Wednesday, 23 July 2008

2006 LENGENBACH - Our LGB Trip

We planned to travel to Binn Valley a long time ago, in order to spend some days there visiting the different quarries and deposits of the area and, also, make a visit to the already famous Binn Mineral Show, at the end of July. Finally, this summer we got to arrange a trip to the valley. After doing the trip from Barcelona to Binn in one day by car (about 1000 Km) we arrived to Ofenhorn Hotel in Binn, the most famous hotel in the valley. This old-time hotel, opened at the end of 19th century, still has an old-fashioned style, so our stage there was a great pleasure.

Next day we went to the Binn Mineral Show, always the last weekend of July. It’s a classical alpine-type show, with plenty of material from the area, that we can’t find in other bigger shows, like Munich or Saint-Marie-aux-Mines Shows. We saw a lot of material from the nearby Lengenbach quarry at a reasonably prices, and we could also speak with the well-known swiss photographer Walter Gabriel, whom an interview with him was published in a back issue of the Spanish version of Mineral Up, Revista de Minerales (vol.VIII, num.3, 2002). We spent the following days to go around the different places of interest in the valley. Binntal is actually very small, being basically three towns: Binn, Giessen and Imfeld, with some other very small inhabited places, being Binn the biggest of all with a population of only 200 inhabitants.

But, if you’re lacking of time to search minerals in the area, you can buy them in shops. We advise you to visit the Toni Imhof’s shop in the center of Binn, and the André Gorsatt shop in Imfeld. Even though both shops are focused on tourist material, they have a good offer for mineral collector’s.

You can find here cafarsite, cervandonite, asbecasite, senaite-crichtonite, tilasite, etc, all of them typical from the valley. Even more focused on tourists we have the MONIK shop in Imfeld.
On the other hand, most interesting is to visit directly the quarries. The most famous and interesting of them is Lengenbach; you can reach it in a 20 minutes walk from Imfeld. Even though entrace to the quarry is not allowed, you can find some good micromount material in the dumps. Dolomite there is really fresh and has a good potential of binnite, sphalerite, realgar, dravite and also some sulphosalts like sartorite and baumhauerite.

Just 100 meters west from Lengenbach we find Messerbach, another dolomitic quarry where is much more difficult to find something. We can say the same about the third quarry we visited, Turtschi, in the right side of the road from Binn to Giessen. If you are interested in a harder excursion like going to Alp Lercheltini (Gorb, Spiessen,…) we advise you to speak with an alpine guide, the most famous of them is André Gorsatt, who guides mineral-oriented excursions in the valley.
Last but not least, we want to pinpoint two small but very interesting mineral museums. First in Binn Museum, next to the Ofenhorn hotel where we find a good selection of minerals from the valley, especially a complete room focused in Lengenbach with 3D-maquettes of the different stages of the exploitation. Second, the private museum of André Gorsatt, on the surroundings of Imfeld, that surprised us for the big quality of the displayed minerals.

But if you prefer a good lunch after so many minerals, you can’t avoid a visit to the Restaurant Imfeld, in Imfeld of course, where Pius, the picturesque sthraler owner, will receive you with his savoir-faire and will allow you to take a photograph with his most showy self-found minerals.Finally, to close the trip with more mineral shows, going back to Catalonia, you can stop at Chamonix (first week end of August) or even at Narbonne in the same week end.

Joan Rosell & David Hospital


Puigmalet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Puigmalet said...

Some further material.

Benvinguts a la blocosfera, picapedrers!