Time: 9.25h. Up: 1480m. Down: 1360m.
Distance: 20.5km. Difficulty: medium.

Previous Stage  Section  Next Stage

Stage 37: Lenk (1068m) to Gsteig (1184m)

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

Along day again with two passes to cross instead of the usual one, but these are much lower than those of the last several days. You are coming to the end of the Berner Oberland and the land is changing: although still imposing, the mountains are lower, and with fewer or no glaciers.

The first pass is a grassy saddle, and the second is wooded, very different from the barren stone ridges you have become used to, but not less beautiful... and in aggregate not less tiring. That at least doesn't change: you'll still be tired and hungry at the end of the day.

Gsteig, the charming village where you will spend the night, is just a short distance up-valley from glamorous Gstaad, with its hairdressing salons, manicurists, dog-walking services, and haute-couture boutiques. Compared to this, the H2H feels like it is at the other end of the world.

Three stages from now, you'll be in Montreux, which is very similar to Gstaad... and then, as you mingle with the jet-set and the culture tourists, how will you feel? At home among them, or apart? Perhaps with something like the combat soldier's thousand yard stare: a look that says, “I have seen and done things you cannot imagine....”

Today's hike follows the same trails as the Via Alpina. Head west from Lenk via Holieb up onto the beginning of the Wallegg ridge. However, you'll soon bear right to cross the Wallbach and then climb steadily but not steeply via Undere and Obere Lochberg to the Trütlisbergpass (2038m). On the far side follow the signs down to Lauenen (1238m). At the main road, turn left and then after 500m right to head towards the next pass -- Chrine (1659m). From there it is just a couple of easy kilometers downhill to Gsteig.

Alternatives: you can shorten the day by taking the cable car up to the Betelberg (1943m). From there head southwest and then fork right twice to rejoin the main route about 1.25h later just to the west of the Trütlisbergpass (saves 2.75h, +750m, 3.5km). If the weather is bad, consider taking a day off... it isn't much fun to hike 10+ hours in the rain.
Map: ST-263T Wildstrubel.

The House to House blog... stage 37.

<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: have a picnic lunch at the Trütlisbergpass, and then grab a snack in Lauenen.
Dinner and overnight: there are only a few places to stay and eat in Gsteig -- 3 hotels and a couple of bunkhouses for groups. If you can't find anything, consider staying in Gstaad, where there are many more options -- you can take a bus or a taxi to your hotel in the evening, and then back to Gsteig the next morning. For a complete list of places to stay and eat in both Gsteig and Gstaad, see here.

Getting There and Back
Lenk: there is a railway station here (for schedule information, see the SBB).
Gsteig: there is a very infrequent bus connection to Gstaad, which has a railway station.
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Lenk, centered on Gsteig.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

Previous Stage  Section  Next Stage