Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hiking in Kandersteg

On August 5th we decided to hike to Lake Oeschinen which is located above Kandersteg.   We started our hike in Kandersteg, which is located northeast of Vevey, in the German region of Switzerland.  It took us about 2 hours, by train, to reach Kandersteg. 
There were 16 people from Nestle on this hike, which is by far the largest group to participate in any of our adventures.

Kandersteg is located on the northern side of the Bernese Alps at an altitude of 3,937 feet above sea level at the foot of the Lotschen and Gemmi Passes.  It is surrounded by high mountains. The Balmhorn (12,133 feet), bordering the canton of Valais on the south, is the highest in the valley; it is followed by the Bluemlisalp (12,018 feet), east of the village. The Gross Lohner (10,004 feet) is the highest summit between the Kander Valley and the valley of Adelboden on the west. The Hohturli pass (9,115 feet) on the east connects Kandersteg to Griesalp in the Kiental valley.

One of the many Swiss Chalets in Kandersteg.

One of the many mountains surrounding Kandersteg.

The hike form Kandersteg to Lake Oeschinen takes about 3 hours.  Some of us decided to ride the cable car to the station at the top of Oeschinen Mountain and then take the 30 minute walk to the lake.

When we reached the top of the mountain, we realized that there was a toboggan run located right next to the cable car station.  So we all had to take a turn.  Paula liked it so much that she went for a second ride.  The toboggan run is 2,460 feet in length, with many curves.  If you don't use the brake, (too much), which is located between your legs, you can go really fast.

In the winter the toboggan run is increased to 2.5 miles and runs from the cable car station to the lake.  I hope we can make it back during the winter.

On your hike to the lake we came across these very contented Swiss cows.

This is the group that decided to take the 30 minute hike to the lake from the cable car station.  

In the front left is Karissa, to her left is her brother Nicolas, behind him is their dad, Juan.   Then from left is Jen, Jodie, Paula, me and the ever-present Swiss cows in the back ground.

Arriving at Lake Oeschiene.

Lake Oeschinen, situated 5,178 feet above sea level, is one of the largest Alpine Lakes in Europe.  This pristine mountain lake is fed by the glacial brooks of Bluemlisalp (12,018 feet), Oeschinenhorn (11,438 feet), Frundenhorn (11,054 feet) and Doldenhorn (11,936 feet).

The group that hiked from Kandersteg (which took about 3 hours) met us at the lake for lunch.

In the front is John.  Behind John's right shoulder is Jodie.  To John's left is Patty, Jen and Paula.  To Paula's left is Maria and Manuel.  Behind Jodie, in the orange shirt, is Ankur.  To Jodie's left is Ash and Kathleen.  Behind Kathleen is Karissa, Nicolas and their mom Laura.  Behind Paula is Juan and Roman (Karissa's and Nicolas' brother).

After lunch, most of the group decided to hike part way around the lake to get some better views of the lake and the mountains.

At the end of he day, everyone was tired, so we all took the cable car from the top of the mountain to Kandersteg, where we would catch the train back to Vevey.

On the walk back to the train station, we noticed this small church.  The sun was such that it was casting a beam of light directly on it.  An awesome sight!

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