Val Strem - amethyst, titanite and wonderful smoky quartz
The Val Strem is the longest valley in the Tujetsch mountains and very diverse in terms of mineral deposits. Above Sedrun, it stretches from the Druntobel to the mighty Oberalpstock.
The landscape with the waterfalls and the surrounding peaks is a high light as well as the minerals that can be found here.
Up to the Stremser Horns and the Oberalpstock it is a long way and the weather plays an important role in the daily planning because of the height (over 3000m) and seclusion.
The Druntobel marks the beginning of the valley, looking into the valley on the right side. This erosion area is crossed by some zones containing water-clear quartz in vertical clefts. Although a cleft in the Druntobel is not always easy to follow, because the rock is incredibly discarded. Thus, we are already in the big problem of this locality: The whole area is basically built up of loose rock, sand and earth – meaning an extreme danger of rockfall! When it rains, stones fall every few minutes on their way down to loosen numerous other rocks - it is sometimes difficult to dodge. For this reason, the Druntobel is relatively little committed and shunned by some Strahlers. In addition to quartz (also shaped as Gwindel) and bright smoky quartz rare beautiful green Titanite were found, which reached several cm in length. Furthermore, this extremely mineral-rich area is known for beautiful zeolites, adular, apatite, epidote and calcite. All in all, more than 40 different minerals have been counted in Druntobel so far.
Behind the Druntobel on the right side Cuolm da Vi and Piz Pardatschas are located. In this area we could find so far beautiful quartz crystals, smoky quartz and Adular. These are clefts in slate rock, they occur again and again in the steep grassy edges. In the lower part predominates Adular and quartz and from approx. 2300m one finds predominantly smoky quartz in classical clefts of the region.
Continuing along the ridge, you reach the Stremser Horns via Piz Ault. From this mountain ridges in the following directions: To the northwest to Oberalpstock (the Stremser horns), to the southwest to Piz Gendusas and to the east to Piz Acletta.
Quartz, amiant, prehnite, milarite, titanite, epidote, pyrite, calcite and smoky quartz have been found on the Stremser horns. Rarely does one also see pink fluorites from Val Strem. Below the Stremser Horns is a rocky hill called Calmut. These cliffs are traversed by the Syenitzone, and thus the mineral deposits resemble those of the Val Giuv. According to Parker, quartz, adular, apatite, titanite and beautiful milarites used to be found here. This rare beryllium mineral occurs in up to 3 cm long and beautiful crystals. At the end of the valley are Oberalpstock and west of Witenalpstock. Furthermore, in the front, west, part of the valley (Alp Caschle) beautiful finds of smoky quartz could be made. The Val Strem also has a special occurrence. In the lower part, amethysts have been found for many years that are partly perfect in color and lustre. Since unfortunately the whole zone is relatively discarded, almost never undamaged crystals can be found.
I have just described the well-known localities, which are by no means the only places where you can find minerals. Actually, one has to say that the entire area of Val Strem is well worth it. Those who invest time and work and are not afraid to go long distances can always come up with a surprise!