Hiking the Swiss Alps of Adelboden and Pontresina

29 August 2015

At 0245, we get our wake up call and we are on the trail by 0315 so that we can make the summit of Bunderspitz (2546 m) by the 0645 sunrise. There is a nearly full moon with cloudless skies this morning and we don’t really need our headlamps for the uphill hike. The light from the moon makes the plunging waters of Lohner Wasserfälle appear as a ghostly silver ribbon appearing in a sea of darkness.

Bunderspitz.
Bunderspitz.

We take an easy pace so we don’t arrive at the summit of Bunderspitz too early—else we will be waiting for the sunrise in the cold.

Venus rising above the mountains in the morning twilight.
Venus rising above the mountains in the morning twilight.
Bunderspitz summit (2546 m).
Bunderspitz summit (2546 m).
First light on the higher peaks.
First light on the higher peaks.
Patiently awaiting the sunrise on Bunderspitz.
Patiently awaiting the sunrise on Bunderspitz.

As dawn approaches we watch the moon slowly set in the west and Venus rise in the east. Although the sunrise may have been 0645 the sun does not rise above the mountains along the eastern horizon until 0708. Since it is not windy the extra time on the summit is not uncomfortable and is spent in a meditative appreciation of the slowly unfolding sunrise.

The sun finally rises above the high peaks in the east.
The sun finally rises above the high peaks in the east.
Retracing our steps back down the mountain in the cool morning shadows.
Retracing our steps back down the mountain in the cool morning shadows.
Here at Bunderalp we gather our sleeping gear before returning to Our Chalet.
Here at Bunderalp we gather our sleeping gear before returning to Our Chalet.

We retrace our steps from the summit of Bunderspitz back to Bunderalp to gather our belongings—then take a side trip to Lohner Wasserfälle. Here, the air is chilled by the plunging water and is refreshing on this already warm morning. Also, the abundance of spray from the water has resulted in a splendid wildflower display. Trying to capture the wildflowers and waterfall in a single image—all of it in focus—became my goal.

Approaching Lohner Wasserfälle.
Approaching Lohner Wasserfälle.
Waterfalls and wildflowers.
Waterfalls and wildflowers.

Finally, we make a stop at a Bistro for a well-earned beverage and some food.