Wholefoods in the Urnerland outdoor

By Thomas Widmer, September 17, 2018

This week in central Switzerland

With a postcard, our walk begins over the Göscheneralp. From the dam of the reservoir, the eye wanders west over the water and bounces on a ridge; the embedded Damma glacier glistens greyish white.

Lichen green cliffs in light green frame the left and right photos. It appears time and again in a calendar with the most beautiful impressions of Switzerland.

Alternative to the classic

Who wants to make a Wanderklassiker: in four hours we can circle the lake. Here I would suggest a different route, it is small alpine, but very varied and ideal for families.

In the beginning – that connects both companies – the bus from Göschenen to the Göscheneralp. There is a restaurant. But where is it more? A few minutes walk, a little higher up. The road to the dam runs past wooden stalls with an old bell in it. It comes from the chapel of Göscheneralp. In 1963 the alp was flooded; The bell reminds of this end in the sign of energy generation.

This should be a leisurely walk

All other hikers start the tour around the lake on the grassy dam, a few older people sit on the bench. We, walking friend Ivan and I, look closely at the dam. Then we turn his back on him, our destination is Göschenen, we take the path that goes down steeply. We pass a series of spherical boulders; Climbers are currently training on them.

On the Jäntelboden, a vast area, we arrive at a lake and a campsite with teepees. This should be a relaxing walk, we rest for the first time.

The saint with the crozier

Then a second steep step: the St.-Niklausen-Tobel. We love the humidity, the shadow of the forest, the fall of the Göschenerreuss that crashes in the Schummer. A sanctuary with Saint Niklaus and Mitra, a chasuble and a duckweed surprises us.

In short, we hit the road to Göscheneralp; we have forgotten her in the meantime. After the Tobel makes us a nice resting place sad. We have nothing to eat here. No sausage, no Bürli, nothing. My Snickers is useless.

Cooling without electricity

Further on, a sign of the "Göschenen Waterweg" points to a brick hole in the rock next to the path, a cold store where dairy products stay fresh in times of impotence. While we are still talking about the wisdom of past eras and their people, we see three neighboring buildings in Abfrutt: an old house, a naive-like building and a chapel – living, working, praying in close entanglement.

Again the path changes. We enter a magical empire, equipped with a bould forest. Further on, a rope fence, the terrain falls off on the left. In this way – under it runs a water pipe of the 19th century, the Göschenens Hotels supplied with water – one must have an eye on children.

Do not rush past

And even though the first houses of Göschenen show themselves. Good to meet the village differently than always only in passing. To get to know the place better, we make a round, only to aim for the off-site station.

On a stalled bus Yvan and I agree: it was a great walk. A picture book: steep, flat, wooded, open, rocky, stony, green landscape. Whole food in the Urnerland.


route: Göscheneralp (Bus) – Dam – In the Feden – Jäntelboden – Beans – Abfrutt – Stockwald – Göschenen, Dorf – Göschenen, station.

walking time: 3 hours.

height difference: 94 meters up, 769 down.

hiking map: 255 T Sustenpass, 1:50 000.

GPX file: Download here.

character: Short and enormously varied. Good shoes needed, because some parts are wet.

highlights: All the ride to the alp. There the sight of the Dammagletscher. The beautiful Jäntelboden-Seelein. The sanctuary with the saint.

children: Fits, because the route is not too long. But you must supervise the children.

dog: Nothing speaks to his participation.

Refreshments: In Göschenen. Göscheneralp: Restaurant Dammagletscher, Mon rest day.

bus: Bus Göschenen – Göscheneralp, daily until 14 October. Reservation required: 079 343 01 09 at least 2 hours before departure.

Wanderblog: Daily entry in the private magazine of Thomas Widmer.


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