my pain starts to pass, before disappearing completely. So I feel very relieved when I start the small ascent of the Mängistorfberg, on a very muddy path.

Then it goes down to a small valley, at the bottom of which flows the Scherlibach, that I follow during a few pleasant kilometers, more or less flat, in the forest. Small caves and waterfalls follow one another.

A steep ascent brings me back to a plateau, which leads me slightly downhill to the edge of the Singine (Sense River) gorges. 

There, it goes down steeply in the forest, to the edge of this river, which is a tributary of the Sarine.

The river has carved a canyon a few kilometers long in the molasse, a rather crumbly rock that is found a lot on the Swiss plateau, and of which most of the buildings of the city of Bern (or Fribourg) are made, for example. The path goes up the right bank of the river, in a pleasant undergrowth. After a confluence, the path is even dug in this rock, to go to a bridge. Of course, on the other side, you have to run up again and it is quite steep.

From there, from kilometers 17 to 23, the route goes up slightly on small hills, dotted with very small villages, and I finally reach the center of this Gantrisch region, the village of Schwarzenburg, where I take a break just when the rain starts, sheltered under a terrace of a closed establishment. Fortunately the rain does not last.

I only have 8 km left, but most of the ascent. I don’t stop for more than half an hour, and I get back on the road, passing by the castle of Schwarzenburg, and I enjoy a relatively flat area in the Dorfbach valley.

At kilometer 26, I start the climb, first on a paved country road, which becomes gravelled, then through some paths in the alpine meadows. The sky is still very cloudy, and I can’t see very far in this very hilly landscape, which seems quite open, and very green too.

The rain starts again, quite seriously, and when I arrive at the foot of the Guggishorn, I can either go around it to reach my destination quicklier, or go through to the summit. Obviously, even if it’s raining, I choose the summit.

And there, the ascent of the 29th km is particularly hard, in the forest, but it is at least not too long. I end up in an alpine pasture, under the rain, I avoid the dung, I get rid of some cows on the way, then I reach the foot of the Guggishorn. There is only a long steep ramp of wooden stairs left to reach the summit, which is 1'283m high.

Luckily the rain stops at this moment, so I can enjoy the landscape for a long time, even if the cloud cover doesn’t let me see as far as I’d wish. On the north side I can see the village of Schwarzenburg where I had my break, and then the whole way I made to get here. According to the information panel at the top, it seems that you can see Berne, Biel, the lake of Biel, the lake of Neuchâtel, and the peaks of the Jura. Unfortunately I can’t see any of this. But it’s still a nice viewpoint.

A short descent brings me to the village of Guggisberg, where I stay at the hotel Sternen, in a room with a balcony, which allows me to see the whole valley in which I will run tomorrow.

And I appreciate even more my nice room when one hour after my arrival a big storm breaks out and brings a lot of water and hail… I don’t feel like being outside… and it’s a foretaste for another muddy day tomorrow… When will my shoes be able to dry ? They have been wet for 5 days…

Lodging : Hotel Sternen, Guggisberg 

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To look at the planned route (zoom-in) for this stage, on the national swiss map, click here or on the map

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