Statistics: 15.7 miles ascent: 2154′ descent: 4748′ Pass # 12: Trüttlisberg, Pass #13: Krinnen.
Our hosts laid out a sumptuous breakfast for us while they provided meticulous directions for today’s trek to Gsteig (not far from Gstaad). Because of the continuing rain, they suggested that we begin with the spectacular Betelberg gondola from Lenk to Leiterli and avoid a lot of mud and dripping trees. We took their advice, which caused us to begin the day’s hike at the top of the gondola run, Leiterli. From this point on we found ourselves walking through fields of beautiful heather.
The heather fields soon changed to undulating limestone hills and occasional narrow ridge trails with small craters on either side of the trail.
The misty conditions and the limestone gave the appearance of a snowy winter’s day! After an enjoyable morning’s uphill climb, we came to Trüttlisberg Pass.
At the pass we had to navigate our way through muddy, rough pastures. However, as we began to move downhill after the pass, we were met by lovely, green meadows on our way down to Lauenen.
Lauenen was a picturesque little village. Once again, we were very wet and hungry. Our first attempt to find warmth and sustenance was a failure in that when we found a local restaurant and peered in, the people inside were not pleased to see two bedraggled, tired hikers in very damp attire. We smiled and backed out of the door. Fortunately, our next attempt to enter another restaurant was met by folks who encouraged us to come in, sit and dry off. Warm food and drink arrived at the table quickly! After this midday meal we left Lauenen, crossing the Louibach stream and climbing up toward our second pass for the day, Krinnen Pass.
We hiked by hillside hay fields with small, ancient barns where animal feed was stored.
The ascent to Krinnen Pass was long but not difficult, not the wild, steep, shale ridden passes with which we had become familiar.
The descent after Krinnen took us onward toward Feutersoey, a small village near Gsteig.
As we finished the day’s walk, we realized that the terrain had definitely changed. We had finally traversed the Swiss alps which were now behind us! We had crossed the top of the world (or so it seemed at the time), dropped below the treeline and this night were staying in a sizeable farm house on a working farm – our planned B&B. After three weeks on the trail, we had only three more days to our goal; the remaining walk would be through green valleys, high mountain meadows and scenic villages!