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Hike to Hotel Obersteinberg in Bernese Oberland

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NateB
NateB
8 posts
new member
Aug 15, 2020 - 6:20 PM

I'm continuing to plan a trip to the Jungfrau region, now delayed for at least a few summers. My wife and I will stay in a Wengen chalet for a week in late July / early August. But we'd like to end the trip with two nights at a Berggasthaus. I'm particularly interested in the Hotel Obersteinberg, but I have questions about getting there.

I understand that there are two main routes to the hotel from Stechelberg: one that heads right up to the ridge (passing the Tschingelhorn hotel), and another that stays longer in the valley. (See the attached hiking map.) I know that both ways have steep sections, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how difficult they are. (I've found more info on the route from Gimmelwald via Tanzbödeli, which we're not planning to take.) Could someone who's done these hikes tell me how they compare with some of the more well known trails in the region? E.g., are they more difficult than, say, the Schynige Platte to First hike? Also, we would probably do the upper and lower routes as a loop. Is it better, in terms of difficulty or scenery, to go in one direction rather than the other?

Any other tips you have on staying at Obersteinberg would be appreciated.

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Anna
Anna
944 posts
top member &
moderator
Aug 15, 2020 - 7:18 PM in reply to NateB

Hi NateB,

According to the Swiss Alpine Club portal, both routes are considered T2 in terms of difficulty. You can find more details about the mountain hotel here: www.stechelberg.ch/schlafen-und-essen/berghotel/berghotel-obersteinberg.html and here: www.alpenwild.com/staticpage/obersteinberg/

Perhaps there is someone from the forum who could share their personal insights or experience.

Regards,

Anna

Last modified on Aug 15, 2020 - 7:18 PM by Anna
NateB
NateB
8 posts
new member
Aug 16, 2020 - 8:18 PM in reply to Anna

Thanks, Anna -- I hadn't seen the SAC page. I also found a youtube video showing part of the hike up: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YL4TbzsWRs .

If anyone else has info or tips on getting to (or staying at) Hotel Obersteinberg, I'd welcome it.

Best,

Nathan

Anna
Anna
944 posts
top member &
moderator
Aug 17, 2020 - 6:20 AM in reply to NateB

Hi Nathan,

Amazing the kind of videos you can find on the Internet. You might like to check this video out if you haven't yet: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggoD7xyOgqc

Gives you an idea about the hike up to Obersteinberg from Stechelberg via Tanzboden I think.

Regards,

Anna

kim11
kim11
498 posts
top member
Aug 17, 2020 - 2:53 PM

I've hiked the high route (via Tschingelhorn) probably 20 times so quite familiar with it. I've come down the lower route once, many years ago. And Tanzbödeli route once as well. My thoughts:

1. The high route has a quite steep pitch upon leaving Stechelberg but the path is well maintained and without exposure. It goes on for quite a bit but once you are through that section the going isn't nearly as steep.

2. The lower route has shorter, less steep sections. The overall route is longer than the high route, as of course you can tell from the map

3. Neither of these routes is as challenging as Schynige Platte to First. The terrain is easier to navigate and the routes are much shorter. For example, the high route can easily be done in 2 hours.

4. If you want to do a loop (good idea), I'd go up the high route and down the low. The long-ish, steep pitch up from Stechelberg is rather tedious to go down.

5. Good choice to avoid Tanzbödeli. I say that only because I have a considerable fear of heights and the section just around Tanzbödeli has lots of exposure.

6. If you want to extend your hike or take a short day hike during your full day at Obersteinberg you can hike up to the Oberhornsee. The "See" looks like a large lake from the valley floor but, in fact, it is a rather small pond. I'm not saying it's not worth doing, just keep your expectations in check!

You have probably already learned this from your investigation but Obersteinberg Hotel has no electricity, only cold running water in the shared toilets, no showers.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7535 posts
expert
Aug 17, 2020 - 4:58 PM in reply to NateB
NateB
NateB
8 posts
new member
Aug 17, 2020 - 6:05 PM

Thanks, Kim, this is exactly what I was looking for! I think we'll try the loop in the order you suggested.

I'm sure we'll add on the hike up to Oberhornsee while we're at the hotel. And, yes, I knew about the electricity/water situation -- all part of the adventure.

Slowpoke, thanks for that link.

Nathan

davidheiden
davidheiden
1 post
new member
Aug 17, 2020 - 6:25 PM

I've visited Obersteinberg several times, and there's a fourth way down - past the lake and around the other side of the valley. It's a bit longer, but easier than the one past the dance floor (if you go all the way up to Murren). The only thing is to check that the path is clear of snow. Your chance of seeing Ibex is better if you go up to the top of the valley.

Good luck - great place!

David Heiden, San Francisco

NateB
NateB
8 posts
new member
Aug 18, 2020 - 1:04 PM

That looks like an interesting route, David. Might be too long a hike for our plans, but I'll think about it.

Mschwalbe
Mschwalbe
20 posts
new member
Aug 19, 2020 - 1:06 AM in reply to NateB

Hi NateB,

Reading all the comments from the other travelers, and looking at the youtubes makes me relive an amazing hike that I did last year!! I probably cannot add much constructive advice, since the others, have provided great information. When we (we were two) did the hike in June 2019, we had a very long day, but one of the best I can ever remember!! We had slept at the Rotstockhütte, so we first had to hike down the valley, then climb up again, to the Tanzboden area. From there, on this ‘high route’ all the way to the Hotel Obersteinberg, are nonstop spectacular breathtaking views!!!! The Obersteinberg is fantastically charming!! Yes indeed, no electricity! We had the best sausage soup there! We then continued to try and make it to the Oberhornsee. It was only mid June, and the trail was officially closed due to snow. We nevertheless continued and finally found the frozen little lake. The views around us were majestic. My heart touched heaven!!! From there we had a long haul to get back down to Stechelberg. Let me tell you, our legs were tired!

We had planned to go back in June 2020 for another 8 days of hiking, in this corner of paradise! I had spent endless happy hours planning every single trail and hut. But CoVid19 forced us to cancel that dream. Maybe one day….

I wish you a fantastic time and hike!!!

Monica from Montreal, Quebec, Canada

NateB
NateB
8 posts
new member
Aug 19, 2020 - 1:16 PM in reply to Mschwalbe

Thanks, Monica, I hope you make it back there soon! (By the way, I was at McGill in the late 90s -- love your city.)

Mschwalbe
Mschwalbe
20 posts
new member
Aug 20, 2020 - 12:13 AM in reply to NateB

Oh how cool!! I actually met my husband at McGill - we've been married 36 years! The hike I described last year was with one of our daughters (26 yrs old). So happy to hear that you loved Montreal! I really enjoy it also!! Once again, wishing you a fabulous trip and hike!!

Monica

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