Sunday, November 14, 2010

Up to the Niesen

With the forecast calling for a beautiful warm day and Fön winds from the South, the only real question for us was where to go. The Jura, with a panoramic view of the Alps, were a big pull, but we decided to do the Niesen instead. It's been on our list of must-do's for quite a while and this seemed like a good day for it.

We start the Andrea special in Reichenbach, following the road up out of town until it turns into a path under the trees. Up, up we go, really enjoying being out walking again, up, up to the end of the trees and then further up, steeply at times, through a meadow until we get to Underniese. Here we have a quick sandwich break and enjoy the sun and the panoramic view across the Berner Oberland (Bluemlisalp massif all the way to the Wetterhorn). From there it's further up, now starting to see some other people, past the houses at Oberniese, to the saddle.

At the saddle the wind starts: it's a warm wind (ah... Fön), but it's a serious wind. Since it had snowed earlier in the week, this is like spring hiking: warm sun, melting snow, mud. And plenty of people coming down from the top. At the bump before the madness around the restaurant, we stop for another quick sandwich break to enjoy views some more. Not only is the air really clear, but the clouds provide some nice structure to the sky to complement the mountains below. Really nice.
After heading past the restaurant to the (packed!) viewing platform at the top, we try unsuccessfully to find a seat in the restaurant and then take the funicular back down to Mülenen.

A very nice day out in the mountains. This was probably the last "summer" hiking of the year and it was a great way to close the season.

From the track: 8km, 1690m up

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