Ascend out of Gstaad and onto a ridge past Eggli which maintains altitude over the Col de Jable before you descend into French-speaking Switzerland and the village of L'Etivaz.
Follow a panoramic high-level trail out of Gstaad past Eggli, to the Col de Jable at 1,884m. The hike from Gstaad to Eggli is steep, and although this area is filled with ski lifts and chairs, don’t count on them operating in Summer. However, the panoramic view from Eggli makes the effort worthwhile. The Col de Jable marks the border between the cantons of Bern and Vaud, and also the linguistic border between German and French-speaking Switzerland. Keep an eye out for traditional wooden chalets with shingle roofs, so close to Gruyère, they are most definitely cheese-makers huts. Descend to L’Etivaz; a cheese-making hamlet of about 150 people.
You may be staying in the nearby town of Château-d'Oex, please check your accommodation list. If so, take a local Postbus from L'Etivaz to Château-d'Oex. The journey takes about 15 mins. At the time of writing, buses (no.174) depart at 15.48, 17.14 and 19.04, but please always double check timetables the evening before and plan your day accordingly: https://www.sbb.ch/en/timetable.html
Don't forget to switch to French or it can be a little embarrassing when you when you go to order your end of hike refreshments!
The weather can change rapidly in the Alps, always check the forecast before you start the days hiking and pack appropriately. If the weather is too rough, do not begin the trek.
There can be left over snow drifts early in the season, they have sometimes melted underneath - particularly if it covers moving water. Just because it looks solid, it doesn't mean it is. Exercise extreme caution when crossing such snow drifts and if possible walk around them to where you can see the solidity of the ground clearly.
Some of the ground can be uneven, with rocky/pebbly paths and even ice. Ensure you have suitable footwear with ankle support, and step cautiously when needed.
Much of the path is on clifftops and there has been some erosion, for this reason, the path is sometimes unclear, be careful of the drop and of loose rocks and edges to the cliffs.
Some of the gates are cattle deterrents and are electrified, be sure to use the plastic handles and reattach the cable to the housing when you pass through, they are 12 volts, so not dangerous but very unpleasant.
As well as the appropriate shoes and layered clothing for the changeable weather and other essentials, you should consider walking poles, UV sunglasses and factor 30 suncream. The sun is bright and high UV in the higher Alps and the snow can reflect it and intensify the exposure.
Food and Drink
There are no guarantees of the small roadside cafes being open, so make sure you bring some lunch. There is a nice farm shop in L'Etivaz.
Points of Interest
This is the highest mountain around Gstaad and a popular ski resort in the winter. In the summer it is a lush green with scattered pine forests, wildflowers and butterflies.
A small quaint little village with a hotel and bar at the Chamois Hotel and a small farm shop that has good quality local produce.
This tour is available on the following itineraries: WSGSVA, WSGSVAW