Photo Essay: A Summer in Snapshots

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Throughout my first summer guiding in Switzerland I strove to capture the beauty and simplicity of what I saw around me. While leading tours I would collect a few snapshots. In the land of cheese and chocolate I found magic in the details.

1) Globe Flower Explosion


The Globe flower’s scientific name is Trollius. They are poisonous to cattle and other livestock when fresh, with a particularly acrid taste. Thus this whole field was left untouched by the cows who love munching on wildflowers and sweet grass.

Jungfrau Tour.  Mid-July.



2) View from Lake Bachalp


The Schreckhorn, at 13,380 feet elevation, is a mountain in the Bernese Alps. It is located 10 kilometers outside of Grindelwald between the Upper and Lower Grindelwald Glacier. It offers technical climbing for those daring enough to attempt its peak. Here, it is viewed from Lake Bachalp.

Bernese Oberland Traverse – Part A.  Late July.



3) Footbridge in the Gasterntal


Waterways run like veins throughout the countryside of Switzerland. Cool, crisp water from melting winter snow quenches a tired hiker’s thirst. This footbridge, which spanned a small creek, caught my eye. Worn boards hint at past travelers and stories forgotten.

Bernese Oberland Travers – Part B.  Late July



4) Outhouse Love


Lobhorn hut is on a high plateau of the Sulsalp above Isenfluh, in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. It is oriented with unobstructed views of the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. On this day the view eluded us, due to a blanket of clouds. I fell in love with this view of the hut, framed by the cutout in the outhouse door.

Jungfrau Tour.  Early July.



5) High above Kandersteg


Lake Oeschinensee is framed by steep rock walls as well as grazing cows. Cold water full of silt, gives the lake its piercing blue color. Water from the lake is captured for electricity production and as water for the neighboring town of Kandersteg.

Berense Oberland Traverse – Part B.  Late July.



6) Cheese making in Obersteinberg


Wheels of cheese age at Obersteinberg are kept in a room sealed tight to protect against hungry critters. At the end of the summer each cow’s owner gets a percentage of cheese produced by their cow. The remaining cheese is “paid” to Obersteinberg as rent for keeping the cow during the summer months.

Jungfrau Tour.  Early July.



7) Wood Pile Detail


Wood piles are stacked neatly outside most country homes in Switzerland. The wood pictured here is used to heat milk in the cheese making process at Obersteinberg.

Bernese Oberland Traverse. Late July.



8) Ladder to Pas de Chevres


This ladder, which is bolted into rock, leads to Pas de Chevres. It is located on the Haute Route between Cabane de Dix and Arolla. In the winter skiers climb up and down this ladder in ski boots with skis strapped to their backs! On our Haute Route tour we take the neighboring Col de Reidmatten, keeping our feet firmly planted in the dirt.

Hiker’s Haute Route Tour.  Early August.



9) Lac de Louvie


Lake Louvie is located above Fionnay in the canton of Valais, Switzerland. The Hiker’s Haute Route tour spends a majestic night along its shores in the Cabane de Louvie. The hut offers a cozy atmosphere as well as an open front porch overlooking the lake. It’s an inviting place to enjoy a glass of wine after a long hike!

HIker’s Haute Route Tour. Early August.



10) Hotel Flowers in the Gasterntal


The Gasterntal Valley is tucked away outside of Kandersteg. It’s notched between steep mountains with the Kander River running down its length. We spent the last night of our Bernese Oberland Traverse tour in the Hotel Gasterntal. This planter made of hollowed  rock added color to their inviting entryway.

Bernese Oberland Traverse – Part B.  Late July.

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