After crossing the 2 highest passes of the Via Alpina, we left you in the village of Kandersteg where we decided to give ourselves a well-deserved half-day of rest 😉 . The mood couldn’t be better! We have just spent an absolutely spectacular week crossing some of the most beautiful places in Switzerland (and we finally saw the Eiger and Jungfrau ;)). We have hardly had a drop of rain for 10 days and our legs still carry us on the paths of the Via Alpina. In short, we are thrilled and wonder if luck will continue to stay on our side 😉
And although the most difficult stages of the Via Alpina are behind us (by more difficult I mean those with the most difference in altitude), we still have more than 100 km to go with a few pretty passes along the way and we hope that everything will go well until the end.
When Mood is high, everything is high!
Since the beginning of this Via Alpina, we have been surprised in a positive way by the way we manage to accumulate the big days of walking… I (Benoit) had planned to cut in 2 all the stages longer than 15-16 kms, telling myself that with 15 to 20 kgs on our back, we probably wouldn’t be able to walk more than that per day. Well, I made a big mistake (which is pretty good news!)
We had a good serie of days with more than 20 kms and we handled surprisingly well! So certainly we arrived tired in the evening and once the tent was up, we would go to bed pretty quickly (I thought I was going to take lots of night pictures and everything ahah ;)… I almost never found the energy). But the next day, once the machine was started, we managed to forget the aches and pains and small sores to walk to the next destination.
I think that the beautiful weather we enjoyed and the beauty of the landscapes we crossed helped us to keep the days going. It must be said that it is easier to get started in the morning when you stow away the tent in front of the Eiger in the sun… I don’t know how we would have reacted if the bad luck of the first week had lasted longer.
But even if the morale partly explains our pretty good performance, we must also say that the human body is damn well made 😉 . It’s amazing how quickly you can adapt to the weight of the bag and the repetition of the effort every day. And then, the days are long when you camp (understand that you get up early ;))… so you have time to do a lot of kilometers.
Our ebook!Are you preparing the Via Alpina for this summer? In the spring of 2020 we published an ebook that should please you. 🙂 More than 100 pages dedicated to this magnificent hike through the Alps. From the different stages of preparation, safety tips, the list of campsites to our detailed daily itinerary (with maps and GPX files to download): everything is there!
Find more information on the ebook here
If you prefer to have our ebook in epub format (for your e-readers), you can also buy it directly on Fnac/Kobo or Apple books (Then, if you want to get the GPX files of the Via Alpina, contact us by email at contact[at]novo-monde.com with your order confirmation).
Via Alpina: Our favorites of the last week
Again, instead of detailing all our days of walking, we will rather share with you our favorites of this last week on the Via Alpina. We’ll save all the practical information for later 😉
The Bunderschrinde pass between Kandersteg and Adelboden
After Kandersteg, we immediately followed with a very nice stage towards the village of Adelboden. The climb to the Bunderschrinde pass is certainly a little steep but as you climb up, you can see more and more the majestic Lake Oeschinen, on the edge of which we had camped the day before. It is a great pleasure for us to be able to contemplate this marvel one last time before continuing our adventure. What a pleasure for the eyes!
The last end before the pass hurts a little bit but the view from above is worth all our efforts. Once again, we enjoy a splendid day and have a breathtaking view of Lake Oeschinen (with the magic trio Eiger, Jungfrau and Mönch in the background) and the valley that descends to Adelboden.
Hiking with our friends during the last 4 days
As Fabienne explained to you in her little assessment of the Via Alpina, it’s something we didn’t necessarily expect and that made us SOOOOO HAPPY! We had the chance to share our last 4 days of walking with Adeline and Johann (a couple of travellers we met in Chiang Mai). We were also joined by Letizia and Raph, Mehdi or Marine (Fabienne’s long-time friends). To be able to share a part of this adventure with other people really illuminated this end of the Via Alpina! We had a really good laugh together and we thank you all for joining us for a little trip:) . It was GREAT!
Bivouac on the shores of Lake Hongrin
Located between the small village of Etivaz (for those who know the delicious cheese) and the Rocher de Naye, this lake immediately gave us the impression of being a good potential spot to bivouac and shorten the stage towards Rocher de Naye (which is really a long one if you follow the official stages).
Thus, before reaching the lake we stoped in a local supermarket and bought some sausages to grill (we did not know at this point if there would be a spot where to grill them, but we felt optimistic). 😉 In the end, we’re glad we bought them! On the shores of Lake Hongrin, just next to the dam, there are great camping and fire pitches. Thus, we spent one of our best evenings on this Via Alpina with Adeline and Johann. After a swim in the lake, we grilled our sausages by the fire. We then played cards before going to “bed” under a beautiful starry night by the lake. Definitely one of our best bivouac spot so far!
Sunset and sunrise at Rocher de Naye with a view of Lake Geneva
The Rocher de Naye marked the end of this adventure through Switzerland (from this point, the only part left is the trail leading down to Montreux). This place is very well known for its magnificent view of the whole Lake Geneva and I had already noted it in red before starting the Via Alpina (and besides we had never been there before). I thought it would be nice to spend a little night under the stars and admire the sunrise / sunset from the top of the Rocher de Naye to finish off this Via Alpina.
And once again, luck was on our side, because the weather was simply perfect that evening. I spent a superb night under the stars and had a beautiful sunset / sunrise to finish off this hike. I just let you admire it in pictures;).
And to finish, our final video of the via Alpina made after our return… A video to watch with sound and in HD 😉 English subtitles available
And so, we have arrived at the end of this Via Alpina through the Swiss mountains. This project was an opportunity for us to set off on an adventure, to surpass ourselves while discovering these places that we did not yet know in our beautiful country.
We will have experienced intense moments of emotion during these 23 days! The efforts, the fatigue, our beautiful mountains, the bivouacs, the encounters… all these things that make this an unforgettable experience and we are very proud to have reached the end.
We also thank you for having been so many to follow our little daily stories (which you can still find on youtube ;)) and to have encouraged us all along the adventure. We hope we have shown you that such a project is not necessarily reserved for elite athletes and that travelling in Switzerland is not necessarily that expensive (but we will come back to the budget soon).
So when do give a try to the Swiss hiking trails?