2013 Epic Sibling Adventure Via Alpina - V. Maggia

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26 posts
active member
May 12, 2014 - 7:29 PM

I used this forum to painstakingly plan out an incredible trip for my siblings prior to my wedding in Poland last year. Thanks to this forum and the amazing people at KISC in Kandersteg and the wonderful trail systems maps from myswitzerland, it was an adventure never to be forgotten. THANK YOU MySwissAlps!!! We had an amazing time and got tattoos of the Via Alpina trail marker (white/red/white)!

Our itinerary was thus:

July 6-10: Mountain Hostel in Gimmelwald. We did the via Ferrata in Murren (white-knuckled the entire time but worth it if you have a very big appetite for heights), Trummelbach Falls (I'd do this in a low seasons, it was too packed) via Stechelberg -- saw an old man mowing with a scythe, and some beautiful homes and gardens. At the Hostel, Petra and team were awesome, wonderful kitchen, restaurant nextdoor, and an excellent purveyor of jerky up the road we stocked up on before leaving for the pass. Only complaint: the flies and the terribly annoying wifi password process.

July 10: Hike to Rotstockhutte... unreal. The most incredible meadows and valley views my eyes have ever seen. The view from Bryndli and beyond words cannot describe. The wildflowers I recall often. Excellent food and service at the hutte (but $10/L of hot water? c'mon!)

July 11: Hike over Sefinenfurgge - the hike to Rotstockhutte and over this pass was by far the most beautiful and memorable of our stay (even more beautiful than the view from Gimmelwald which was hard to believe). It was very harrowing with the snow covering the descent and the stairs destroyed in the winter which we were not prepared for. It was thus a long day in the slow, careful descent and we didn't make it Bundalp as we planned. Instead we booked it for Kandersteg with the help of some kind people at the Hotel in the Kiental who gave us caravan rides to Reinbach (?) train station to get to Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC)

July 11-14 KISC was INCREDIBLE!!! Wonderful campsites, incredibly organized, helpful and friendly staff, excellent cafeteria food, affordable private kitchen and private sauna, hike to Lake Oeschinensee hike to Hotel Steinbock (a waitress who knew her beer), fun group activities, campfire. It made me want to be a kid again just so I could be a scout at KISC! I want to go back to KISC next visit to Switzerland.

July 15: Hike to Hotel Schwarenbach, cranky somewhat unfriendly inn-keeper, wonderful dinner, incredible views

July 17: Hike to Hotel Flaschen in Albinen -- wonderful owners, excellent group dorm we fully occupied, and hot showers, beautiful view, deck and big trampoline

July 17-21: Baracca Backpacker -- AMAZING couple, wonderful accommodation, excellent kitchen and dining area, amazing and beautiful location, secret waterfalls, beautiful gorge we swam in, cliff diving competition, day trip to Locarno. Only drawback was no restaurants with hot food anywhere nearby. Food at the famed grotto in Peccia was disappointing, but the ride and the views were not.

July 21 we left from the tiniest airport I've seen (with excellent security who were kind to us and all our backpacks) in Lugano.

Photo album here: https://www.wedpics.com/wedding/Nzc4NjI=/album/sibventure

I calculated a budget ahead of time for all of us who were students or on a tight budget and we stayed within it thanks to Co-ops, cold cuts, cooking in kitchens, and all the cost analysis I was able to do thanks to this forum, KISC, and the internet. I'm happy to share our detailed itinerary, links and plans.

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6099 posts
expert &
May 13, 2014 - 5:53 AM in reply to remyo

Hi Remyo,

Thanks a lot for posting a report about your wonderful adventure! Great to read, and I am sure others will be inspired by it as well. I'm glad to hear MySwissAlps was part of the preparation for this trip. You have seen some of the most beautiful parts of the Swiss Alps, but there's still plenty left for a future trip. Now that you got the trail marker tattoos there's really no other choice than coming back for more hiking :-)

The place where you boarded the train to Kandersteg is called Reichenbach im Kandertal.

For other readers, here are a few links to the hotels and hostels you've been staying in:

Last modified on Jul 13, 2018 - 12:12 PM by Arno
474 posts
top member
May 13, 2014 - 7:06 AM in reply to remyo

I really enjoyed reading your report and seeing your photos. Thank you so much - I'm in a happy mood after all this :)!

483 posts
top member
May 13, 2014 - 3:13 PM


Thank you so much for the awesome trip report and pictures. Bummer to hear about the steps down back side of Sefinenfurge, those have been a big help since they went up a few years ago. That is quite a breath-taking descent, isn't it?

Also thanks for the tip about Hotel Steinbock. We're off for another adventure in August and are trying to decide between Steinbock and Hotel Gasterntal. The tip about the waitress knowing her beer put us over the Steinbock edge!

Thanks again,


26 posts
active member
May 13, 2014 - 7:20 PM in reply to kim11

I'm glad to hear everyone's enjoying the trip report.

Kim -- Stefinenfurge was unbelievable. We were in awe, silent, for hours of the ascent and decent, taking it all in. Re: Steinbock, we didn't stay there, but just had lunch there. I'm not sure if the waitress in question will still be there, but I found the grounds far more cozy and charming than Gasterntal. I think Gasterntal gets a lot more touristy traffic as well since it's easier to get to than Steinbock, though I liked how they didn't have electricity and kept things old school. The waterfall views from Steinbock from that stream-lined garden patio is reason enough to stay there :)

483 posts
top member
May 13, 2014 - 8:22 PM in reply to remyo

Thanks, Remyo, that is very helpful. That was the conclusion I drew from the pictures but you never know. If the waitress spoke English she was likely the owner. I've got word out to the folks at Steinbock now.

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