8: Lauchneralp - Lotschenpasshutte - Kandersteg
The Lötschenpasshütte walk takes you right across the the Lötschen glacier.
Although not quite as high as the Blümlisalphütte, the Lötschenpasshütte at 2690m feels higher, as you cross a snow field as you approach from the Lötschental valley and you cross the Lötschen glacier on the way down towards Selden.
It is a long and hard walk, especially if you walk all the way back to Kandersteg, but the experience is well worth it.
The walk is best approached from the Lötschental side by taking the train ( BLS
) to Goppenstein and the Post Bus
to the Lauchernalp cable car
at Wiler. Train, bus and cable car usually connect well and you can buy a single ticket from Kandersteg railway station that covers the whole journey.
There is a hard 20 minute climb initially to get to Stafel above the cable car station. The path then wanders through flower-strewn alpine meadow with terrfic views of the Lötschental mountain range. After a fairly strenuous climb you reach a plateau with a welcome seat. The scenery now changes from alpine meadow to a more sparse, boulder-strewn region. It is about 70 minutes from here to the Lötschenpasshütte, crossing the remnants of a snow field before reaching the hut.
The hut was completely rebuilt over 2007/8 and provides excellent platters for lunch. You can also get T-shirts and fleeces.
The way down to Selden across the glacier is magnificent on a good day but should be avoided if the weather is poor (go back to the Lauchernalp cable car). Having crossed the glacier, the path seems to continue down forever until it finally reaches the Gfelalp and Berghaus Gfelalp.
From Berghaus Gfelalp, follow the path down to Selden where you could take the Gasterntal bus
back to Kandersteg (if you have booked - it is dangerous to just assume there will be space!); otherwise the route lies along the Gasteretal valley to Waldhus, down the Kander Klus waterfall to Eggenschwand and then back along the road to Kandersteg. You may be able to catch the Kandersteg Village Bus
from Eggenschwand to Kandersteg village which saves 30 minutes.
The walk is signed as 7 hours from the top of the Lauchernalp cable car to Kandersteg and it will almost certainly take at least this long. Plan on a 9 - 10 hour day if you are walking right back to Kandersteg. Although there are steep parts both up and down, there are also relatively easy parts across the alpine meadows above the Lötschental and along the Gasterntal between Selden and Waldhus. A magnificent walk of around 21km with a rise of 700m and a descent of 1500m, but don't attempt it on your first day out!
Alternatively, do the walk from Selden, starting with the bus from Kandersteg to Selden. The upward climb to the hut is 1150 metres, leaving the much easier descent to the Lauchernalp cable car for the afternoon. Most people will take longer than the 3 hours 20 minutes signed from Selden to the Lötschenpasshütte, if only because you have to stop and admire the view so much.
|| Kandersteg station
|| Kander Reisen bus to Selden
|| Lötschenpasshütte signed as 3 hours 20
|| Berghaus Gfelalp
|| 5 minutes sit
|| First pole on the glacier
|| 20 minutes sit
|| End of the glacier
|| Sign on stone trig
|| 1 hour 45 for lunch; depart 14:30
|| Sign at end of boulders
|| Seat above - 10 mins sit
|| New path section in 2018
|| Cable car signed as 15 minutes
|| Lauchernalp cable car
|| Runs at 55 and 25 past in 2018
|| Wiler (bottom of cable car
|| Bus to Goppenstein at 37 past the hour
- 2009-06-04 - 18:15