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Bernese Oberland Haute Route - East

Guided Group

A thrilling high-level Alpine traverse of Switzerland's Bernese Oberland

Trip Code: EBO
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.


Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

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10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

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Bernese Oberland Haute Route - East

  • Complete a high-level traverse of Switzerland's Bernese Oberland from west to east
  • Walk across Konkordia and the Aletsch, Europe's biggest glaciers
  • See the Alpine giants of Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau and stay in mountain huts
  • Led by expert IFMGA guides, this is a perfect first mountaineering adventure
  • Combine with Bernese Oberland - West to complete the full traverse 
  • FREE Equipment hire worth £100 is available for this holiday

At a Glance
  • Group Size 4 to 6
  • 6 days trekking and climbing
  • Max altitude - 3962 metres
  • Join In Kandersteg, End in Interlaken

Accommodation & Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 6 Dinners
  • 5 nights Mountain Hut / Refuge
  • 2 nights Hotel

This is a simply superb Alpine trekking holiday combining glacier walking with some easy climbing in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland. Close to the picturesque ski town of Kandersteg in Switzerland, the Bernese Oberland is one of the most impressive mountain groups in the entire European Alps. This adventurous glacier-walking holiday makes a high-level trekking traverse of the eastern section of the range, with some easy climbing sections. During this high level traverse of the Bernese Oberland we will be trekking among a collection of dramatic Alpine peaks including the famous trilogy of Eiger (3970m), Monch (4099m) and Jungfrau (4158m). We will negotiate high and rugged terrain, including the Aletsch alpine glacial system which has at its heart, the famous junction of glaciers known as Konkordia. Trekking across several airy alpine mountain passes and spending nights in spectacularly situated Bernese Oberland refuges, we also make an ascent to the snow-capped summit of the Abeni Flue (3962m).

From this high vantage point, our climbing effort is rewarded with a magnificent alpine panorama that includes the Matterhorn, distant Mont Blanc and the stunning pyramidal peak of the Finsteraarhorn (4274m), the highest summit in the Bernese Oberland. This is an excellent walking holiday and an ideal introduction to glacier trekking and climbing technically easy Alpine peaks. This holiday can be combined with our Bernese Oberland Haute Route West to create a sensational complete traverse of the Bernese Oberland.

Is this holiday for you?

This is real mountain travel holiday, following good trails to the snowline and also involving sections of scrambling, snowslope climbing and glacier travel, where ropes, crampons and an ice-axe will be used. We average 6 to 8 hours walking each day, with some longer days and tough climbs. You should have some previous experience of walking with crampons before coming on this holiday. Previous exp …

This is real mountain travel holiday, following good trails to the snowline and also involving sections of scrambling, snowslope climbing and glacier travel, where ropes, crampons and an ice-axe will be used. We average 6 to 8 hours walking each day, with some longer days and tough climbs. You should have some previous experience of walking with crampons before coming on this holiday. Previous experience of roped glacier travel is not required. The group will be led by English-speaking IFMGA guides and guiding is at a ratio of 1:6.   Please be aware that routes in the high glaciated mountain regions are subject to changing conditions and difficulties. The Alpine Guides may need to make changes to your planned route at very short notice.

Why KE?

We were the first to offer this fantastic and little-known route. Be led by our expert IFMGA guide and enjoy a genuine small group adventure, with a max group size of 6. This holiday can be combined with our Bernese Oberland Haute Route West to create a sensational complete traverse of the Bernese Oberland.

FREE equipment hire worth £100 is available for this holiday



Meet at the hotel in Kandersteg, a pretty village situated under the the towering Bluemlisalp range of peaks. The holiday begins with the evening meal.
Our guide will meet us in the evening, for an informal chat about the week ahead. This is also a chance for our guide to check out your clothing and gear. After this, it will be time to sit down to dinner.





We make a transfer to the hamlet of Selden (1537m) in Gasterntal. Crossing the suspension bridge, we start out on a steep trail leading up to Gfellalp and onto Balme. From here we cross the remains of the Lotschgletcher and ascend rocky terrain, where the footpath, in places is secured with wire ropes, leads to the Lotschenpass Hut.


Mountain Hut / Refuge




1350 M


10 M


7 hours walking


12 KM

Today we make the traversing descent via Sattlegi, Arbachnubel, Weritzstal and finally to Fafleralp (1784m) Here, there is an old hotel, where we can buy a late hot lunch and re-supply with snack food. Our ascent up to the Anen Hut (2358m) is by a good path and takes around 2 hours. This modern, privately owned hut, can only be described as luxurious, with showers and excellent restaurant service to look forward to. With a big balcony, it's an excellent place to watch the sunset over the Lotschental valley.


Mountain Hut / Refuge




850 M


1400 M


7 - 8 hours walking


15 KM

We leave this comfortable hut and the green landscape behind as we head back into the high glaciated mountains. Continuing our journey up the Lotschental to the head of the valley, where the Hollandia Hut is situated. We need to access the Langgletcher by a short descent, once there, we put on harness and crampons and find our way through a complex maze of ice. Finally reaching the snow covered glacier we ascend to the Hollandia Hut (3235m).


Mountain Hut / Refuge




950 M


80 M


4 - 5 hours walking


7 KM

Our objective today, is to climb the Abeni Flue (3962m), which marks the high point of the trek and also provides us with fantastic views of the Western Alps, including Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, the Jungfrau, the Monch and the Finsteraarhorn. The climb of the Abeni Flue requires a very early start and is dependent on good weather and good snow conditions and will take approximately 6 hours. After returning to the hut, we continue via the Grosse Aletschfirn Glacier and across Konkordia Platz (the largest glacial expanse in the Alps). The day’s finale is the impressive iron stairway to the Konkordia Hut (2850m). We will have earned a drink on the terrace.


Mountain Hut / Refuge




1580 M


1100 M


9 - 10 hours walking / climbing


22 KM

Descending the stairway in the morning is even more exciting! We have a lot of glaciers to cross today, first to the Grunhornlucke (3280m). Crossing this pass we descend to the Fischergletcher and continue down the glacier, passing below the Rotloch (2843m). Often quite complex route finding is required to get onto the next glacier, the Galmigletscher. From here we ascend to the Studergletscher and a final section of uphill takes us to our overnight stop at the Oberaarjoch Hut (3258m). A series of cables and ladders gives access to this hut where we can relax and enjoy the fantastic views down to the barrage of the Oberaarsee and across to the Finsteraarhorn (4273m).


Mountain Hut / Refuge




1100 M


600 M


8 - 9 hours walking


15 KM

A long and easy descent of the Oberaargletscher leads us to a good trail beside the reservoir of the Oberaarsee, where we find soil, grass and an amazing array of flowers. At the end of the lake, we cross the dam and head for a well earned refreshment at the hotel before making the final easy walk (approximately 1.5 hours) down to the Grimsel Pass. Here we catch the post bus to Meringen and then a train to the town of Interlaken, magnificently situated between two lakes in the shadow of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Arriving here we check into our comfortable hotel. Dinner is not included in the holiday price for this night to enable the group a free choice of venue for a celebratory meal.






200 M


1300 M


4 - 5 hours walking


15 KM

The holiday ends after breakfast.


Download Trip Notes
The Route
Point Point
Peaks Peaks
Direction Direction

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • Professional IFMGA qualified guide(s) on a 1:6 ratio
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Transfers required by the itinerary (except airport transfers)

  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Miscellaneous expenses - souvenirs etc.


In some cases you may choose to take a ferry and/or train to your holiday start and end destination. Please see further information on Travelling by Train.

If flying from the UK there are low cost airlines available to the start and from the end of your holiday.

To benefit from full financial protection, ease your holiday planning, and avoid dealing with airlines, we can book scheduled flights from the UK as part of a flight inclusive package. Scheduled flights are usually more expensive that low cost alternatives, however potentially less stressful if your flight is cancelled or delayed. If you book flights through KE Adventure Travel we will offset the carbon of your flight.

Day 1
Meet at the hotel in Kandersteg.
For clients arriving by air, the easiest way to get to Kandersteg is to fly to either Geneva Airport or Zurich Airport and travel by train from there. There are railway stations at Geneva Airport and at Zurich Airport and there are regular trains to Kandersteg. From Geneva the journey is approximately 3 hours 30 minutes and from Zurich, approximately 2 hours 30 minutes.

Day 8
The holiday ends in Interlaken. There are regular trains to Geneva airport (approximately 3 hours) and Zurich Airport (approximately 2 hours). To book tickets for individual journeys within Switzerland go to

We will provide hotel contact details and an emergency number for all clients, as well as directions for those travelling by car.

All breakfasts and 6 dinners are included in the trip price. Packed lunches and snacks can be bought in the huts. On some days there will also be the possibility of having a hot lunch either at a hut encountered on route or a late lunch taken at our overnight halt. You should allow around CHF15 for a packed lunch from the hut or CHF 20 -30 for a hot lunch. Most groups prefer to choose a restaurant for the final evening meal in Interlaken and we have therefore not included this meal in the price of your holiday. We suggest 30 - 40 Swiss Francs should be sufficient to cover this meal.

When in the towns and villages all tap water is drinkable. In mountain huts there is usually not a sustainable drinking water supply. Water in plastic bottles is brought in to the hut. All huts have a recycling point. If you have to purchase water in plastic bottles please buy the largest bottle you can so as to use less plastic. Please take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water if you can fill from a local stream. Bottled water is not provided. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles. Local authorities are working to find solutions to using plastic water bottles in huts. We monitor the situation carefully for updates.

As you might expect, the food available in restaurants, hotels and even in mountain huts in this part of Switzerland is excellent. Continental breakfasts and full 3-course evening meals are included everyday. Lunches and/or hill snacks can be purchased in Kandersteg for the first day's trek and from the mountain huts on subsequent days. Note that the water from taps in the huts is not drinkable. It is possible to fill water bottles with a refreshing weak tea available after breakfast or bottled mineral water can be purchased (approximately CHF15 for a one and a half litre bottle).

During this trip the group will have a total of 2 nights in simple hotel accommodation in Kandersteg and Interlaken. Whilst in the mountains, there are 5 nights spent in mountain huts or similar accommodation. Accommodation throughout the trip is on a non-segregated, dormitory-style basis. In some high mountain huts, washing facilities are limited. Single rooms are not available.

The group will be led by an English-speaking IFMGA guide. Guiding is at a ratio of 1:6

This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

Please note that this is Switzerland and you should take your money in the form of Swiss Francs. A total of CHF 350 - 500 should be sufficient to cover all personal expenses, including hill food snacks or lunches, drinks, bottled water in the huts (none of the huts have drinkable water and so this does need be be purchased, which can add up to about CHF 180 - 270) and other incidental expenditure. There are cashpoint facilities at Geneva Airport, Kandersteg and Interlaken. If you are intending to hire or purchase items of equipment, you should budget accordingly.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage and a daypack (of around 30 - 40 litres). For international flights please check your baggage allowance with your airline. Since group members will carry all personal equipment during the trek, it is important to keep the overall weight of this equipment to a minimum. Neither a sleeping bag nor a camping mattress is needed and it should be possible to keep the weight of your pack to under 10 kg.

Whilst in the mountains you will leave your main bag and travel clothes in the group’s hotel in Kandesteg and these will be transported to your final hotel in Interlaken. Luggage with wheels can be useful for this holiday.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.


Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.


You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking or climbing trip getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime leading up to your trip. Jogging, squash and swimming are good for developing better stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

The temperatures that we can expect to encounter during the day will be reasonably warm, ranging from 10°C / 50°F to 25°C/ 77°F. It can be cool in the evenings at our highest overnight stopping places, falling close to freezing point at night. The weather is usually stable during July and August, but mountainous areas do generate their own weather systems and occasional rain and even stormy weather cannot be ruled out. You should be prepared for all eventualities!

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • Bernese Oberland East - Interlaken

  • Grindelwald,Meiringen: Rother Walking Guide

Switzerland Topographical Survey Maps

BERNER OBERLAND (5004) 1:50000 Covers whole of route - 1 sheet

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your pack to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Mountain Boots (see notes below)

  • Crampons – MUST be fitted with anti-balling plates*

  • Crampon bag* (when hiring crampons a bag is automatically included / can not be hired separately)

  • Ice Axe*

  • Helmet*

  • Mountaineering harness*

  • Screw gate karabiner x 1*

  • Gaiters

  • Socks - walking socks are best (2/3 pairs)

  • Trekking Trousers (i.e. not cotton)

  • Waterproof overtrousers - with long leg zip designed to put on whilst wearing boots

  • Underwear

  • Thermal Base Layer x 2 (one long sleeved for glacier travel)

  • Fleece jacket

  • Waterproof jacket (with hood)

  • Extra warm layer – (primaloft or lightweight down)

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses – category 3 or 4.

  • Thin gloves - thermal or leather

  • Very warm winter type gloves or mittens

  • Sleeping bag liner/sheet sleeping bag (silk is lightest)

  • Rucksack (30 - 40 litres should be sufficient)

  • Head torch with new batteries

  • Sun Protection (high factor for skin)

  • Lip salve – with sunscreen

  • Water bottles - 1 litre x2 (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)

  • Water purification tablets

  • Small, lightweight wash kit and pack towel

  • Dry bags(s) for daypack/kitbag contents (to ensure they keep dry)

  • Small hand sanitizer gel

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters, blister treatment (zinc oxide tape and ‘Compeed’), and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles x 2 with baskets (highly recommended)

  • Long johns

  • Shorts (for non-glacial travel)

  • Rain cover for Rucksack

  • Earplugs (particularly if you are not the one snoring!)

  • Repair kit – (eg. Pen-knife, needle, thread, duct tape etc.)

  • Camera

  • Travel Clothes (can be left at your hotel)

  • Travel Shoes (can be left at your hotel)

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)


Mountaineering Boots: Recommended boots for this trip are comfortable, warm and sufficiently stiff to take a crampon securely (a sturdy B1 or a ‘worn in’ B2 boot is ideal). Rigid B3 boots are NOT suitable for this trek.

Crampons: Modern strap on crampons are perfectly acceptable for this trek and will fit any boot. All crampons MUST be fitted with anti-balling plates. Grivel Crampons - G10 or G12 with a strap system are excellent and they come fitted with anti-balling plates. We do not recommend semi-automatic crampons for use with softer boots since with this system, the pull on the heel can lead to blisters.  Aluminium crampons are not suitable for this trip (they are not strong enough over mixed terrain).

Equipment hire: Equipment marked with a *can be hired from KE. This can be reserved when you book your trip or closer to your departure but we advise booking hire equipment as soon as possible to ensure availability - equipment hire must be booked through the KE office prior to your departure. Any hired equipment will be collected on arrival from your guide, we do not hire mountaineering boots, but there are several shops in Chamonix renting boots that are suitable for this trip.

Sleeping bags are NOT required as bedding and hut shoes/slippers are provided at mountain refuges. However, you should bring a sheet sleeping bag.

Needle Sports (specialist mountaineering equipment shop)

Needle Sports is the English Lake District's foremost specialist climbing shop supplying mountaineering, rock, ice, alpine and expedition equipment worldwide. Internationally recognised as among the very best of the UK's top technical climbing gear retailers. They have a good range of equipment appropriate for this trip and offer knowledgeable advice both on their website and in store. View >>

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

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