Stechelberg - Obersteinberg - Oberhornsee
Walk 8109

Canton - Bern / Berne - Jungfrau Region

Author - Hotel Silberhorn Lauterbrunnen

Ascent - 1155 metres / 3812 feet

Descent - 1155 metres / 3812 feet

Time - 6.00 hours

Grade - moderate/hard

Photo from the walk - Stechelberg - Obersteinberg - Oberhornsee
Click thumbnails for larger images.

Mountain trail from Trachsellauenen. Ascent into the marvellous alpine area of the upper Lauterbrunnen valley which has been under protection since 1960. An extremely rewarding hike as far as scenery and botany are concerned. No asphalt.

Start & End - Stechelberg - reached by Postbus from Lauterbrunnen where there are rail connections to Wengen, Grindelwald and Interlaken. See Transport Map for the Jungfrau Region.

RouteAltitudeTime (Out) Time (Back)
Stechelberg 910 metres 0 h 00 min 2 h 40 min
Trachsellauenen 1203 metres 0 h 50 min 2 h 00 min
Ammerten 1470 metres 1 h 30 min 1 h 30 min
Obersteinberg 1774 metres 2 h 30 min 0 h 45 min
Oberhornsee 2065 metres 3 h 30 min 0h 00 min

At the Hotel Stechelberg (Post bus terminal) we head straight at the end of the valley road on a little narrow road. Below the hamlet of Sichellauenen we cross over onto the other side of the Schmadri Lütschine, whose bubbling accompanies us without fail. Through mountain forests and across lower alps we continue to hike in varying ascent towards Trachsellauenen. At the fork behind the mountain hostel we keep right; 500 meters further into the valley, at the signpost "Bergwerk", 1260 meters, the bumpy road turns into a hiking trail and mule track.

The indication "Bergwerk" (= mine) on the signpost recalls the time 300 years ago, when iron and lead ore were mined here. Timber from the valley forest was used to heat the smelting furnaces while today the forest is threatened by foehn (a hot air current), avalanches, bark beetles and air pollution. We keep right at the signpost just mentioned and ascend 200 meters in the forest. We have a beautiful view when we leave the forest at Ammerten: Schmadribach waterfalls, Breithorn, Tschingelhorn and the rock pinnacles of the Lauterbrunnen-Wetterhorn and the Chanzel face us.

Today Ammerten is a small alp, but it was once a mountain village inhabited year round by Walser emigrants from the Lötschental one the other side the mountains. Across the Wetterlücke, the saddle between the Breithorn and the Tschingelhorn, the inhabitants of Ammerten and other Walser settlements in the upper Lauterbrunnental such as Gimmelwald and Sichellauenen had contacts with the Lötschental for decades. Those contacts were broken off later because of the Reformation separating catholics Valais people from reformed Bernese subjects and the increasing glaciation in the pass area.

We continue ascending steeply across grazing grounds towards the Hotel Tschingelhorn. Shortly afterwards we cross a steep avalanche trail, the Schluchgraben, heading into the valley. Climbing moderately we approach the hotel at the Obersteinberg. The trail winds afterwards in a slight up and down for a kilometer into the valley towards the bridge across the Tschingel Lütschine.

We start climbing slightly again: on both sides of the trail we see slopes of moraines studded with many different kinds of plants and rocks with scratches of the glaciers. On the right-hand side mighty faces tower above us, 1000 meters up to the Ellstabhorn and the Tschingelgrat. The last bit of the trail to the Oberhornsee is rather steep once again. The Oberhornsee is rather small compared with other mountain lakes in the Bernese Oberland. But the surroundings of the little lake hedged in by moraines is of incomparable beauty.

Suggested Maps

Landeskarte der Schweiz - 1:50000 - Sheet SW 5004 - Berner Oberland

Landeskarte der Schweiz - 1:25000 - Sheet SW 2520 - Jungfrau Region

Wanderkarte - Wengen, Mürren & Lauterbrunnental - 1:40000

 

Recommended Books

Trekking in the Silvretta and Rätikon AlpsTrekking in the Silvretta and Rätikon Alps

This guide describes three treks, between 5 and 8 days, in the Silvretta and Rätikon Alps starting near Klosters, and 12 half-day hut-to-hut routes. These contrasting ranges form a line on the borders of Switzerland, Austria and Liechtenstein. The Tour of the Silvretta, the Prättigauer Höhenweg and the Rätikon Höhenweg.

More information

Tour of Mont BlancTour of Mont Blanc

An essential guidebook for walking the Tour of Mont Blanc. The 170km route typically takes 11 days to trek around the Mont Blanc massif. The TMB is recognised as one of the world's classic treks. The book describes both anti-clockwise and clockwise directions, with variants and information about huts, refuges and facilities en route.

More information