One of the most scenic lakes in the Alps, Oeschinensee is a beautiful if popular place to explore. It is easily accessible by catching the train to Kandersteg, and then taking the Oeschinensee Cable Car up the hill.
Walking through Kandersteg I wasn’t expecting to see Buddhist monks walking past the Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche Kandersteg, a beautifully simple church.
It’s 20-30 mins walk from the cable car to the lake, but I escaped the crowds by taking the path into these lovely woods.
After a steep climb I got my first glimpse of the lake.
It was very hot, over 30C, so I stopped in last bit of shade to eat some food and 20 people walked past me. So much for avoiding the crowds… I had a nice view of the lake and glaciers above though.
The views then opened up, though even with a wide angle lens it was difficult to fit both the lake and glaciers in.
Checking the map I managed to find with my telephoto lens Fründenhütte SAC. This is an alpine hut 2,562m above sea level, in front of the face of a glacier. What an incredible place to stay though its quite a hike to reach it.
At the end of the loop track was the inevitable cafe and herd of Swiss cows, Oeschinensee is definitely not a wilderness experience!
I then walked part of Fründenschnur, which is the track to reach Fründenhütte SAC. I reached the via ferrata section, but not having the right equipment, or a head for heights, I stopped to rest and watched others. A couple of guys came by with all the correct gear, harnesses and helmets, in total contrast with a young couple who followed them using their hands on the rope to protect from a fatal fall. I could hardly watch, particularly knowing that they’d would have to come back the same way.
The alternative track around the other side of the lake was closed due to the risk of rock fall. This was evident just a little later, as I heard, then saw falling rocks from a distance while walking back to the cable car.
I got closer to the lake as I walked back, seeing very few people in the lake itself, probably as it was freezing cold! There are rowing boats that can be hired though to get out on the water.
I wasn’t expecting these cows and cow poo right by the lake though, quite an unusual sight according to a local I asked.
I returned the way I came, down the cable car, and back to the train station, home to an old steam train.