Gemmipass (sans Cable Car)

1
Hiking with Doreen

Hiking with Doreen

Months ago – while hiking with Doreen – we took a cable car from Leukerbad up to Gemmipass (2270 metres,central Swiss Alps). I was shocked to see a couple of guys on mountain bikes coming up from the other, north side.

I couldn’t understand how they got there. I thought it was impossible. But I added the pass to my list and decided to give it a try today. (long story short: bike store guy tells me 95% of cyclists up there have taken the cable car, there is no road up).

But I didn’t know that yet.

I started my ride in Fruitigen: down low on the north side. I enjoyed climbing a frequently very steep, but deserted, unpaved route finally reaching Kandersteg — a World Scout Center. At Kandersteg, I saw a different cable car heading in the direction of Gemmipass. But I had the only “road” I could find programmed onto on my GPS. Unfortunately, this “road” ended up being a very steep good quality hiking trail. Bah Google. I soon realised this would be hard work. But I am stubborn. And I never take cable-cars up when cycling.

Steep

Steep

Here is another ride above Kandersteg to the unbelievably beautiful Oeschinensee. Bring hiking shoes and go much higher.
I pushed/carried the bike for 80% of this stretch – labeled on map at bottom. 720 metres (2300 feet) of vertical – back breaking for an old guy like me. But it was scenic and I was in good spirits.

As I reached 1930 metres, I reached the plateau near the top of the cable car …. and the rest of the ride was a dream.

Cows:

Moo

Moo

Fun road

Fun road

Hairpins

Hairpins

nearing Daubensee

nearing Daubensee

At 2206 metres I reached the Daubensee. Very nice lake:

Daubensee (2206m)

Daubensee (2206m)

It’s a fun, not too steep, ride beside the lake up to Gemmipass. As I arrived I saw some lazy bastards unloading their Mtb’s from the cable car from the Leukerbad side. ;)

I kept going towards Wildstrubel, the big peak/glacier at the end of another valley, This required a silly tunnel:

Narrow, low, scary tunnel

Narrow, low, scary tunnel

But it was worth battling my tunnel phobia as the other side was beautiful. I rode across, over, and through the river about 2/3’s of the way to the end.

A glacier river, an old lake bed, Wildstrubel behind:

Wildstrubel mountain

Wildstrubel mountain

Me being happy:

Having fun

Having fun

There is a trail from Gemmipass down to Leukerbad. Very steep, crazy hairpins, a great hike up. But bikes are not permitted – see small photo below.

As I headed down back towards Kandersteg I visited the other cable car station. It was twenty minutes until next departure. I am way too restless! So I decided to descend on trails.

There is a professionally groomed Mtb trail that runs along side the route I had climbed. Sponsored by Giant and other companies. I assume there is/was an event here. Serious stuff. Jumps, big corners, pads on trees everywhere. Crazy steep. Forever down. I briefly took this trail and realised I was risking death. Fell once … nothing bad, but I suck.

So I got off that and descended the track I had climbed. Some walking, but — my first MtB with disk brakes — a fair bit of descending on the bike.

"road" above Kandersteg to Gemmipass

“road” above Kandersteg to Gemmipass

Route 2,778,859 – powered by www.bikemap.net

9.6 Awesome

This was hard work. But hard work in a beautiful place. Remember, even the strongest rider will be doing some pushing on the stretch that skips the cable car. But above it is great, great riding.

  • Views 9
  • Difficulty 10
  • Quiet / No Traffic 10
  • Fun Factor 9.5
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0
Share.

About Author

Happiest while cycling uphill. More enthusiastic than talented, my 2014 Challenge is to cycle 50 great rides, slowly.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Oeschinensee

Leave A Reply

Translate »