ADELBODEN TO FRUTIGEN
There are two possible walks linking these two towns, both high above the valley floor with excellent views. We attempted to walk both of them but in August 2006 there had been a "Steinschlag" or rockfall which closed a section of one of them. No doubt this will be repaired soon.
1) The "Spissenweg"
The outskirts of Adelboden on a rather wet morning in August 2006. Normally the Wildstrubel and its glacier can be seen towering over the waterfall at Engstligenalp.
We walked from Adelboden along lanes from Ausserschwand along the “Spissenweg” path. However, it will probably be more satisfying to walk uphill from Frutigen as the views will be better. The route to Frutigen should take about 4 - 5 hours.
From the outskirts of Adelboden the lane drops from about 1300m into the valley of the Choleren Schlucht (1282m). The paved lane ends at Egerschwand and then grassy paths are followed by a narrow path dropping to the Otterebach (1224m). There is a steep path up to Rinderwald where a sign said the path across Sackgrabe was closed because of a serious risk of a Steinschlag.
We headed down to the main road, where we caught the bus, at Unterachseten (1067m) along a tortuous paved lane. Here we met an American family who had walked up the Spissenweg from Frutigen and had to leave it on the other side of the rockfall. Around the Sackgrabe there are the addits of the slate mining industry which only closed in the 1970s. Beyond the Sackgrabe the path follows lanes before gradually descending to Frutigen.
On a better day the Sackgrabe gulley can be seen from the
opposite side of the valley with the "Spissenweg"
2) The old Adelboden road
Looking back towards Frutigen from Reinisch
We left Frutigen (787m) on the old Adelboden road; the signposts suggest about 4 h 15m to Adelboden. The lane climbs through Reinisch (866m) and then continues rising steadily across meadows and around small valleys to reach Elsigbach at 1319m.
En route to Elsigbach. Across the valley can be seen the "Spissenweg" path.
Refreshments are available at the hotel by the cable car station. The mini-bus to Unterachseten leaves from here but you need to ask at the cable car station if you want to use it. Beyond Elsigbach the lane becomes narrower before reaching a summit at 1346m and then steadily drops to 1201m at the bridge over the Engstligen river and the main road into Adelboden. The lane is unfortunately tarmac the whole way with light traffic on it but the views down into the valley and to the mountains are superb.
Dropping down into the Engstligen valley.