I love being in the Swiss Alps! The peaks, glaciers, sky and clouds are extremely beautiful. In addition to the beauty, mountains have weather. In fact, they make their own weather. This summer, the Swiss Alps have done a bang-up job of producing clouds, fog, rain and contributed generously to a rather soggy summer. On a recent mountain hike, I had plenty of opportunity to look for a silver lining in an otherwise gray landscape. 

I hiked in the the Berner Oberland above Kandersteg near Oeschinensee, with overnights at Alprestaurant Oberbärgli and the Fründenhütte. I was hoping to hike for four or five days. The weather looked promising when I took the gondola up to Oeschinensee, but when I arrived at Oberbärgli, friends there said that the weather this summer has not been good, with a lot of rain. By the next morning the clouds had lifted a little, and I headed off to Fründenhütte. En route, they settled back in, to stay for the remainder of my trip.

Abandoning my plans for an extended hike, I decided to head for home. Even in rainy conditions I still love the Swiss Apls, and enjoy a beauty that differs in character from that of a sunny day. Take a look at the photos and see if you agree!

Fog rolls in, obscuring a beautiful lake view. Throughout the evening at Oberbärgli, intermittent rains and rolling clouds and fog provided entertainment. It was like an old black and white film, with a sound track of eerie silence. At night I heard the rain on the roof. It was a nice soft rain, super for sleeping.
Hikers materialize from the clouds, making their way through a misty landscape.
A first glimpse of Fründenhütte, from about 50 meters. The hut is 2840 meters above sea level, an outpost built above the scree of Fründenhorn.
The view from the cable car at Oeschinensee. On a rainy day, it is more like a “macro” view, capturing raindrops as if under a microscope.
Fründenhütte, a typical Swiss Alpine Club hut providing meals and lodging.
The trail from Fründenhütte, strewn with scree, is marked with stripes painted in red and white on a stone. A rope reassures hikers, promising adventure while providing security, as the trail arches over the hillside into the fog. A cairn, built of small stones by other hikers, sits beside the trail as a marker.
Hikers coming into view along a fogged-in trail seem to arrive suddenly, as they cannot be seen from more than 50 meters away. Heard before they are seen, it is impossible to know whether you are overtaking or meeting fellow hikers.
A lone jogger makes her way up the trail on a foggy, rainy day.
Bluebells in the rain, patiently waiting for sunshine to come to the Berner Oberland.
Oeschinensee after a summer rain.

If you enjoyed this post, take a look at some previous celebrations of Swiss Alps on Anita’s Feast:

Going head to head: Switzerland’s fighting cows

Switzerland’s Rigi Bahnen and the nostalgia of steam

Time Travel in Switzerland

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