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Hike – Gasterntal


    Photo: Looking over the valley from the foot of the glacier.

    Through one of the most beautiful valleys in the Alps and up to a glacier.

    The Gasterntal (sometimes Gasteretal) is one the most spectacular valleys in the Berner Oberland. It requires only a little bit more effort to reach than the better known valleys and offers some of the most impressive and wild landscape in the region. Yet it remains fairly obscure, I first passed in when hiking over the Gemmi pass on the way to Kandersteg.

    Key Information

    Route: Hotel Selden – Uf de Schafgrinde – Hotel Selden.

    Length: 12.3km, +/- 950m.

    Date: 2016-July-03.

    Gasterntal map

    For more hikes in Switzerland see my list of hikes.

    Practical Information

    Season: Late spring to Autumn.

    Arrival/Departure: Bus to/from ‘Selden, Hotel Gasterntal’, runs from Kandersteg Station and requires a reservation in advance. Access by car requires buying a ticket and is time controlled to certain points past the hour (45-05 up, 15-35 down). Cycling is free but you still have to stick to the time plan.

    Supplies: Food and drink at the Selden Hotel.

    Alternate routes/shortcuts: You could simply stay on the valley floor and do a gentle loop on the footpaths. Something that has been on my to-do list forever is through Gasterntal and up and over the Lotschepass to Lötschental with a night in the Lötschepasshütte.

    Exposure/Hazards: Nothing beyond the usual.

    Despite being a beautiful Sunday in July the valley was almost empty.

    Notes along the route

    There isn’t a whole lot to say about the route. Initially a gentle start through forest and meadows, a long and more strenuous climb up to a view over the Kanderfirn Glacier, then back down. Everything you could want from a hike in the Alps.



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