Lake Oeschinensee is a beautiful world heritage site found just a short cable car ride from Kandersteg.
The cable car rises 500 meters out of the valley floor, to 1682m and the start of a gentle 20 minute decent down to the crater like lake. The path is well marked and maintained and leads down past a couple of small restaurants to the lake shore.
A second path climbs steeply around the side of the lake up the cliffs to Unterbergli, where a small hut offers much needed refreshment before starting the second climb up to Oberbergli. From here the path traverses back on itself high above the lake before dropping back down to the cable car station at Oeschinen.
Whilst recent works have widened the path and improved the footing it is still tricky at points, especially on the return journey from Oberbergli when a couple of Scree fields need to be negotiated. These slight difficulties are amply rewarded by the views from high above the lake, looking across to the Frundenhorn and the Oeschinenhorn. The whole round trip takes a little over 3 and a half hours at a steady pace, with plenty of stops for photos.
A third even more challenging option is the climb from Oeschinensee to the Frundenhutte. This 1000 meter climb brings you right to the foot of the glaciers where you can have a drink at the hut and enjoy the view down the Kandertal.
Walking isn’t the only activity available at Oeschinensee. A banked rondelbahn track (tobogen run to the non german speakers amongst us) starts at Oeschinensee providing an adrenaline rush for the more adventurously inclined. For those looking for a more relaxing afternoon, rowing boats can also be hired on Oeschinensee itself. Leaving the shore behind, these small boats allow you to enjoy the beauty of the lake from its epicentre, gazing up at the cliffs and high glaciers in the peace and quiet.
Words & Images by Toby Galtress, Resort Representative in Interlaken.