SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

BACKPACKER PHOTOS

Email this page RSS feed
User rating:
-

Hike Switzerland's Via Alpina: Kandersteg to Griesalp

The Editors' Choice testing crew tackles the highest passes in the Swiss Alps.
  • The Via Alpina rises sharply out of Kandersteg, a village of 1,200 at 3,858 feet, before leveling off at Oeschinensee, a glacial lake at the base of a cliff.
  • Our route snakes through the forest along the left bank of glass-calm Oeschinensee.
  • Just past the lake, the Via Alpina gains elevation as it tracks along the base of a cliffband.
  • Oeschinensee is too beautiful not to stop and admire from every viewpoint.
  • Steve Howe winds through a boulder field above Oeschinensee.
  • With dramatic elevation gains and losses, and rough terrain like this boulder field above Oeschinensee, trekking poles are a must for the Via Alpina.
  • Shannon Davis hikes beneath a hanging glacier toward 9,114-foot Hohturli, the highest pass on the Via Alpina.
  • Kelly Bastone hikes atop a lateral moraine.
  • Hanging glaciers across the valley.
  • After gaining 2,600 feet since leaving Kandersteg, and with nearly 3,000 left to climb, we pause for a look back toward Oeschinensee.
  • Switzerland's scenery is so freaking gorgeous that it'll make you forget any ill-fitting pack or nagging blister.
  • Trekking ever upward toward 9,114-foot Hohturli.
  • After crossing Hohturli, the highest pass on the Via Alpina, Kelly Bastone grabs a steel-cable handline for support as she descends toward the tiny village of Griesalp.
  • The day's last rays hit the near-vertical peaks across the valley.
  • A Via Alpina trail marker guides us through a clutch of farmhouses near Griesalp.
The Via Alpina rises sharply out of Kandersteg, a village of 1,200 at 3,858 feet, before leveling off at Oeschinensee, a glacial lake at the base of a cliff.
Image 1 of 15

The Via Alpina rises sharply out of Kandersteg, a village of 1,200 at 3,858 feet, before leveling off at Oeschinensee, a glacial lake at the base of a cliff.

READERS COMMENTS

Page 1

I am a sixty year old female, have walked quite a lot, Lakeland peaks etc, but not hiked in Switzerland before,and wondering whether I could do this walk happily this August. Any advice would be welcome!If I did it I would be with five other people who are more experienced in these hikes than I am.
— Sam

Hi Sam,

I run a similar tour I call the Bernese Oberland Traverse. One of my favorite hikes ever. I have hiked it twice each summer for the past four years. Please feel free to give me a call at 1-800-903-6987 if you would like to discuss the hike or feel free to email me at info@rubiconoutdoors.com. Matt
— Matt Brown

I've hiked in Switzerland any times. The trail markers are post in time increments of a "leisurely walking grandmother." There are picturesque views like this everywhere. The Junfrau valley is riddled with cable cars and trams to take you to higher trail heads. Don't miss it.
— Josh

I plan on hiking the 100 mile route in June. Is there anything I should bring aside from day-today hiking equipment (rope and harness, crampons, etc)?
— Mike


POST A COMMENT

Your Name:
Comment:
My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Ladies, look at these Tevas!
Posted On: Apr 19, 2014
Submitted By: Franco
The Political Arena
Am I missing something here?
Posted On: Apr 19, 2014
Submitted By: High_Sierra_Fan

  1. How to Hang a Bear Bag--PCT Style

    This method is popular with ultralight thru-hikers and requires two materials ...
  2. How to Fit a Week's Gear into a Weekend Pack

    Don't own a massive pack for your big annual adventure? Here's how to make it ...
  3. Reclaiming Glen Canyon

    Photos by James Kay

TIP 6: Train for the Trail

The best way to train for any sport is to do it. Carry a full pack on your routine dayhikes–it's also a great way to test your gear.

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions