8: Lauchneralp - Lotschenpasshutte - Kandersteg

The Lötschenpasshütte walk takes you right across the the Lötschen glacier.

The Lötschenpasshütte:

img 13773.jpg

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.

Time Height Location Comment
07:50 1175 Kandersteg station Kander Reisen bus to Selden
08:15 1545 Selden Lötschenpasshütte signed as 3 hours 20
09:05 1847 Berghaus Gfelalp 5 minutes sit
09:45   Sign  
10:45   First pole on the glacier 20 minutes sit
11:30   End of the glacier
11:50 Sign on stone trig
12:45 2690 Lötschenpasshütte 1 hour 45 for lunch; depart 14:30
15:45 2566 Sign at end of boulders Seat above - 10 mins sit
16:35   Sign New path section in 2018
17:00 2106 Stafel Cable car signed as 15 minutes
17:15 1969 Lauchernalp cable car Runs at 55 and 25 past in 2018
17:37 1395 Wiler (bottom of cable car Bus to Goppenstein at 37 past the hour

The Lötschenpass route

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-- JaneCurry - 2009-06-04 - 18:15
Topic revision: r12 - 06 Aug 2018, JaneCurry
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