Gummen, located between the small towns of Einsiedeln and Schwyz, on the foot of the Kleiner Mythen mountain and with spectacular views over the lakes Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne) and Lauerzersee as well as of the Stoos and Rigi mountains, is a new Adopt-an-Alp member this year.
Not new is the cheese maker who is in charge at Alp Gummen this summer: Award winning Martin Dobler used to work and report to us from Alp Parpan before his move to central Switzerland, the so called Ur-Schweiz where the country was founded in 1291. He got hired together with Simon Koller. The two know each other from back in school when they were cheese maker apprentices. On Gummen, Martin is in charge of the cheeses and the cellar, and Simon tends to the animals. During peak times Dobler’s fiancée, Patricia, a florist, goes up and helps.
90 cows, Brown Swiss and Original Brown, 30 pigs and 8 steers spend the summer on Alp Gummen. 3 neighboring Alps also bring their milk there and have Dobler craft it into raw Alpkäse, plus yogurt, butter, ice cream and, early in the season, small format wheels called Mutschli: Alp Stuckli where Karl Hediger, and old fashion weather prophet (forecaster) is in charge, Alp Oberer Brüschrain (Ruedi Deck) and Unterer Brüschrain (Erwin Appert).
The house and barn on Gummen are traditional, wooden constructions that have served several generations already. In the barn the fresh milk still goes into pails and is poured into the copper vat by hand. The dairy got torn down and rebuilt 10 years ago, and is one of the most functional ones Dobler ever worked in. There is no real restaurant on Alp Gummen, but hikers and mountain bikers still can stop at the hut and order refreshments and small cheese plates.