Time: 8h. Up: 1440m. Down: 1260m.
Distance: 12km. Difficulty: hard.

Previous Stage  Section  Next Stage

Stage 34: Griesalp (1408m) to Oeschinensee (1593m)

Click and drag on map above to see area around trail. Click here for large zoomable map.

Today you go over the Hohtürli, at 2778m the highest point on the Swiss Alpine Pass Route (although not the highest on the H2H). It is a relentlessly steep, exhausting climb and you'll be more than glad to see the Blüemlisalp hut just above the pass, where you can have lunch while admiring the eponymous glacier-covered massif to your south.

The descent, in dramatic contrast, is an unalloyed pleasure, taking you through a great variety of surroundings – from glaciers to barren shale-covered slopes, from boulder fields to high pastures, from rocky escarpments to forests, and finally to the largest, natural, and perhaps the most beautiful, high Alpine lake in Switzerland: the Oeschinensee.

If possible, you should stop here for the night. It will mean a longer hike tomorrow, but the sublime beauty of the setting is more than adequate compensation.

Today's hike follows the same trails as the Via Alpina. Head back up the valley and then climb westwards via the hamlets of Bundalp (Oberi- and Underi-) to the Hohtürli pass (2778m). The trail then descends via Oberbärgli (1878m) to the Oeschinensee.

Alternatives: none. If the weather is bad, take a rest day. Although there are no really exposed places, the length and steepness of the hike make doing it in the rain inadvisable.
Map: ST-264T Jungfrau.

The House to House blog... stage 34.

<A couple of representative photos from this stage will be added here after the hike>
In the meantime, click here to go to all of the H2H photos on Flickr.

GPS Track
<To be added during or after hike>

Room and Board Options
Lunch: the Blüemlisalp hut at the pass is a perfect place to have lunch... although you'll probably be hungry enough on the way up to have to stop for a picnic snack (I was!).
Dinner and overnight: there are two places to stay and eat at at the Oeschinensee: Berghaus Oeschinensee (+41-(0)33675/1166, 14 beds in rooms and 27 places in bunkrooms), and Hotel Oeschinensee (+41(0)33675/1119, 15 beds in rooms and 20 places in bunkrooms). If both are full you can continue on to Kandersteg where there are many restaurants and places to stay (for a complete list, see here).

Getting There and Back
Griesalp: there is a railway station at Reichenbach im Kandertal, from which a very infrequent bus goes to Griesalp (for schedule information for both buses and trains, see the SBB).
Oeschinensee: walk (1.25h, 3.5km, -350m), or take the chairlift, down to Kandersteg where there is a railway station.
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Griesalp, centered on the Oeschinensee.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

Previous Stage  Section  Next Stage