In the 12th century, the alpine passes where important roads fir travel and trade from Italy to the north and on the other way. One of the more important passes was the Scaletta pass from Chapella in Engiadina to Davos. The val Susauna before the Pass is untouched and the passway is in the same shape as it was 800 years ago.
We took this fact as the motive for our annual camp. Beside the Comthurey Alpinum, we invited a couple of other Reenactors to join in the project. Target was to camp for four days like in the days of Barbarossa, and to climb the pass in historic gear with horses. From our campside close to the 11th century hospice it was around 900 meters of altitude difference and about 10 kilometres (linear distance) to the peak of the pass at 2606 metres above sealevel.
The campside was in the beautiful Val Susauna, next to the historic passway. In a small forest next to the river Vallember. A natural wall around the campside protected us from wind and potential attacks. Blanche planned four days of historic food, with groceries from the nearby villages. Sweet berries and herbs we collected directly in the surroundings.
We planned the climb of the pass on saturday, together with the local horse trekking Holosana from Chapella (the horses wore modern gear). Our guide Eva supported us best, and made sure also the not so skilled riders where able to make the 8 hour tour to the peak and back into the camp. The high medieval gear worked out perfectly. We where 6 horses on 14 travellers, so most of the people where walking usually. This should also have been so in medieval times. The turnshoes survived the walk over gravel, rocks and grass without any harm.
We proofed that a pass can be climbed in 12th century gear. In modern gear without horses, the trip can be made in 5 to 6 hours. With historic gear and horses it is a day trip to Davos, which matches exactly with the historic sources.
Further finding: The more authentic the gear is, the better it works. Simple turnshoes suffered no harm at all through the march, while turnshoes with glued on extra leater soles started to loose soles.