In the Alps #3

The “Into the Alps” photo series are snapshots from various trips we have taken in the Alps. Although the photos are primarily in black and white, they aim to show the natural beauty of the Alps in areas which may be of interest to others. We hope you enjoy this series and that you follow us to be a part of the updates.

This photo was taken from Berghaus Schäfler with Säntis in the background (with the spire).  In the foreground is Altenalptürm, an  outcropping menace of limestone looming over an equally impressive trail (not for those with vertigo) which leads to Säntis.

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Hike – Gemmipass

In the heart of Switzerland, straddling the cantonal boarders of Bern and Wallis, is the Gemmipass. Famed for its treacherous south-face of switchbacks up a near 1000m cliff, and said to have been climbed as one of many routes over the Alps even earlier than 800AD. Like most passes, there are two sides to climb, and the north side is just as spectacular and perhaps recommended for those with vertigo. From Kandersteig, take Bus 241 to Talstation Sunnbüel, and the Sunnbüel lift to the top. From Sunnbüel, the trail is a well-marked T1 (yellow) rolling through hills, past farms, around a lake, up a hill and through a narrow valley before emerging up to the Daubensee which is said to be the highest natural lake in the Alps at 2207m. At Daubensee, the trail splits, and gives you the option of hiking the right side, a T2 mountain trail, or continues on the T1 before rising up to the Berghotel Wildstrubel perched on the edge of the 942m cliff of Gemmipass. We stayed the night here and enjoyed the views with the setting sun, rising moon, and expansive views of the Wallis Alps with the Matterhorn in the distance. This area is a hot spot for adventure seekers, opting to challenge their minds and bodies on the Via Ferratta along the cliff, or mountain climbing Daubenhorn, Schwarzhorn, or other peaks in the area. If you plan to stay the night at the hotel, and you have a few extra hours before dinner, we recommend the hike to Lämmerensee. From the top of Gemmipass you can hike down the intensive switchbacks, or take the gondola to Laukerbad. There are three main restaurants along the way if you desire a coffee, gipfeli, or a larger meal; Sunnbüel, Berghaus Schwarenbach, and Berghotel Wildstrubel.

Hike – Gemmipass to Lämmerensee

From the Berghotel Wildstrubel, on the edge of Gemmipass, hike westerly along the pass in the direction of Lämmerenhütte (SAC). The trail, a T2 mountain trail, will decline towards the start of the descent to Laukerbad (the strenuous part of Gemmipass) but will continue towards a flat valley once the trails crosses through an old military bunker via a narrow tunnel. From there, the trail follows the edge of a riverbed along talus slopes jetting upwards towards the Daubenhorn on your left. Across the flat expanse, the riverbed resembles the lunar surface more than a grey granite alpine valley. This area is nearly void of vegetation except for small flowing plants and lichen, and despite the uniqueness, there is beauty in its simplicity. The trail splits, to the left and upwards to the Daubenhorn summit, or continues straight in the direction of Lämmerenhütte. All around you are peaks, glaciers, and the riverbed. Near the back of the valley, the trail crosses a bridge taking you to the other side of the river giving you another fork which leads to Lämmerensee. We hiked this area at the beginning of September, and the Lämmerenhütte had already closed for the season. Out to the lake and back to the Berghotel Wildstrubel is about 2 hours.

In the Alps #2

The “Into the Alps” photo series are snapshots from various trips we have taken in the Alps. Although the photos are primarily in black and white, they aim to show the natural beauty of the Alps in areas which may be of interest to others. We hope you enjoy this series and that you follow us to be a part of the updates.

This photo was taken on the south side of the Alps from the village of Belalp.  The fences reduce the chance of an avalanche and the jagged peaks emerging from the clouds is the southern spine of Gross Fusshorn (obscured).

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In the Alps #1

The “Into the Alps” photo series are snapshots from various trips we have taken in the Alps. Although the photos are primarily in black and white, they aim to show the natural beauty of the Alps in areas which may be of interest to others. We hope you enjoy this series and that you follow us to be a part of the updates.

Here is a view from Mt. Titlis.  I believe these peaks are Pfaffenhüöt and Gross Wendestock.

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