Forum Index > Trip Reports > Switzerland: Bernese Oberland hikes – 9/3 to 9/12/2011
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Joe
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PostFri Sep 23, 2011 1:10 pm 
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Roger and Tom’s trip reports from the last two years were the inspiration for this trip.  The trip reports provided most of our hiking itinerary, but we didn’t have as ambitious hiking plans and stuck to easy low mileage hikes.  Thank you for answering my numerous questions about the trains, cable cars and the rail passes.

Sept. 3 –Bristol, UK to Murren

This was a 2 plane, 4 trains and one cable car day.  The trip started with a flight to Amsterdam, then a second flight to Zurich.  At Zurich, we took train #1 to Bern, where we had about 7 minutes to catch train #2 to Interlaken Ost.  At Interlaken Ost we boarded train #3 to Lauterbrunnen, then a short walk to the cable car station, where we rode the cable car to Grutschalp.  Train #4 to Murren completed the day’s journey.

We must have been missing the Northwest, since we stayed in the Murren Bellevue Hotel.

our-hotel-in-murren
our-hotel-in-murren

We had great views from our room’s balcony.

our-rooms-balcony-view-pano
our-rooms-balcony-view-pano

Sept. 4 – Rainy day hike in the Lauterbrunnen Valley

The day started with a walking tour of Murren including a trip to the train station to purchase our Berner Oberland regional train pass.

allmendhubel-tram-in-murren
allmendhubel-tram-in-murren
rainy-day-in-murren
rainy-day-in-murren
murren-1
murren-1
murren-2
murren-2

Finally ready to hike, we took the cable car from Murren, 5400 feet, down to Gimmelwald, and then switched to a second cable car down to Stechelberg, 3000 feet, located on the valley floor.  It started to rain, so we felt right at home in the Alps.  From Stechelberg, we hiked to Lauterbrunnen with a detour to visit Trummelbachfalle.  The falls are interesting, but they cost 11 CHF per person.  We opted to take the funicular to the higher starting point, checking out the upper falls/chutes and then walking down to see the lower falls.

trummelbachfallen-1
trummelbachfallen-1
trummelbachfallen-2
trummelbachfallen-2

Shortly after the leaving the falls heading toward Lauterbrunnen, the rains finally stopped.

barb-hiking-in-lauterbrunnen-valley
barb-hiking-in-lauterbrunnen-valley
lauterbrunnen-valley
lauterbrunnen-valley
lauterbrunnen-valley-water-fall-1
lauterbrunnen-valley-water-fall-1
lauterbrunnen-valley-water-fall-2
lauterbrunnen-valley-water-fall-2
staubbach-falls
staubbach-falls
lauterbrunnen-1
lauterbrunnen-1
lauterbrunnen-cemetery
lauterbrunnen-cemetery
lauterbrunnen-2
lauterbrunnen-2

From Lauterbrunnen, we returned to Murren by cable car and train.

post-hike-beer
post-hike-beer

Trip stats: about 5 miles

Sept. 5 – Day trip to Interlaken and a boat ride

The weather was worse today, so we decided not to hike and took the train into Interlaken to check out the town.  Barb found a coo coo clock that had to be purchased.  After our walking tour of Interlaken, we took a 3 hour paddeboat ride on Brienzersee.

enjoying-the-boat-ride
enjoying-the-boat-ride
Brienzersee-views-1
Brienzersee-views-1
Brienzersee-views-2
Brienzersee-views-2
Brienzersee-views-3
Brienzersee-views-3
Brienzersee-views-4
Brienzersee-views-4
Brienz-and-waterfall
Brienz-and-waterfall
maybe-the-weather-will-improve
maybe-the-weather-will-improve
Brienzersee-views-6
Brienzersee-views-6
Brienzersee-views-8
Brienzersee-views-8

Sept. 6 – Jungfraujoch: Top of Europe

We woke up to a beautiful day in the Alps, so we headed to Jungfraujoch, which is billed as the top of Europe.  The train station is the highest train station in Europe, 11,300 feet.  The journey started with a train from Murren to Grutschalp, cable car down to Lauterbrunnen, train from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg, and finally the expensive train ride from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch.  The train route tunnels through the Eiger with a couple brief stops at view stations along the way.

Eismeer-view-portal
Eismeer-view-portal

We knocked off a couple of the main tourist attractions, Ice Palace and Plateau view point, but skipped the Sphinx, there was too long of a line at the elevator.

ice-palace-1
ice-palace-1
ice-palace-2
ice-palace-2
ice-palace-3
ice-palace-3
Aletsch-glacier
Aletsch-glacier
climbers
climbers
Jungfrau-1
Jungfrau-1
Jungfrau-2
Jungfrau-2
Jungfrau-3
Jungfrau-3

We made our way through the labyrinth to exit on the glacier where there are more tourist attractions: zip line and sledding/tubing areas.  Leaving the crowds behind, we hiked to Monchsjoch Hut, 11,900 feet, about 2.5 miles round trip.  At the hut we ate lunch.  Surprisingly,  lunch was cheaper at the hut than the restaurants in the many nearby Swiss towns.

heading-to-monchsjochhutte
heading-to-monchsjochhutte
looking-back-at-jungfrau
looking-back-at-jungfrau
barb-heading-to-monchsjochhutte-2
barb-heading-to-monchsjochhutte-2
almost-to-the-hut
almost-to-the-hut
monchsjochhutte
monchsjochhutte
view-from-hut
view-from-hut
heading-back
heading-back
hiking-in-the-alps-is-fun
hiking-in-the-alps-is-fun
post-hike-beer
post-hike-beer
Monch
Monch
silberhorn
silberhorn
zoomed-Sphinx
zoomed-Sphinx
train-heading-to-Jungfrau
train-heading-to-Jungfrau
monch-and-jungfrau
monch-and-jungfrau
view-from-train
view-from-train

Sept. 7 – Schilthorn then Mountain View hike

We started the day with a trip to Schilthorn riding the cable car from Murren to Birg and a second cable car from Birg to Schilthorn, ~ 9750 feet.  We first watched the film presentation on the area with clips from the film “On her Majesty’s Secret Service”.  Stepping outside, it was pretty windy, so we quickly walked around the viewing platform taking some photos, then headed inside to the revolving restaurant for some coffee.

Schilthorn-tram
Schilthorn-tram
Schilthorn-view-1
Schilthorn-view-1
Schilthorn-view-2
Schilthorn-view-2
Schilthorn-view-3
Schilthorn-view-3
Birg-station
Birg-station
Schilthorn-view-4
Schilthorn-view-4
Schilthorn
Schilthorn

Returning to Murren, we rode the funicular to Allmendhubel, 6300 feet, to start our hike on the Mountain View trail from Allmendhubel to Grutschalp, 4900 feet, total distance about 3.5 miles.  We returned to Murren on the train.

Allmendhubel
Allmendhubel
barb-taking-photos
barb-taking-photos
Mountain-View-trail-view-1
Mountain-View-trail-view-1
which-way
which-way
too-many-choices
too-many-choices
barb-hiking-1
barb-hiking-1
trail-marker
trail-marker
moo
moo
Mountain-View-trail-view-2
Mountain-View-trail-view-2
view-toward-Wengen
view-toward-Wengen
barb-hiking-2
barb-hiking-2
trail-turnstile
trail-turnstile
hiking
hiking
view-toward-Eiger,-Monch-and Jungfrau
view-toward-Eiger,-Monch-and Jungfrau
eiger-closeup
eiger-closeup
cloudy-monch
cloudy-monch
cloudless-monch
cloudless-monch
jungfrau
jungfrau
murren-goats
murren-goats

Sept. 8 - Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg hike

Trip logistics: Train and cable car to Lauterbrunnen, train from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen and then a cable car to Mannlichen 7300 feet.

From the cable car station, we first hiked the half mile to Mannlichen summit, 7700 feet.

Mannlichen-tram
Mannlichen-tram
barb-ascending-Mannlichen
barb-ascending-Mannlichen
bench-with-a-view
bench-with-a-view
view-from-mannlichen
view-from-mannlichen

Returning to the station, we hiked the trail to Kleine Scheidegg, 6760 feet.  This is very popular trail with great views as you march toward the north face of the Eiger.

Looking-back-at-the-route-from-mannlichen
Looking-back-at-the-route-from-mannlichen
danger
danger
view-from-the-trail
view-from-the-trail
Barb-hiking
Barb-hiking
mannlichen-trail
mannlichen-trail
the-eiger-is-my-friend
the-eiger-is-my-friend
barb-descending
barb-descending
train-approaching-Kleine-Scheidegg
train-approaching-Kleine-Scheidegg
large-hiking-group
large-hiking-group

On the return to Murren, we made a brief stops at Wengen and Lauterbrunnen to check out the towns.

Wengen-1
Wengen-1
Wengen-2
Wengen-2
looking-for-coffee-in-Lauterbrunnen
looking-for-coffee-in-Lauterbrunnen

Back at Murren, we took the funicular to Allmendhubal and walked the short .4 mile Flower trail.

Flower-trail-companion
Flower-trail-companion
Flower-trail-companion-2
Flower-trail-companion-2

Total hiking mileage for the day: 4.5 miles.

Sept. 9 – Bachalpsee hike

Travel logistics: train and cable car to Lauterbrunnen, train from Lauterbrunnen to Zweiltschinen, train from Zweiltschinen to Grindelwald, ten minute walk to the gondola, and finally a long gondola ride to First, 7100 feet.

Our after hike return trip was: First gondola to Grindelwald, train Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg, train Kleine Scheidegg to Lauterbrunnen and the cable car and train to Murren.

This is a short hike to very pretty Lake Bachalpsee, 7400 feet.  There are great views the entire trip.

zoomed-mountain-views
zoomed-mountain-views
views-from-trail
views-from-trail
view-toward-Faulhorn
view-toward-Faulhorn
Lower-lake
Lower-lake
view-across-lower-lake
view-across-lower-lake
upper-lake
upper-lake
happy-hikers
happy-hikers
hut
hut
zoomed-mountain-views-2
zoomed-mountain-views-2
hiking
hiking
hiking-with-cows
hiking-with-cows
cow-enjoying-the-view
cow-enjoying-the-view
hiking-2
hiking-2
Grindelwald
Grindelwald
post-hike-beer
post-hike-beer
swiss-alphorns
swiss-alphorns
murren-views
murren-views

Trip stats: 4 miles

Sept 10 – Northface trail

We took the funicular from Murren to Allmendhubal to start this hike.  The hike heads in the opposite direction of our earlier Mountain View hike that started in Allmendhubel.  The trail is dotted with numerous eating establishments and ends in Murren.  The trail has about a dozen information panels with history of the various mountains seen along the route.  The information includes photos showing climbing routes and details about first ascent and other significant routes.

taking-a-break-along-the-trail
taking-a-break-along-the-trail
trail-view-1
trail-view-1
looking-down-on-murren
looking-down-on-murren
watch-your-step
watch-your-step
barb-among-her-swiss-friend
barb-among-her-swiss-friend
hiking
hiking
enjoying-the-view
enjoying-the-view
tram-arriving-at-Birg
tram-arriving-at-Birg
arriving-at-Schlitalp
arriving-at-Schlitalp
I-like-the-alps
I-like-the-alps
taking-photos
taking-photos
working-the-fields
working-the-fields
trail-view-2
trail-view-2
returning-to-murren
returning-to-murren

Trip Stats: 4.5 miles

Sept. 11 - Eigergletscher to Wengen hike


Trip Logistics:  Train and cable car to Lauterbrunnen, train Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg, train Kleine Scheidegg to Eigergletscher.

For our last hike in Switzerland, we decided to get a close up view of the Eigergletscher.  The trail leaves the train station, 7600 feet, and heads directly to the moraine edge of retreating Eigergletscher.  The trail then descends along the moraine before returning to Kleine Scheidegg where we ate lunch.  After lunch we hiked the trail to Wengen, 4200 feet.

silberhorn
silberhorn
Monch
Monch
Eigergletscher
Eigergletscher
checking-out-Eiger
checking-out-Eiger
On-the-moraine-trail
On-the-moraine-trail
barb-on-moraine-trail
barb-on-moraine-trail
eiger
eiger
barb-enjoying-the-views
barb-enjoying-the-views
view-toward-murren
view-toward-murren
kleine-scheidegg
kleine-scheidegg
almost-to-kleine-scheidegg
almost-to-kleine-scheidegg
lunch-time
lunch-time
glacier-closeup
glacier-closeup
on-the-way-to-Wengen
on-the-way-to-Wengen
eiger-and-monch
eiger-and-monch
wengen
wengen

Trip Stats: 6.5 miles

Sept. 12 - Murren to Bristol, UK

Sadly it was time to return to our UK home.  We had a great trip and we loved Switzerland.  It rained a couple days, but we had great weather the other days.  This was another 4 trains, 1 cable car and 2 plane day.

heading-home-on-the-train-to-Bern
heading-home-on-the-train-to-Bern

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Nasty Nate
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PostFri Sep 23, 2011 3:54 pm 
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I was only in Switzerland for a few hours, on a long drive from Milan to Munich, but it was one of the most awe-inspiring places I've ever been to. Those Swiss live in a fantasy land. Thanks for the photos.
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Tangeman
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PostFri Sep 23, 2011 5:40 pm 
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I didn't know my jaw could drop that much.

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"Civilization is a nice place to visit, although I wouldn't want to live there."
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twodogdad
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PostFri Sep 23, 2011 7:40 pm 
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Thanks for the wonderful TR, Joe: brought back memories. I hope the UK's treating you well. My dogs enjoy having a drink from your water dish every time we go out (not too often any more: they are getting old; the sofa seems more attractive). N
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TrailPair
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PostSat Sep 24, 2011 9:29 am 
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So is Austria next? 

Beautiful photos!  smile.gif

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Joe
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PostSat Sep 24, 2011 10:33 am 
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Maybe Greece or Norway.

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Popcorn
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PostSat Sep 24, 2011 10:41 am 
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watch-your-step
watch-your-step

Great commercial for "Chik Fillet" (SP?) restaurants. "Eat more chikken."
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Tigerotor77W
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PostSat Sep 24, 2011 11:22 am 
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We just missed each other -- I was in the Bernese-Oberland region just as you arrived!

You have some really nice photos! A friend and I didn't fully research the hiking in the area before heading into the Alps. The views we saw, while majestic, weren't really optimal for lighting (a lot of strong backlighting the first day, making panoramas a bit difficult). I was going to post a TR for this and for the hike to the Matterhorn's Hörnlihütte up, but I think with this post I'll look at my photos for the latter and see if any will suffice for  TR.
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marta
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PostSat Sep 24, 2011 4:19 pm 
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Excellent - I keep thinking about doing Switzerland in July but your pictures show the beauty of it in September - yep... a bit unpredictable but I love the clear skies when it does happen.
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aribix
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PostSat Sep 24, 2011 6:10 pm 
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Joe - Awesome trip report and photos!  My wife and took a similar trip there last summer and did a bunch of the same hikes.  Your write-up brought back a lot of great memories.

Sorry you had a few days of rain, but sounds like an incredible trip overall.  Fortunately, the Lauterbrunnen Valley is one of those places that looks as beautiful, if not more beautiful, in overcast  or rainy weather.

Passing Storm - Lauterbrunnen Valley
Passing Storm - Lauterbrunnen Valley

Glad you had a great trip.
Bix

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PostSat Sep 24, 2011 7:51 pm 
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You really know how to have a good time! Loved every pic more than the next!  biggrin.gif
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Aubrey
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PostSat Sep 24, 2011 9:36 pm 
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Nice job! I'm also reminiscing ... my wife and I did a 60-mile, 8-day, Bernese Oberland trek in 2006. Went Inn to Inn to Inn to hut to .... The signage was wonderful and the train system was awesome. We sent our luggage with clean clothes to towns a few days ahead of us, and then, when we met up with it, we changed dirty clothes with clean clothes and sent it back on its way into the future. Aside from the huts, we lived the life with post-hike beers and hot meals (even on some of the passes). Come to think of it, we even enjoyed beer in the huts.

Looking back, I truly relish the memories from that trip. Thanks for stoking those memories.
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tmatlack
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PostSun Sep 25, 2011 4:04 am 
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Lucky dogs!  we spent the afternoon at Klein Shiddig(sp?) and never even got a whiff of the Eiger...socked in so hard the Japanese tourists hid in the hotel lobby.  Truly amazing place.  Every turn a postcard and lunch at a small cafe...90 francs for four of us.  Ouch.  We had to leave.
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Joe
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PostSun Sep 25, 2011 10:43 am 
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Food is expensive in Switzerland.  We ordered a focaccia sandwich in Kleine Scheidegg, 24 CHF, yikes.  Barb and I shared the sandwich.

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Bernardo
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PostSun Sep 25, 2011 9:53 pm 
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Beautiful area.  What's the best hike and eat opportunity in the Washington?
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Switzerland: Bernese Oberland hikes – 9/3 to 9/12/2011
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