This is the second of three trips that my daughter and I took, during our visit here in Switzerland ( we are still here, but coming back to the US tomorrow). Our first was to the Appenzell area, by Fälenalp and Fälensee.This region lies in the central to north easetrn part of Switzerland, not far from Austria. We got back from that trip on June 23rd, rested with family the following day, then headed south west, to the Alps in the Berner Oberland Region. These are the highest, most rugged of the Swiss Apls. Lots of Glaciers, lots of mountaineering and climbing; some of the most remote ( relatively speaking ) areas in this country. This region is home to some very touristy places, as other Bplers have pointed out, but then again, so is Yosemite Valley, it all depends where one chooses to go. The area we chose was frequented mostly by Swiss and German climbers. We took several trains and a Postbus near the Grimsel Pass, at about 1600 meters. Then we started up toward the Bächlital, at 2,500 meters. The trail was well marked and relentlessly steep. I would call this hike more of a scramble, for the most part.
Once we reached about 2,000 meters, we walked across a plateau of a receding glacier, rapidly filling with water from the melting snow. From there we saw the refuge we were heading to, perched another 500 meters up there. We crossed several melting snow fields, following somebody else's tracks. It was late afternoon and the snow was soggy and we sank to our knees in several spots. The last bit to the refuge was a pure scramble, some of it on all fours. At the refuge we were greeted by a group of climbers who had crossed the Bächlital glacier and had gotten there shortly before us. They had alerted the hut warden that there may be two more for dinner, as they had seen two little dots in the plateau. We had a great dinner of soup, mashed potatoes and Goulash.
The next day we headed back; this time the snow fields were frozen and in the steeper spots crampons would have been a good idea, instead we used our poles to carve little nooks in the ice.
We found these Apls to be much harsher, higher and rockier. No cows up there.
Libby crossing the Dam, the beginning of our hike.
Nothing but up.
Across the way from where we are ascending.
Looking up where we are heading.
Across the way.
We are now almost at the plateau of the receded glacier.
Some of the peaks north west of us.
Scramble to the refuge.
Bächlitalgletcher ( glacier), seen from the hut.
Next morning, as we head down, we look back up towards the hut.