Mineralien Surselva, Patrick Reith
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Strahlen 2017

The season 2017 started much earlier than usual for us Strahlers in the Swiss Alps. When we first hiked up to our bivouac at the beginning of July to see if the winter and the ice had left any damage, we barely trusted our eyes. The glacier was almost free of snow and on the south-facing pillars some new rock areas were already exposed. Our guess (and hope) was confirmed! Since we also had the outrageous luck to be the first on site, we found two open clefts at our first visit. It was a new zone with unusual paragenesis of ilmenite, chlorite phantoms and slightly smoky quartz crystals. After this surprisingly easy and fast success, we decided to dedicate the year 2017 to the glacier edges - which should turn out to be a wise decision.

However, this kind of Strahlen had a great catch: Due to the extremely hot temperatures, alternating with heavy rain and thunderstorms, it was hardly possible to spend a few days at a time in high alpine terrain. In addition, the permafrost left the northern walls (not only) at the areas where we are supposed to prospect. Rockfall was our constant companion there. At a cleft with beautiful but small Gwindel and Fadenquartz a whole pillar collapsed right next us within seconds. The falling stones showed how close success and tragedy can be - and which road (down) a Strahler would have taken if the pillar collapsed just a few Meters closer to us. In the end, we cancelled our tour in this area, even if the temptation was high. It will probably take some patience and a cool summer to continue working there ...

In any case, it was a brilliant summer, also because Tobi, who had the whole summer free! Unfortunately, everything went over too fast ...