Klewenalp: Where lake meets mountains

From the shores of Lake Lucerne, a cable car climbs to a snowy paradise of pistes, walking trails and gigantic summits crumbling into sheer rock faces. 

It feels like a summer's day on Lake Lucerne. The limpid water twinkles; day trippers stroll the promenade. But a short cable car ride away, the scene sounds winter. From chocolate-box Beckenried, a smart lakeside town, the Klewenalp cable car climbs to 1600 metres above sea level.

Up high, a pristine white plateau is encircled by marshmallow mountains cast in watery shades of blue - Schwalmis, Risetenstock and Brisan. Their smooth summits cascade in waves against the brilliant sky, occasionally tumbling down jagged flanks. 

Our easy walk criss-crosses the snakes-and-ladders board of ski pistes, aglow with cheerful families, then winds onto a panoramic trail around the Klewenstock before tumbling into quiet woodland. The only sounds are our boots crunching on the snow and the whisper of bird life in the branches. With binoculars, we can see chamois tracks climbing out of a vertiginous ravine and up to a high point. 

After the loveliest stretch of winter walking, we approach Stockhütte. Ahead of us, the view encompasses the almost triangular Grosser Mythen and sweeps as far as Ennetbürgen, reigned over by famous Hotel Villa Honegg. A cup of tea and a slice of berry pie in the Stockhütte panoramic restaurant provides us ample opportunity to drink in the scene. And our outing isn't over before a short PostAuto ride back to Beckenried, where we admire the brilliance of a place too perfect to be true - where lake meets mountains, like a masterpiece created by an artist.  

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