The hill above Aeschiried has been calling to me ever since we moved to Faulensee. It’s immediately obvious, when looking up the hill, that the views across the lake must be great. There are a few houses dotted across the hillside, and the sharp-eyed will notice a small ski lift leading up into the trees. Looking at the area on Google Earth a few years ago, I saw that there is a hotel and restaurant up there and I’ve been up a few times since, to have morning coffee, to have lunch when my parents visited, and to take photos of the view on several occasions.
There is always a higher hill to climb in Switzerland. Having visited the restaurant, I wanted to see what the view was like from further up the hill, so I wandered up a little way one autumn afternoon and was rewarded by a picturesque bench – the first to be placed on what has become a series across Aeschiried and Hondrich – and a clear view across to a misty view of the Niesen and Frutigen valley from Waldweid. (Forest pasture.)
It took me another three years to get around to going further up the hill, as it is pretty steep from here on up and although there’s a narrow, tarmaced, single-track road, it’s private and only open to farmers and the owners of the Aeschi ski club hut. But the thought of the views drive me on, with the goal of reaching the Brunnihütte, below the scree slopes of the Morgenberghorn.
The worst bit of the walk to the Brunnihütte is on the slopes above the Aeschi ski club hut, between Rossweid and Rüeggis. The route is relatively steep across most of its length, but the small section which is plainly visible even from the valley is a straight ascent through a meadow. It’s a trying section, where you’re leaning into the slope hard and where there are no steps, rocks or roots to serve as stepping-stones. (It’s much easier to walk up when your feet aren’t so sharply inclined; a lesson learned from our hike up the Niederhorn.)
By the time you reach the edge of the forest at Rüeggis, your ankles and calf muscles will be complaining and you’ll be glad of a break to enjoy the view.
You’ll also be glad of the flat, easy ridge from this point, leading you to the hill before Greberegg. The path leads you along the top edge of a meadow with great views down into the Suld valley to the south, and – between the trees – all the way down to Lake Thun, Interlaken and beyond.
Another steeper section of the route leads up from here to the heights above Greberegg through the forest, where a couple of re-purposed logs serve as benches for the weary-legged. Not far from here, we realised that we had to curtail our walk, as we’d left it too late to make it all the way to the Brunnihütte and back before meeting friends in the evening. The tantalizing view to the hut was enough to ensure that we’d be back another time to finish the job.