This proved to be one of our favorite hikes EVER. Among the highlights:
A completely cloudless blue sky day with a perfect high temperature of 70 degrees.
A 5,000 foot climb in about 4 hours.
Wall above Selden, Switzerland
Close-up encounters with waterfalls; the mist felt so good during the uphill climb.
Far away shot of the waterfall we walked right next to three times on our hike
Views down to the darling Steinbock Inn.
View down to Steinbock Inn
Views back to the Kanderfirn glacier across the Gasterntal valley.
View back to Kanderfirn glacier
A 15 minute traverse across what we thought was a rock field, but halfway through realized was a glacier with a rock layer on top of it.
A climb (and descent) on a narrow ledge along a cliff wall, complete with steel cable bolted to the cliff for assistance.
Absolutely the most expansive views we’ve had on the trip. The Alps were laid out in front of us to the south from the Bietschorn on our far left, panning across the tall, snowy peaks of Weissmies, the Monte Rosa group, the Matterhorn and on and on clear over to Mont Blanc on our right.
View from 350 meters above Lotschen pass
A 30 foot slide down an arm of the glacier when we took a wrong turn on the way down (note: lean back on your backpack to slow yourself down so you don’t crash into the rock ledge below). Chivalry is not dead; Mark went first in case the snow caved in along the way. For those of you who know of his claustrophobia, you can imagine how big a gesture this was. Sorry, but the adrenaline from this little excursion must’ve clouded our thinking; we didn’t think to get any pictures from the scene of the….ahem, fun.
LÖTSCHEN PASS is a very old pass, first mentioned distinctly in 1352, but probably crossed previously by the Valaisans who colonized various parts of the Bernese Oberland. In 1384 and again in 1419 battles were fought on it between the Bernese and the Valaisans, while in 1698 a mule path (of which traces still exist) was constructed on the Bernese slope, though not continued beyond owing to the fear of the Valaisans that the Bernese would come over and alter their religion.
But another source says that humans have traversed this pass since BC times. Impressive.
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