Pictures of a long hike

Posted on September 01, 2020
Alp Fählen

Fählen is the most remote Alp in the program. Above the lake of the same name, it is tucked in and surrounded by the massive eastern Alps. It can’t be reached by car – the next road is 1 1/2 hours away, which makes for a very long hike back to the winter home in Gontenbad. The Inauens undertook the task on August 28. Dressed and ready to go. Get…

The move to Eigen

Posted on September 01, 2020
Alp Satteleggli

It was a wise decision to postpone the move from Satteleggli to the Unterstaffel “Eigen” to Monday, August 31: On Saturday heavy rains visited the Bernese Alps, no weather for a hike of about 4 hours with the animals. Only the cows that haven’t given birth yet stay a little longer on Satteleggli. On Monday, the sun accompanied the hikers. It was downhill for a long time until they had…

Helper’s day

Posted on August 29, 2020
Alp Steiners Hohberg

On Steiners Hohberg in the Gantrisch area, it is a tradition to organize a day for all the helpers. A wholesome meal, beer, and wine are, of course, the main part of it. A calf was born on Steiners. The picture shows Martina, the daughter of farmer Christoph Stucki, bringing water to the mother. Cows drink up to 100 liters a day (26 gals). Outside the dairy. A very thirsty…

Last days on Satteleggli

Posted on August 28, 2020
Alp Satteleggli

September is knocking at the door, hence the days on Satteleggli are coming to an end: “We wanted to move down to Eigen today”, says Theres Reichenbach, “but a hail storm damaged the pasture there, so we spend the weekend on Satteleggli. Before the move to the “Understaffel”, a lot of things have to be done. Nevermind, the cows still deliver 200 liters of milk every day, which is equivalent…

Sheep on the move

Posted on August 22, 2020
Alp Alplen

It’s hard to imagine but there are over 900 sheep on Alp Alplen high above the Bisisthal valley just under the massive peaks of the central Swiss Alps. And at summer’s high, they move up to meadows far above the tree line, surrounded by rocks. It takes a lot of helpers to guide them. Once up there, they are on their own. The map shows where the sheep can go.

A loooong hike with the pigs

Posted on August 21, 2020
Alp Botchenalp

Pigs are not the most energetic animals, especially when they can feed on the whey from Alp milk, and, furthermore if they can wallow in this majestic environment Botchenalp. Towards the end of transhumance, however, the cows give less and less milk and hence the amount of whey produced while making cheese is reduced, too. That is the reason the pigs leave the Alp much earlier than the rest of…

Hiking back to Urnerboden

Posted on August 20, 2020
Alp Urnerboden

Having “cleared” the upper meadows, the cows returned to Urnerboden where they will stay until the end of transhumance. It’s a long way down the Klausen-Passstrasse, therefore they started when the first sun rays appeared. The first sun rays light the flowers on the highest meadows. Towards the valley dark clouds are forming. Departure is very early in the morning. Groups form along the way. The cows are in great…

Back to school

Posted on August 19, 2020
Alp Ruosalp

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore under strict regulations, the Herger kids have gone back to school this week. And since they’re always off on Wednesday afternoon, Remo, Marina, and Lea enjoyed some chill downtime at their aunt’s swimming pool. Together with mom Monika, they stay down in the valley during the week and only spend the weekends on Ruosalp. Marina, Lea, and Remo in the pool.

Moving down to give birth

Posted on August 18, 2020
Alp Botchenalp

On Botchenalp in the Bernese Alps, transhumance is in the stage where the Amacher family expects a lot of cows to give birth. They move all the animals at the end of their pregnancy down to their winter home in Brienz to deliver the calves. It’s spacier there. For the other cows, the Botchenalp pastures are still plentiful with grass, flowers, and herbs to enjoy. Butterflies, of course, like that…

Natascha has done it: a bull

Posted on August 17, 2020
Alp Satteleggli

On Sunday morning it finally happened: Cow Natascha gave birth to a little bull, the first male calf this summer. It weighs about 50 kg (110 lbs). Since for the 2020 season calves get names starting with a “Q”, six children from the area who visited Alp Satteleggli for 3 days gave him the name “Quiril”. Sina, a girl that will help on the Alp for the next 10 days,…

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