Route: Lauenensee

Area: Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

Date of walk:  20th June 2019

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 9.5 miles

Ascent: 800 feet

Weather: Cloudy at first, gradually improving

The final day of our walking holiday in the Bernese Oberland, arranged via Inntravel, got off to a bad start. We awoke to heavy rain and thick cloud, and the weather forecast was for more of the same. Our original plan had been to walk from our hotel on the outskirts of Lauenen and climb up to the Hohn Wispile ridge, which has panoramic views

We decided to buy some time, and save some climbing, by reversing the route. We took the bus from Lauenen to Gstaad and, after walking past some expensive designer shops, arrived at the base station of the Wispile cable car, on the edge of the town. The weather was miserable. It was raining quite heavily, and there was no sign of an improvement. We hopped on board the cable car but as it gradually ascended the hillside conditions worsened, there were no views at all, and we began to contemplate returning to base and abandoning the idea of a walk

We disembarked at the top station, at a height of over 6,000 feet, to assess the conditions. Whilst they weren’t promising, at least the rain had stopped and we could see the surrounding mountains. It was game on, and so we set off along the grassy ridge with low expectations, assuming we’d be overtaken by more rain. By great good fortune the weather improved as we progressed, the clouds gradually lifted from the lower valley (enveloping us at times), and we enjoyed some wonderful views – even more enjoyable in view of our gloomy predictions

We eventually arrived at the Chrine Pass, where we had to decide whether to descend back into Lauenen, where we were staying, or to extend the walk by continuing to Lauenensee. In view of the ever improving weather we opted for the latter, which involved an ascent and a descent to the shore of the lake. There were some wonderful views of the massive Tungelschuss waterfall tumbling down the cliffs as we followed the easy paths

Eventually we arrived at the head of Lauenensee. We could have turned left or right here – either path would have brought us to the foot of the lake. We turned left and followed the lakeshore path, which eventually met up with the quiet road leading back to our hotel (the highly recommended Hotel Alpenland for anyone looking for a base in this area)

It had been a wonderful climax to 6 days of walking in the Bernese Oberland

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