Hiking the Swiss Alps of Adelboden and Pontresina

31 August 2015

The day begins clear and cool this morning. Again. There have been no complaints from any of us about the wonderful weather we are having.

We depart OurChalet shortly after breakfast and travel by bus from Adelboden down the valley to Frutigen then up the next valley to Kandersteg. There, autos and buses board the train to be taken through the Lötschberg Tunnel to the Lötschental Valley.

Loading vehicles on to the train.
Loading vehicles on to the train.
View of the Lötschental Valley.
View of the Lötschental Valley.

We take a leisurely walk through the village of Blatten enjoying its old buildings and architecture. The Lötschental valley is known for its unique local custom involving the Tschäggättä: frightening figures wearing furs and carved wooden masks.

The Tschäggättä.
The Tschäggättä.
The Lötschental valley.
The Lötschental valley.

Most of the group hike along the river to the lower villages while the “walking wounded” travel by bus to the upper end of the valley where we get a grand view of Bietschhorn. I think we have the better deal.

Local crafts adorn the village buildings.
Local crafts adorn the village buildings.
A flower pot holder with the face of the Tschäggättä.
A flower pot holder with the face of the Tschäggättä.

There appears to be a light dusting of new snow on the shady north slopes of the peaks. There were some clouds and showers yesterday—mainly across the higher peaks—so this seems likely. It makes for very photogenic mountains.

Advertising on the local market.
Advertising on the local market.

We regroup at the Lötschental Museum in Kippel but learn that it is closed for the day. Whoops! A passerby makes some phone calls and a short while later they open the museum for us but we have to pay the regular admission plus a a special opening fee. We agree it would be worth it. And it is.

Interior of Kippel village church.
Interior of Kippel village church.
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Lötschental Museum Kippel
Large postcard in the museum with caricatures for the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks.
Large postcard in the museum with caricatures for the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks.

On the drive back to Adelboden we convince our bus driver to stop at the COOP food store in Kandersteg for some essential items that seem to be missing from the meals at OurChalet. He obliges. Woo-hoo!