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Exploring the Swiss Alps

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Exploring the Swiss Alps

Postby the caddis » Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:21 pm

I am heading to the Swiss Alps for two weeks in September, I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on hikes, adventures, places to stay, any help would be greatly appreciated, I am planning to explore the areas around the Eiger, Matterhorn, and possibly Appenzellerland, Thanks for the assistance!
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Postby ise » Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:58 am

you might find some ideas on my blog : http://snowslider.net nothing too extreme but I enjoy it :D
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Bergli hutte

Postby Koen » Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:25 am

If you're able to get there, try to spend a night in the Bergli hut. It's a comfortable bivouac hut, perched on a ridge, with a splendid view on Eiger's southface, the mittellegi ridge on Eiger and towards Schreck- and Lauteraarhorn.

Plenty to climb and explore around there.

Enjoy
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Postby Gabriele Roth » Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:36 am

only one advice, about "gear" ... remember to carry with you a good amount of money :lol:
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This is what we did last summer

Postby eza » Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:32 pm

Faulhornweg: An easy hike with great views over the Interlaken area, Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau and so on (http://www.summitpost.org/route/212719/ ... latte.html)

Lauberhorn: Another easy one, maybe a little bit too crowded up to Kleine Scheidegg, but offering wonderful panoramas (http://www.summitpost.org/route/217052/ ... grund.html). Consider completing it making a round tour to Männlichen (http://www.summitpost.org/route/220568/m-nnlichen.html)

Allalinhorn: An easy four-thousander over Saas Fee. The underground train up to Mittelallalin does take away some of its charm, but the moment when you reach the Feejoch and see the Matterhorn was great (http://www.summitpost.org/route/159138/ ... ridge.html)

West Breithorn: Four thousand meters easily reached from the Klein Matterhorn cablecar. A little bit steep on some points, but if you watch out for the glacier crevasses it's not dangerous and offers a great sight over Matterhorn (http://www.summitpost.org/route/156862/ ... ormal.html)

Oh! and if you look for a place to stay in Grindelwald the Naturfreundehaus (www.naturfreundehaeuser.ch/assistant/gr ... /index.php) is really nice, and not too expensive (though a little bit away from the village center, couldn't be perfect :wink: )

Hope to have been of some help. Enjoy Switzerland :)
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Postby mvs » Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:59 pm

I did a fantastic multi-day hike last year about this time, called "The Walker's Haute Route." It goes from Zermatt to Chamonix, and as time permits you could do one section or the whole thing. I needed 7 days to do it, where I included the "Europaweg" from Zermatt to St. Niklaus (adds a day at least). But I also skipped a day with the aid of a taxi from Verbier to Champex (too many roads there for my taste!).

Really fun...surprising amount of solitude as well. I wrote a trip report here.

Oh, and what Gabriele said about a fat wallet...very very true. :lol:
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Postby cbcbd » Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:50 pm

If you camp at Campgrounds it really cuts on the cost - and they have some amazing campgrounds out there with prime locations.

Near Interlaken, @ Lauterbrunnen:
http://www.camping-jungfrau.ch/

There is a campground in Zermatt that is OK, and one outside Zermatt in Tasch, near the train station of the train you need to take into Zermatt.


As far as hiking... it's just everywhere and it's all gorgeous - pick up a map, chose a way and go. Yellow signs mark walking paths - you can follow these through the mountains from town to town.

A nice non-technical hike off of Zermatt is the Mettelhorn:
http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock ... lhorn.html
http://www.hikingalps.com/tourmettelhorn.html

There is a hut along the way you can chose to stay at or stop for some pie - Hotel Trift. This could probably be done as a day hike and you get nice views of all the 4000m peaks around.
I did this hike a few years ago, similar to the one mapped out here:
http://www.hikingalps.com/images/Clipbo ... lhorn3.jpg

Starting out at Zermatt, heading up to the mountain... we tent camped and the next day followed around Unter Gabelhorn towards the Matterhorn. We didn't go to the Hornli Hut, but just to Schwarzsee, where we took the cable car down (that was expensive). You can walk down from there too, if you like.
Last edited by cbcbd on Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby the caddis » Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:52 pm

thanks everyone for the help so far, i really appreciate, do you guys think i should sign up for a self guided tour in one of these regions (they take care of lodgin, meals, etc,) or should i just wing it myself, id spend about 6 days each in the jungfrau and zermatt regions, finding lodging as i go, thanks again
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Postby cbcbd » Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:10 pm

You can do some research before hand and use guides, which will give you an idea of what's there (I'm partial to Lonely Planet).
I'd wing it and do the legwork myself... but that's just my preference

Are you going alone?
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Postby the caddis » Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:46 pm

yea im going alone, i am not a fan of being guided through, more of a thought on whether i should take some of the spontaneity and planning out of it by having a company put together the route, lodging, etc., or if its better to just play it by ear, also, i am assuming i will be able to find places to stay relatively easily since it will be in mid to late september, is that a poor assumption?
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Postby mvs » Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:29 am

Not at all...play it by ear, it will work out nicely.
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Postby the caddis » Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:26 am

ok, i think i will just play it by ear, station myself in the jungfrau region for 5 nights, then station myself in the zermatt region for 5 nights, is it possible to camp?? i really need to save the cash, like under 20 a night, any good suggestions on camp sites? also, do i bring my backpacking tent? ook, sorry for all the questions, but thanks for all the help
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Postby cbcbd » Fri Aug 10, 2007 3:58 pm

Yeah, it's definitively possible to camp, and it's what I did to save some money. You can call for rates, but it'll be around 20 swiss francs per night for campgrounds.

I'd bring your backpacking tent just to save weight and space when you will be lugging it around (are you taking trains or car?). And also if you want to backpack and "wild camp" somewhere you'll have that option and can save cash for a night.

In Zermatt there is one campground.
http://www.zermatt.ch/e/accommodation/camping.html
You get out of the train station and walk left, back towards Tasch, and the campground is close to the train tracks on the left side of the road to Tasch.

You can't drive to Zermatt (there is a road, but not public) - Tasch is the nearest town to Zermatt where you can take a train from. I wouldn't base camp out of there if you want to do stuff in Zermatt, but if you get to the area late you can stay there for the night and take the train to Zermatt the next day. The campground in Tasch is located at the end of the town - basically one of the last "things" on the road from Tasch to Zermatt - it's on the right side of the road.

As for camping in the Jungfrau region - I'm sure there are tons of campgrounds in Interlaken. I stayed in an awesome campground in Lauterbrunnen, right outside Interlaken, and a short train ride away from Wengen, Klein Scheidegg, Grindenwald, and the Jungfraujoch (and the Eiger).
Lauterbrunnen is small, beautiful, quiet, private, and nice- Interlaken is bigger and more of a city - I was there with a girlfriend, so the former was better.
http://www.accessworldwide.com/images/j ... etting.jpg
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Postby Lockhart » Sat Aug 11, 2007 6:22 pm

I would second the area around Lauterbrunnen. There is a hostel there (~25 sFr), and a relatively inexpensive B&B (~30 sFr, right across the street from the Protestant church, with lots of flowers on it). If I remember correctly, there is also a campground further south along the road in Stechelburg.

Since you're alone, I couldn't recommend doing much unguided. You could hike (completely untechnical) the Schilthorn after catching the lift (~7 sFr) to Grimmelwald (not Grindelwald). The Shilthorn gives great views to the entire Berner Oberland. There is a lift to the top, and many tourists hike down from there, so I would be comfortable going solo. Expect a 5,000-foot elevation gain from Grimmelwald.

It is expensive, but worth every Franc to take the train from Lauterbrunnen/Interlaken/Wegen/Grindelwald to the Jungfraujoch. Again, lots of people, but well worth it. You can hike from the Sphinx train station to the Mönchjochhütte (a hut around 11,000 feet) in about 40 minutes. The glacier is packed down with snow equipment, so you don't need a rope or a partner. Staying at the hut costs around 40-55 sFr, but is a great experience, and probably about the closest you can get to a mountaineering experience without hiring a guide or finding a partner. If I were back there and alone, this is where I would go. Highly recommended. If you do it, bring lots of water, as water is very expensive at the hut.

The Zermatt area is more touristy than Lauterbrunnen (more expensive). You'll have to camp if you want to stay there for under ~35 sFr/night. There are miles of hiking trails all over. As far as I know there isn't any camping in the nearby Saas-Fee. I'm not as familiar with the the Valais region.

Again, if you are looking for good hikes to do solo, the Gross Mythen near Schwyz would be an excellent choice. The trail from Brunni is a quick 1/4 day walk. In the French-speaking pre-Alps, I also recommend the hiking around Villars, Leysin, and Les Diablerets.

If you are going toward the end of September, you'll be hitting the area at the end of the summer season. If you're lucky, most of the tourists will be gone. I managed to find a few B&B owners who were willing to give me very, very reduced rates if I stayed multiple nights and skipped breakfast. They were just happy to let out their guest-room. Grab breakfast at the local bakery, and you could stay at a B&B for the price of camping. Worth keeping in mind.

If possible, try to make your schedule flexible. You could end up in the Jungfrau or Zermatt region, spend five days in the clouds and rain, and leave on the first sunny day. It's a small country, so if it is rainy, go to the sun. You'll likely only lose 1/2 day.

Enjoy!
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Postby the caddis » Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:38 pm

thanks for all the great info, yea since i am alone i am planning to do mainly non-technical hikes, get out and see as much as possible, get some great mountain exploration but no real mountaineering this trip, still going back and forth on whether or not to bring my tent, thats 4 or 5 pounds to carry, and like you said, being in mid/late september, maybe i can get some reduced rates since its end of season
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