18-Nov-2000 -- On a frosty Saturday afternoon we set out to this
confluence in Switzerland, which can be reached by an easy walk. (at
least that's what we thought, before we got there) Since we had no
operating GPS receiver at our hand, we had to rely on a map from the
Swiss Federal Office of Topography (Schuepfheim, No 1169, 1:25000).
Lucky enough nearby the confluence a lot of distinct landmarks could
be identified which made it possible to get into the required range of
100m. We used the
online program supplied by the Office of Topography
to transform the WGS84 coordinate into the Swiss Grid CH1903. A point
on a Swiss map can be referenced to this system with a precision
of a few meters. At first we were confused by the fact that the 8E 47N
confluence which is also printed on the map did not agree with our
calculations. Mr. U. Marti from the Office of Topography explained us the
reason for this discrepancy: the grid printed on the border on a Swiss map
does not agree with WGS84 system and the online program gives the correct
answer related to the CH1903 system.
To get into walking distance of the confluence we had to use Uwe's
off-road limousine. Rumors has it that the ride in the car was the main reason
to undertake this adventure, at least for one of the participants. For the
others it was a beautiful journey into the alpine uplands of central Switzerland.
The confluence is located on the very steep slope of the Goldbach river gorge.
To get as close as possible to the confluence we used the corner of the forest (photo #6)
as our local reference point. This points by itself was already in the 100m range
of the confluence as our map showed. From there we counted our steps to the
confluence and declared solemnly a tree as the confluence 47N/8E. In doing
so we had to be extremely careful not stumble on this steep slope and to fall
down into the gorge. The first snow in this winter added another difficulty to get
to the point. It's questionable if a GPS receiver would have been of any help in
this area. The actual point is located in a thick forest, which made it difficult to
get some decent photo shots. We tried our best.