The day we arrived for our cross country ski vacation in Kandersteg it was raining and slushy. So the following day, when our ski lessons were to begin, was pretty icy and the ski instructors recommended we hold off for one more day until there was fresh snow. Surrounded by majestic mountains, we couldn’t let the day pass us by. We bundled up and headed out for what turned out to be eight miles of hiking in the snow.
There was a lot of stopping to map. There was a lot of searching for trail markers. There was a lot of very deep snow and steep hills. More than anything there were some of the most breathtaking vistas any of us had ever seen. We stopped and stared in awe more times than we could count.
We stopped at what seemed like a good point to take a break since there was a sign in several languages indicating there was danger of avalanches. Luckily, Ryan thought ahead and filled our bulletproof (yes, “bulletproof” was the best selling point the salesman could come up with at the outdoor store) thermos with coffee. We sat on icy boulders and sipped coffee while we took in the view and the fact that we were really hiking in the Swiss Alps!
We continued on our way stopping to take in the beautiful views and the fresh crisp air. It was sunny and cold. The think fog moved over the valley and then over us, changing the light and shadows, creating new sights as new mountain peaks were exposed.
We followed what we thought were trails. We were sure that at some point during the year the areas where we were hiking through were actually trails but this was not one of those times and when the snow came up to our knees at one point, we decided to turn around. Next, we found the directional sign to the panoramic overlook. We dragged ourselves to the stop of the snowy steps carefully avoiding the ice.
And, it was worth it! Normally, hikers can take a break looking down over the town of Kandersteg but on this day, it was probably even more incredible. The fog that lay over the town created the sublime view you can see below behind Ryan (at this point, Ryan would say that he was pretty sublime himself. He would not be wrong.)
The pictures do not do this hike justice. There was no way to capture the immense peaks draped in fog and simultaneously bathed in sunlight. We were all in awe for most of the morning. The hike that was meant to kill time until we could ski turned out to be a fantastic experience in itself. It is some thing we will never forget.
After we hiked back down the mountain and found a little cafe for lunch, we headed to the lift to take a ride up to see the lake on the mountain opposite where we had hiked all morning. The picture below is just about half way up!
The picture below on the left is Ryan being goofy and blocking the pretty lake behind him. The lake wasn’t frozen over yet but when it does there is ice fishing. The lake is where the four-kilometer super scary toboggan run begins so we ended up making this hike several times during our trip! The picture on the right was taken on the way back over to the lift when the sun was setting causing the mountain peaks to glow. Breathtaking.
We ended the day after more than eight miles of hiking in the snow with another walk by this pretty little church surrounded by the fog that set the atmosphere for the whole day.