At the Urnersee lake, Suvorov was unable to proceed any further as the French had seized all boats. So the ViaSuworow follows the route of the Russians from Altdorf into the Schächental valley, where cobbled cattle tracks bordered by drystone walling lead to Biel-Chinzig.
On 26 September 1799, Suvorov arrived with his troops in Altdorf. The threatening mountains and gloomy ravines faded into the background on the broad valley plain. However, not the entire army had made it to Altdorf, and many soldiers were exhausted from the exertions. Hunger compounded the situation. The supply train had stayed behind, and the French had largely plundered the country. The fifth stage of the ViaSuworow is, first and foremost, dedicated to Switzerland's national hero, starting at the Tell monument in the centre of Altdorf. The bronze statue, inaugurated in 1895, presents William Tell with his crossbow shouldered together with his son, Walter. After a short walk through the old town and past the industrial area of Altdorf, you reach Bürglen after about half an hour. The beautiful Marienkirche of "burgulione" was first mentioned in a document in 817. The name Bürglen comes from the Latin burgus (castle). Right next to the church is the Tell Museum. Continuing through residential quarters and along dry-stone walls for another hour, you arrive at Brügg. There was no way for Suvorov to march from Altdorf via Flüelen directly to Schwyz or Lucerne. The lake would have been the only connection, but all the ships had been taken away by the French. Therefore, despite overtired troops, he set out for Muotathal the following day. The night of 27 September was rainy and cold. At higher altitudes, there was even some snow. Remarkably, Suvorov ordered his exhausted and starving troops over the pass, given that the equipment, especially the footwear, had also been severely affected on the way to Altdorf. Today's hiking boots are much more comfortable. For about 45 minutes, the trail leads along the Schächen valley to Gründli, where the occasionally steep 900-metre ascent begins. Scenic paths and cattle trails, partly enclosed by old dry-stone walls or a stile fence, climb to an altitude of over 1,600 metres above sea level. Along the way: magnificent views over the Reuss valley and the surrounding peaks of Tödi, Gross Windgällen and Gross Spannort. The stage ends on the sun terrace at Biel-Chinzig. *Background information and quotations stages 55.1-55.9: Alois Camenzind (1992), Maultiere machen Geschichte oder Suworows Krieg in den Schweizer Alpen im Jahre 1799, Luzern: Verlag Pro Libro Luzern GmbH