Time: 9.25h. Up: 1370m. Down: 1610m.
Distance: 20km. Difficulty: hard.

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Stage 35: Oeschinensee (1593m) to Adelboden (1348m)

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

Another high pass, another long day... but if your legs are starting to feel weary, take heart, for if not the end then at least a major interim goal and cause for celebration is in sight: five stages from now you'll be in Montreux, lounging in luxury by beautiful Lac Léman!

But for now you hike. Start the day with a descent into Kandersteg -- a good place to stock up on provisions -- and then take a long but not particularly difficult climb to the Bunderchrinde pass. On the far side the trail drops steeply for an hour and then follows an easy walk downhill almost all of the rest of the way into Adelboden.

Unfortunately it is only "almost all" and not "all", because Adelboden lies about 100m above the Allebach River... on the other side. If it will help soothe the urge to curse, think of Montreux.

Like most towns and villages in the Berner Oberland, Adelboden lives primarily from tourism (although, as one can see all around, traditional activities such as forestry and farming continue... albeit perhaps only because of subsidies). It is not uncommon for there to be several hotel beds for each local inhabitant, and to find tourist/local ratios of 5:1 in summer and even 10:1 in winter. According to the official website, Adelboden's 3,552 inhabitants take care of 18,751 tourist beds, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a room tonight!

Today's hike follows the same trails as the Via Alpina except for the detour to Ufem Stutz. At the western end of the Oeschinensee take the path down and alongside the Öschibach into Kandersteg (1176m). Cross the Kander River and the railway, then walk south up the far side of the river for a couple of kilometers before climbing to Usser Üschene (1621m). From there a steep trail leads via Alpschele (2089) to the Bunderchrinde pass (2385m). On the far side descend to the restaurant at Bunderalp (1760m), then take a slight detour to the spectacular outlook point at Ufem Stutz (1678m). From there you drop down to and cross the charmingly named Bunderlebächli stream and descend via Eggertli to the Allebach River. The aforementioned unwelcome climb up the far bank brings you into the center of Adelboden.

Alternatives: 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. There are a couple of ways to make the day easier. You can save your legs on the initial descent into Kandersteg by taking the chairlift down (signposted -- about 20 minutes around the mountain northwest from the Oeschinensee -- saves just under 1h, 2.5km, -350m, and you have to climb about 90m to get to the top of the chairlift). In addition, you can take the chairlift south of Kandersteg up to Undere Allme (1723m) and cross the ridge north of the Bunderchrinde at 2411m just under the Bunderspitz. The path rejoins the main route about halfway down to the Bunderalp (saves 2.5h, +510m, 7.5km).
Maps: ST-264T Jungfrau, ST-263T Wildstrubel.

The House to House blog... stage 35.

<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: plan to have a picnic lunch, and then a snack later in the day at the Bunderalp restaurant.
Dinner and overnight: there are many restaurants and places to stay in Adelboden (for a complete list, see here).

Getting There and Back
Oeschinensee: there is a railway station in Kandersteg from which you can either hike all the way up to the Oeschinensee (1.5h, 3.5km, +350m), or walk five minutes to the chairlift and take it the rest of the way up (for train schedule information, see the SBB).
Adelboden: you can catch an hourly bus from Adelboden to Frutigen, where there is a railway station (for both bus and train schedule information, see the SBB).
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on the Oeschinensee, centered on Adelboden.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

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