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Hut to Hut in Berner Oberland

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new member
Apr 27, 2015 - 3:27 AM

My partner and I will be in Switzerland in late July this summer. We intend to do some hut to hut hiking and are looking for a little advice, particularly about snow levels and routes. This is our current plan for the hike portion:

Day 1. Murren to Gspaltenhorn hut

Day 2: Gspaltenhorn hut to Bluemlisalp hut

Day 3: Bluemlisalp hut to a mountain hotel on Oeschinen Lake

We are both in our late twenties and in decent shape. We've done a teeny bit of backpacking in the past and have completed some pretty sizable day hikes in the past (but zero experience with snow or rock climbing) We have a few questions. I know this is a very specific area we are looking at, but we hope someone will have experienced something similar.

Will we be running into snow with this plan?

Is there anyway to shorten the hike on the first day. On the website for the Gspaltenhorn hut it mentions it takes 2 hours less to hike from the Schilthorn than from Murren. We definitely aren't interested in hiking down the Schilthorn, but what about from Birg or something similar?

Any general advice/itenerary adjustments that you might suggest?

Thank you in advance for any help that you can offer!

16017 posts
expert &
Apr 28, 2015 - 5:37 AM

Hi OregonRain,

Welcome to MySwissAlps! Late July is a good time for this kind of hiking. Nevertheless you may be running into a bit of snow in the sections above 2500 m or so. Most of the trails are well below that though. You need solid water proof hiking shoes and trekking poles.

I don't see a way to significantly shorten day 1, other than staying in the Rotstockhütte instead. You can indeed start from Birg, but you'd have to descend 600 m to get to the trail, instead of ascending 400 m from Mürren.

General advice can be found on myswissalps.com/ hiking/preparation and myswissalps.com/ hiking/etiquette.

Further information is here:

Last modified on Apr 28, 2015 - 1:32 PM by Annika
7567 posts
Apr 29, 2015 - 1:57 AM in reply to OregonRain

Hi Oregon Rain.

I recall that Oregon has bit of rain, indeed.

I have traveled a lot in Switzerland, but have not done hut-to hut hiking. Too old now, but i envy you the opportunity.

I don't know anything about those hikes or huts from personal experience, but I simply wanted to compliment you on how well organized your questions are. It is nice to see that you have done your homework.

Book knowledge follows -

I have read that the descent from Hohtürli (at 2778 meters) has a lot of scree on the upper parts of the trail, but have no experience to convert that reading to knowledge about how much it will slow you down.

According to Kev Reynolds book (Walking in the Alps) the descent is particularly tough on the knees....about 1600 meters down to Kandersteg. There is a lift down from the level of the Oeschinensee, to ease the last part.

He also relates the time he had to follow a herd of cows down that trail, during the fall descent of the herd from the alpine meadows. Made the trail a bit more difficult .. ;-(

That occurred much later in the year than you will be there.


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