(walked in 2001)
We spent the
next day on a train outing from Kandersteg to Oberwald on the Furka
Oberalp line before heading via Brig to Leuk. Here we caught the bus to
To say that the
road to this resort is spectacular would be an understatement, with the
road climbing hundreds of metres up hairpin bends, through tunnels and
over bridges across the gorge.
impressions of Leukerbad were of its magnificent location with the
Gemmiwand rock face towering above the town, but we were initially less
enamoured of it as a town. It is a now largely a modern spa town with
too much concrete and the inevitable large hotels. However, after a few
days stay, we began to like it a little more. It is certainly a
magnificent walking centre with cable cars giving easy access to the
The Gemmiwand rock face and the route up it as seen from Leukerbad
The path leading down to the Gemmiwand
We set off to
the Gemmi Pass by cable car. This rises from 1424m at Leukerbad to 2346m
at the summit in one enormous rise. Unbelievably there is a footpath up
the Gemmiwand, which has been hacked out of the almost sheer rock and
used as a mule path for many years. It is protected by fencing and is
apparently safe enough for children. It looks better to climb than to
walk down though!
The Valais Alps from the Gemmi Pass
At the pass the whole of the Wildstrubel massive and its glaciers become visible together with the entire panorama of the Valais Alps south of the Rhone valley. The Gemmi Pass path leads gently downhill the whole way from the summit to Sunnbuel just above Kandersteg, where there is another cable car into the Kander valley.
The Wildstrubel Massif from the Gemmi Pass
The Daubensee with Daubenhorn behind
The Daubensee lake was a popular walking destination on this day, the Swiss National Day. We walked downhill past the isolated Hotel Schwarenbach through spectacular high Alpine scenery. Itís spoilt a little by a power line but the Swiss donít worry too much where they put their pylons! Upon reaching the more open pasture of the Spittelmatte just above the Sunnbuel cable car station we walked back up hill to the Gemmi Pass, visiting the Hotel Schwarenbach for refreshments.
The path looking downhill towards Hotel Schwarenbach
Looking from Spittelmatte towards Sunnbuel and Kandersteg
The full walk from Kandersteg to Leukerbad via the Gemmi Pass can be found here