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IX 2014 – Collecting in Val Giuv, Alps, Switzerland

 
      We (two of mi friends from the university and I) decided to make use of the last sunny days of our summer holidays and set off to look for minerals. This time our aim was a bit further than our close neighbouring Sudety Mountains that we visit very frequently – we went to Alps more specifically the Giuv Valey in Switzerland. That place is famous for the occurance of Alpine veins and quartz crystals that come from them. It was our second trip there – you can read the report from the first one here. After the first trip we felt the need of more Alpine minerals in our lifes :)
   We drove by car, we started from Wrocław in the direction of Germany, passed Dresden, Nurnberg, Munich and Vaduz and after about 8 hours we arrived to the Swiss town – Chur, from where we drove to Tujetsch. It is a town very close to the Giuv Valley.
   When we finally arrived we parked our car in the vicinity of the Valley, took our backpacks and set off to the mountains. After about 6h walk in the valley and a climb up the steep scree we reached almost the end of the valley. We put our camp at the level of over 2000 m ASL, close to the highest peak in the area – Piz Giuv which is 3096 m ASL. It was not as easy as it might seem. When we finally found a little area of flat land among screes and moraines we had to remove the snow which took another hour. From the camp we had a wonderful view to the whole valley and surrounding peaks. We spent the rest of the day resting and planning in which part of the valley we would try our luck searching the minerals.
   The next day we set off in the early morning to look for the Alpine veins and quartz specimens. The Giuv Valley has been known for its great specimens for many years and it attracts numerous mineral collecotrs both local and from abroad. Because of that is is very difficoult to find a vein that has not yet been discovered and worked. The majority are old exhausted veins with empty cavities within them. However sometimes after opening up such vein one might find some more cavities with quartz crystals. From time to time you can also find giant old cavities that were not 100% exploited by the previous collectors, because of their lack of time or equipment. We discovered a few such cavities and we managed to obtain a dozen or so of specimens – mainly smooky quartzes, among them some gwindels and also some adularia.
   We met a few other groups of collecotrs working in the area of our camp, they were proffesional strahlens that used heavy equipment such as hammer drills. Every morning for the 4 days of our stay in the mountains we were woken up by the use of explosives. They are very helpful in crumbing the local syenites and obtaining specimens, and the professional strahlen groups use them quite often.
We spent the next days penetrating the more remote parts of te valley, we also visited one big glacier. On the way there we found some more small cavities with quartz and feldspars.
   We spent most of the last day packing, picking and chooseing the specimens. Unfortunaltely because of the very limited space in our backpacks and a long way down the valley, we were not able to take with us everything we wanted. It is always the nightmare of a collctor when you can`t transport all the specimens you found ...
   After packing up our camp we set off to our car. Even though we went down this time it was a much more exhausting walk because of the weight of our backpacks. These were the last days of our holidays and I think we used them very well. Just after we came back home we returned to study geology and waitng for the next field trips :-)

Andrzej Korzekwa

 

 

Area of the excursion. Google maps.

 

We drove from Wrocław, Poland we drove to Val Giuv. Google maps.

  

On the way to the valley. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Our car had a small problem... A. Korzekwa photo.

  

But we managed to fix it! A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Finally we arrived to the valley. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

And we started our walk up. P. Kenis photo.

  

We were going higher ... A. Korzekwa photo.

  

... higher ... A. Korzekwa photo.

  

... higher ... A. Korzekwa photo.

  

... higher ... A. Korzekwa photo.

  

... higher ... A. Korzekwa photo.

  

... higher ... A. Korzekwa photo.

  

... higher ... A. Korzekwa photo.

  

... and higher. P. Kenis photo.

  

Finally we arrived to the spot where we planned to make a camp. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

We had to clean the snow to pitch a tent. P. Kenis photo.

  

We had to clean the snow to pitch a tent. A. Korzekwa photo.

 

Our camp surrounded by snow. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Finally, our tent is ready and we can eat something A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Our camp. P. Kenis photo.

  

We spent the next days looking around. What a beautiful area! K. Kułaga photo.

  

Beautiful views! K. Kułaga photo.

  

Area in the vicinity of our camp. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Area in the vicinity of our camp. K. Kułaga photo.

  

Area in the vicinity of our camp. K. Kułaga photo.

  

Area in the vicinity of our camp. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Area in the vicinity of our camp. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Area in the vicinity of our camp. P. Kenis photo.

  

Area in the vicinity of our camp. P. Kenis photo.

  

Area in the vicinity of our camp. P. Kenis photo.

  

Area in the vicinity of our camp. P. Kenis photo.

  

Area in the vicinity of our camp. P. Kenis photo.

  

Area in the vicinity of our camp. P. Kenis photo.

  

Area in the vicinity of our camp. P. Kenis photo.

  

Area in the vicinity of our camp. P. Kenis photo.

  

Small pocket zone in the area. K. Kułaga photo.

  

Small pocket zone in the area. K. Kułaga photo.

  

Small pocket zone in the area. K. Kułaga photo.

  

Huge pocket we found during our previous visit. P. Kenis photo.

  

We returned to look for the spcimens as we knew there are some more left. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

It was really big. P. Kenis photo.

  

Quartz crystal in the pocket pictured above. P. Kenis photo.

  

Working in the pocket. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Here it is! Big gwindel! P. Kenis photo.

  

Here it is! Big gwindel! P. Kenis photo.

  

Big plate with gwindel. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Andrzej with big plate. K. Kułaga photo.

  

Soon after we found another big pocket. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Another big pocket. P. Kenis photo.

  

Some specimens from the pocket pictured above. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Some specimens from the pocket pictured above. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Some specimens from the pocket pictured above. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Some specimens from the pocket pictured above. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Nice plate. K. Kułaga photo.

  

Cool closed gwindel. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Smoky quartz cluster. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Smoky quartz cluster. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Freshly collected feldspars and quartzes. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Freshly collected quartz specimen. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Freshly collected quartz specimen. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Feldspar with quartz. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Feldspar with quartz. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Time to go back to the camp ... A. Korzekwa photo.

  

... and pack the goodies. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

It was a great evening. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

It was a great evening. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Beautiful sunset. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

We started rthe esarch again the next morning. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

We started rthe esarch again the next morning. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Andrzej looking for geodes. K. Kułaga photo.

  

Looking for the specimens. A. Korzekwa photo.

 

  

Looking for the specimens. Note the aplite veins. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Looking for the specimens. Note the aplite veins. P. Kenis photo.

  

Looking for the specimens. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

And finally we found some new pockets! P. Kenis photo.

  

Andrzej checking out the pocket. K. Kułaga photo.

  

Quartz crystals in situ. P. Kenis photo.

  

Quartz crystals in situ. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Calcite crystals in situ. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Eventually it was time to go down. The most difficoult part was to pack our specimens and pick the ones worth taking home. P. Kenis photo.

  

We did not like it, but we had to leave some of them... P. Kenis photo.

  

Even though it was not easy to go back to the car with the heavy backpacks. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Going down. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Going down. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Going down. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Going down. A. Korzekwa photo.

  

Going down. A. Korzekwa photo.




  Comments

Thank for for the splendid field trip! I share you enthusiasm for collecting, if not your current level of energy.
Seeing the mountains and difficulty of the collecting location makes me appreciate even more the specimens you have collected.
destravlr
2014-12-02 22:57:20

Awesome!

You could have come home empty-handed and I still would have been impressed. :-)
coniferenviro
2014-12-03 23:22:57

Very nice report and nice photos as usual. Next time I wll be in Poland I would like to visit you !

Alessandro
italianminerals
2014-12-23 13:04:01

Hi Guys! Thank you very mich for all the nice words about our reports, it makes us want to write more :) Alessandro - you are most welcome to visit, just let us know by email when you`d be planning on visiting Warsaw.
Greetings!!!

tomek (admin)
2014-12-23 22:57:46


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