Now the sunny days were over. In this part of Switzerland there is always a big chance of having bad weather in Summer with high mountains all around. The weather was very gloomy and I took my time at breakfast. It was almost not raining when I left back up the same way I cam down the day before. It continued like this with light rain coming and going for some time as I started out on the lonely climb up the Gental to Engstlenalp. After the first wooded section where it was both wet and somewhat steep, there was a long open section which was fairly flat. At the end here the rain stopped altogether.
Here I have went up the first steeper section after the flat valley below and the weather looks quite promising now. Also seen (unclear) here is a cable transport for food and material up to a hut on the mountain.
In the photo above the road was still wet, but it dried up on the way up to Engstlenalp. At Engstlenalp I continued to the parking and the only paved road going a little high toward the Engstlensee, where I went some metres on gravel to get a better view of the sea and up toward Jochpass (possible with a mountain bike).
Looking up the mountains north of Engstlenalp.
There were two open places to buy something at and I went to the smaller on the start of the track up to Jochpass. There were a few people around despite the slightly bad weather, but I was currently the only guest. I had a beer and a nice apricot cake.
I went through the area of the Hotel Engstlenalp, which looked closed when I went up, but now saw some people sitting at the tables there, so could have gone there too (more obvious).
Here is the view back down the valley before starting on my return down there. All dry and nice now, but the clouds looks denser than before again and I guess I should be lucky for getting up and down here fine and dry this day. It started to rain as I reach the end of the flat section of Gental, from where I took a short-cut road over to Hasliberg (above Meiringen), but it stopped and then started again where I could take no shelter, but stopped again until I reached a little pass, which happened to be the highest pass (I knew of then) that I had still not climbed in all of the Alps.
I reached the Winterlücke/Winterlicken (1391m) and took a few photos. I had previously thought of going up higher on roads here, but the weather was decidedly against any such plans. This photo is of a nice viewpoint toward Innertkirchen from just before the pass.
The pass sign and the view ahead to the Brienzersee. Not the best weather, but at least I could see the sea from here.
A last looking up on the mountains across Innertkirchen and the way up toward Grimselpass and it looked like it was almost Winter now.
There were no need looking on the maps now, the only choice was going down ahead. I only got a few metres before it started to rain more and then more. I hurriedly tried to find the first best place to stay at for cover and a place where it would be warm and I could get something to eat or drink coffee at and wait out the rain. It turned out to be a big restaurant in central Hasliberg Reuti where I both had something to drink and later a pasta to eat as the rain was pouring down intensely and consistently for hours now. I think I waited like 3 hours before the rain started to go away. Then I continued very slowly mostly up, but also a little down to Brünigpass (1008m) – the hard to miss pass in central Switzerland.
Down to near Brienzersee and then across the plain to the south side of the sea (where I have not really been before as there is no fully asphalted passage on the side, apart from the motorway, that is). But here at 569m the well-known Axalp road starts. Axalp is also a BIG climb and one of the most famous roads I have not been climbing before. The road is fairly steep, but rather evenly so. However, the road continues past Axalp and then becomes more interesting and steeper. Here I finally reached the end of the road at Chüemad (1803m) (the farmer at the house looked not too happy about seeing me, but guess he mostly wondered if these cyclists are going up here no matter the weather).
On the other side up there in the valley another paved road comes up, but there are unfortunately no connection (gravel road, track and a path might be good for mountain bikers, but not me). The climb up to Bättenalp is likely more fun than the Axalp climb from what I have seen, but for another time (have had it in my plans before, but had to skip it).
Some cows and mountains, but I had to go back down quickly as the weather was not good and I was again lucky to having been able to get up here with only a few raindrops. I went down to Axalp hoping that there was more than one hotel open. I did not even get back down the short stretch before it started to rain heavily again. I had to take cover, but then continued anyway when the rain was a bit lighter. It seemed like there was only a bigger nicer hotel open at this time and had to stay there. It was all fine and not too expensive, but not cheap either and I had to eat some. No views from Axalp either in the evening or in the next morning, so never had any views at all of the Brienzerseee from my visit up here. Still nice to have had this climb checked off my list.