Kandersteg Survived – Not Quite Bankrupt Yet
The trip to Kandersteg was a fantastic success. I finally got out with Jessie and her Scouty pals on some reasonably high glaciers and even topped the trip off with a summit: the Hockenhorn. That was the first time over 10,000 feet for most of the children.
Highlights of the week included Walks up to Oeschinensee with the scouts and the Explorers. What an idyllic place this is. Even though it is an exceptionally easy access corrie thanks to the cable car, 5 minutes walking gets you away from the busiest “throngs”.
Here everyone was getting stuck into a bit of cold lake swimming.
Here’s granny giving it what for on the Rodelbahn – max speed 2 mph!
Yeah man we’re really extreme !!!
Jess gives it some welly jumping one of the many crevasses as the group learned the basics of using ice axe and crampons to travel glaciated country safely.
Next time I’m here; I wonder if I will have the fitness and the nuts to attempt the old Ogre itself? Despite the ever more rattly natue of this wall, it still has a fascination, stemming from the old stories of 1930’s epics.
The Explorers who were still standing enjoy an atmospheric hour at the summit of their first alpine peak, the Hockenhorn. It looked doubtful that we could get up at one point as the snowfield was bare and icy, and the scout centre in their “wisdom” had sent us out with ice axes but no crampons. Our guide was a lad from Hong Kong who had probably never seen snow before his training days in Switzerland. Luckily the “old fox” was able to pick a safe way through the scree below the snowslope and get the gang through.
As we descended from the Hockenhorn, the clouds began to break up more and revealed the almost Mars like landscape of the Lötschenpass (2690m). The geology of this area must be like a mystery novel.
The ascent of the Hockenhorn was the highpoint of the trip from a mountaineering point of view.