We woke up, very excited to begin our hut-to-hut hiking adventure. We picked up our laundry from Womy- 25 CHF for a shopping bag full. We took the train to Kandersteg and then sent our suitcase ahead for pick-up two days later. It cost 12 CHF and was one of the better bargains of the trip! That way, we only hiked with two small backpacks.
Our destination was Blüemlisalphütte, a mountain hut at 2,840 meters. We took the funicular up to Lake Oeschinensee (1600 m) to save a little bit of time. We started hiking around 1330 and arrived around 1700. The hike was really interesting. We hiked around the lake and then up into high pastures. Then the trail turned very gravelly and vegetation went away. It looked like the moon. Across the valley, we could see a large glacier field. It turned out that a lot of overnighters at the hut were there for traversing that ridge and/or ice climbing. There was a separate ice-climber room since they all got up around 0300 to set out and climb while the ice was still firm.
Back to the hike. We could see the hut about 2/3 of the way there and it stayed stubbornly far away for another hour. Finally, we got there. It was a great experience but a little tiring! I promptly bought a beer when we got to the hut- SMS had water. Probably smarter but definitely less delicious 🙂 At dinner, we sat at a table with 3 Swiss and 1 Austrian men. 2 were alpinists and 2 were father-son hikers recreating a hike the father had done 3 decades prior. We were glad to talk to them because they said the snow field that covered the first part of our planned hike the next day was actually quite small and there was a rope to hold onto. Phew!
Dinner consisted of soup, salad, sausage and rice, and plum pudding. The food was super salty, which was probably beneficial for everyone’s athletic pursuits. We went to bed fairly soon after dinner. The bedrooms were communal, with two long racks with mats laid out. SMS and I slept next to each other but to either side were complete strangers. Very close quarters but a cool and different experience. We used our sleep sacks and slept fairly well.