Once you have crossed the area Rufenen and hiked downhill along the river Schiissbach, you reach the Gschwantenmad. The peculiarity of this maple pasture are the three Norway maple trees intermixed here in the stock. Whoever finds it? The pastures of the Gschwantenmad belong as well to the Alp Grindel, which is a community alp like the Alp Breitenboden. The alpine farming is based on a centuries-old tradition. While the grassland areas in the valley are used in summer for hay production, the cattle grazes on the alp pastures.
The Alp Grindel is organized in three management levels (called Stafel). The lowest level is the Gschwantenmad; its farm buildings you see in front of you. The cattle is here at the beginning of the alp season in June. Then it is moved to the middle level (Mettlen and Chrüteren) and in mid-summer finally on the uppermost level (Grindel field). During the descent from the alps the cattle grazes again at the middle level and lastly, from late August to September, at the lowest level. The milk is processed to cheese on site like in earlier times. In autumn, the cheese is divided in the traditional "Chästeilet" among the farmers according their cattle share, and brought down to the valley. Who knocks politely at the hut of "Bäuert-Meiringen» (see red circle on the map) can take a look in the cheese cauldron. The herdsman Hans Kohler-Egger will be happy to show you his swallow ladles «Schluckkellen» from Sycamore wood, which he uses for the cheese production.