My 2020 has begun very quietly. Like every year, I spent Christmas holidays in Spain, enjoying the festive days with my family, eating a lot, shopping for presents, meeting our best friends… and not so much more! Even if I brought my camera (I always do), it has been in my backpack during all the holidays. I even neglected a bit my social networks and the blog, but this short “digital detox” has been great. It’s been three weeks (yes, Spanish Christmas holidays are longer and last until the 6th of January!) of tranquility, recharging batteries for the new year and the challenges that it will bring.

Three weeks is time enough for that. At the end, I was longing for coming back to Switzerland. Truth be told, I was missing the mountains, the snow, the long walks in the nature, capturing all those moments with my camera… So right after our plane landed, I started to plan the first hike of the year. And it wasn’t easy! So far, winter has been warm and dry in Switzerland. It hasn’t snowed very much and most part of the country is green… This January feels more like spring than winter in Zurich!! That is a bit disappointing… (I don’t like the cold, but I do love the snow and winter landscapes!). After some research, checking the forecast and the webcams around Switzerland, we decided to go to a destination that we hadn’t explored before: Melchsee-Frutt, in Canton Obwalden.

Melchsee-Frutt is a small ski-resort at 1920 m above the sea, near the lakes of Melchsee and Tannensee and not far from the famous mount Titlis (3238 m). We chose this location for its snowshoe trail. We though that a 12 km hike with snowshoes would be a nice way to start the winter hike season (specially after the big Christmas lunches and dinners in Spain).

As we were driving to Stöckalp, where we had to take the cable car to Melchsee-Frutt, I was a bit worried. The landscape was too green, and there wasn’t enough snow to even cover the final metres of the sledding slope or the lowest ski piste in the area…. Fortunately, once we arrived in Melchsee-Frutt we saw that there was enough snow to hike with snowshoes. The weather was fantastic: just a few scattered clouds, the sun shinning, warm temperature… The views, incredible!!! From the highest summits of this hike, we could see in the distance mount Titlis (Engelberg) and even the Steingletscher and Sustenhorn. The circular trail, surrounding the frozen lakes of Melchsee and Tannensee, took us to the summits of Bonistock (2160 m) and Erzegg (2150 m), from where we could enjoy panoramic views of the impressive Alps around us. When the end of the day was getting closer, we saw that we weren’t going to see the “alpenglow” illuminating the peaks around Melchsee-Frutt at sunset, so we took the last cable car down to the valley and drove home, tired but happy after a great day in the mountains!

Here are some photos from this winter hike. I hope you like them!


  1. Unas fotos extraordinarias!!!

  2. Beautiful images. I’m so glad you found enough snow. Mother Nature is being very fickle this year. I hope you have a healthy and happy 2020 filled with lots of photography opportunities!

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Anne! So happy you like them! Yes, we managed to find some decent snow… but this winter is being so weird!! It’s sunny and unusually warm… And I normally wouldn’t complain about it… but when it’s been almost a month since the last snowfall and the forecast doesn’t predict more for the next 10 days… it’s just too weird!! And I’m afraid we’re going to see a weird spring too (dark, rainy and cold and too long, like last year) followed by a scorching summer… I don’t like the idea, hehehe.
      I wish you the same, Anne!! A new year full of happiness, health and lots of photos!! 🙂

      (By the way, did you find my post in the WordPress reader??? I’ve been having problems with WordPress for the last months and I’m not sure if people is finding my posts anymore…. I’m so happy at least you do!! 🙂 )

  3. A fairytale farm hidden amongst the snow. What a wonderful hike. 12 km – no wonder you were tired by the end.

    • mercedescatalan

      It should be even more hidden in the snow… It’s being a weird winter here in Switzerland!! And now I’m looking forward to seeing it again in summer, when everything is green and the cows are grazing in the now frozen lakes… But considering that the snow is going to be very brief this winter, I want to enjoy it as much as I can!! Hehehe
      Ah, 12 km… During summer that’s nothing!! It’s funny how distances “change” depending on the season. 12 km with snowshoes can be really exhausting!! Specially after Christmas, we’re still carrying some extra weight from all those copious holiday dinners, hahaha. It can be tough but also so rewarding! 🙂
      Have a fantastic week, Amanda! Hope you had a great beginning of 2020! 🙂

      • Thank you, Mercedes. I can imagine walking in snowshoes is exhausting. Are they the modern snowshoes or the wooden/bamboo variety?

        • mercedescatalan

          They are modern snowshoes, plastic and metal. I didn’t know you can still buy wooden snowshoes!!! I’ve googled it… Now I’m not sure the wooden ones have metal crampons and without those, I think it must be quite a challenge to climb a slope!!
          Snowshoeing is super fun, but after a year doing it, I still find it weird: the extra weight on the legs and having to walk with the feet more widely than normal… I’m still a bit clumsy with them, hahaha!

          • The wider steps is the most difficult part, I think, Mercedes. The only ones I had tried was in Norway at a private cabin in the mountains so they were probably pretty old fashioned. The plastic ones look like you don’t have to step nearly as wide as the older models. Is that so?

          • For me it’s the worst part! Hehehe! I keep stepping on my snowshoes again and again, everytime I use them, hehehe. Not sure if it’s easier or not with the old fashioned ones… I guess they have their pros and cons too!!! Probably they are wider and larger, but with the modern ones you accumulate so much snow on them that you end up carrying even more extra weight… and throwing snow at your back with every step! There’s so much snow on my boots at the end of a hike with snoeshoes that my laces are so frozen (there’s an ice cube around my laces!!) that I can’t undo them, hahaha. But the places you can reach with snowshoes… oh, that makes all the extra effort worth it, don’t you think?

          • Ah I see the problem with the laces!! It sounds like it is difficult with new and old snowshoes but definitely worth it. Especially to see those sights in the Swiss mountains.

Leave a Reply