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Day 10 Wednesday 16.8.00

The Wilde Frau and Hohturli from the east

Thankfully, the weather was perfect with clear blue skies all day. We left Griesalp at 8.00am and were at the Hohturli by 11.50, well within the time expected. The path climbed up through woods to Bundalp where we had some milk. The milk container was taken out of the cold water in a water trough! Then we climbed on up a very step moraine ridge. 

The morraines on the climb from Bundalp to the Hohturli

Stephen found this a little difficult at first, but after a rest and a drink and some nuts found progress less arduous- obviously the body issuing a warning against dehydration and low energy levels. The path then went up one side of a rocky ridge using ledges and staircases with ropes to the Hohturli (2778). On the way up we chatted with a lone Swiss woman who told us that the Hohturli was a favourite of the Swiss president, who delighted in bringing up visiting dignitaries and the Press.  

The Hohturli looking down to Griesalp - the ladders can just be seen under the dark shadow.

In the end we found the climb to the Hohturli much less arduous than expected, although in poorer weather things would have been much harder. It would certainly be easier to climb from the Kandersteg side, although the height gain is greater than from Griesalp. However, the descent from the pass  to Griesalp will be more difficult than the descent to Kandersteg.

The view from the pass was utterly spectacular. We could look back to the Sefinenfurgge, forwards to the Bunderchrinde pass above Kandersteg, and of course dominating everything was the Blumlisalp and its enormous glacier.  We walked up the path to the high point of the walk at the Blumlisalphutte (2837m), put on the wooden clogs to go in the restaurant and had soup and bread. There were several serious mountaineers there with ropes, crampons and ice axes who were going further up into the mountains.  

The Hohturlihutte with Wilde Frau in background

Blumlisalp glacier from Hohturli

Looking along the ridge from the Hohturlihutte

Hohturli from the west

Leaving the pass the path zigzags down through scree for several hundred metres and then onto a lateral moraine past the tail of the glacier; a really desolate spot indeed.

Path along lateral morraine

Blumlisalp glacier and Rothorn

 Dropping steadily over grassy and rocky slopes we arrived at Oberbargli where we had more drinks at a café. Here the Oeschinensee came into view deep below the valley terraces, its waters a deep turquoise. The path then dropped down stone steps, with a wire to help in the few slightly exposed places, to the lakeside path. The lake is surrounded by cliffs on its south side, towering thousands of feet above the lake. 


After another drink in a café, and saying goodbye to a young Israeli man, whom we’d met several times since Murren, we walked down into Kandersteg. We felt elated; we’d cracked the Hohturli, one of the prizes of walking in the Bernese Oberland.

Rest day Thursday 17.8.00

We took the train to Thun and then the steamer “Stadt Thun” back to Spiez. The weather continued to be excellent with a marvellous panorama of all the high mountains; the Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau, Blumlisalp and Wildstrubel. After lunch in Spiez we caught the train back to Kandersteg. In the afternoon there was a brief thunderstorm.

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