Today we had half a day free as we were waiting for our next group to arrive and so decided to make the most of it by heading to one of our favourite mountains in the area - the Wispile.
Ever since the kids have been little we've been taking them up there: not only is it a fun ride to the top in the cablecar, but it has one of the most beautiful sun-drenched restaurant terraces for a cup of coffee and, BONUS, a children's playground and even a collection of goats and ponies in the summer. And did I mention the view? From the restaurant the view is already great, but walk just a few hundred meters further up a small hill and there you are rewarded with 360 degrees of WOW as the snow capped glacier presents itself in all its glory. Take some sandwiches, have a picnic, and enjoy.
Many make it no further than the restaurant (newly renovated, bright and welcoming with a nice kids corner and lots of mountain kitch to look at) which is completely understandable, but there are actually quite a lot of possibilities for stretching your legs. If you do walk to the very top of the hill you can loop back round, making a short but rewarding round trip for littles. Continue along the ridgeline and you can walk as far as Lauenen, from where you can get the bus back to the bottom of the cable car. This is a 'proper' hike though, and not something you'd attempt with younger children, though the views from the ridge are superb and it's worth a little there-and-back along the first section of the path for these alone.
What we like to do, and what we did this morning, was hike back down the front of the mountain to the mid-station. This is a very doable 35 minutes, though count on a bit more than this for little legs. The path is mostly a wide gravel track with the option to take some single track, steeper shortcuts. We stopped en-route to eat our sandwiches and take in the view over Gstaad and across to the Gastlossen. Slightly older kids than ours (6 and nearly 4) could walk to the bottom, but so far we have been content to hop back on the cable car and play I spy on the way down.
BREAKING NEWS: In just a few weeks time (July 19th, to be precise), the NEW playground at the top will be finished. Our kids were a bit disappointed that it wasn't ready today, but from what we saw of the work in progress it will be FANTASTIC and so no doubt we will be going back very soon!