Kandertal – A Swiss Bouldering Paradise

Photo Niky Ceria Collection

by Niky Ceria

Blausee is a marvellous turquoise lake in the heart of the Kander valley in the Swiss canton of Bern. The valley has seen many outdoor tourists in the last decades and most of them come to visit its special ice climbing spots or to enjoy other activities like via ferratas, skiing, sport climbing, and hiking. Not many people know this well-tended valley of Switzerland as a bouldering destination. The valley runs from the main village of Frutigen up to Kandersteg and the geological formations you can find here are not only interesting and very particular, but in some cases are perfectly made for crimping and squeezing.

My story with Blausee started many years ago. I remember seeing some incredible pictures in a guidebook I bought. It was a book about bouldering in Switzerland and the pictures that dazzled my eyes were in the Kandersteg chapter. Since that day (11 years ago), the desire to check this little zone started to burn inside me. I was keen to not only visit the place itself, the rock and the established boulders, but also to explore the whole area deeply as it’s still quite unknown by most of the climbers and it sits far from the crowds. For many reasons the wait to check Blausee in real life became longer than what I expected. The logistics to get there weren’t as easy as falling off a log: car, train, expensive houses and above all very tricky weather were not easy things to deal with. The valley has some long rainy windows which can be really frustrating. Not only for the rain itself, but also because this particular type of rock usually requires up to three days to dry properly and, in order to preserve the natural state of the boulders, it’s better to respect this timeline.

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