2-3 days in Zurich/Alps late March

2-3 days in Zurich/Alps late March

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asper664
asper664
2 posts
new member
Aug 9, 2015 - 1:22 PM

Hello all. Will be in Zurich for 2-3 days March 30-April 1 with 2 teens & a 9 yr old. I assume it'll be still cold. Is it still possible to get tours of Alps (any mountains like Titlis, Pilatus, etc) or will it be all snow? Any greens at lower elevations like Lucern? I was told cogwheel train will be closed but think aerial cable cars will be running. Lastly, will it be brutally cold? Any help appreciated!!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2641 posts
expert
Aug 9, 2015 - 4:25 PM in reply to asper664

<<"Hello all. Will be in Zurich for 2-3 days March 30-April 1 with 2 teens & a 9 yr old. I assume it'll be still cold. Is it still possible to get tours of Alps (any mountains like Titlis, Pilatus, etc) or will it be all snow? Any greens at lower elevations like Lucern? I was told cogwheel train will be closed but think aerial cable cars will be running. Lastly, will it be brutally cold? Any help appreciated!!">>

Different cogwheel trains and different lifts will have very different schedules.

One way to find out is to use the timetable, and check for days when you know a particular lift is running,, and also for a day when you think it might not be.

By far the best experts on all that are Arno and Annika, the forum moderators. However, I'll make a guess - the cograils at Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Grindelwald and Kleine Scheidegg will be running. Some of the lifts are there to serve skiers, and there is still a lot of snow on the ground at the end of March....as long as you are at high altitude.

Any question about temperature has to include the elevation of the location. Check some of the web-cams at various places around Switzerland, and you'll see the temperature differences.

It is common in daily weather forecasts to give the altltude at which the temperature will drop to zero degrees Celsius on each night (or day) as a partial guide to snow conditions. It can get very cold up on the Jungfraujoch..

For contrast , there are palm trees growing on some of the westward facing slopes that get a lot of sun....Montreux, Weggis.....

As another example - the very popular, really stunning easy walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg is probably accessible all winter for skiers by chairlift from Grindelwald. However, the big gondola car lift from Wengen only opens starting around May 30, so that you cannot easily get up there from Wengen until then. And, due to exposure where the trail passes around Tschuggen, the trail itself may well be closed or partly closed in the winter.

At lower altitudes you will be having significant signs of Spring at the end of March, but snow is certainly possible.

As you have phrased the question(s) the answer to each will be either "yes.' "no." or "maybe," depending on what altitude you are at, and the amount of daily sunshine . Same for what transport will be running.

It is certainly true that the winter season is tapering off by then, so not all hotels and facilities will be open.

Most people don't "take tours" of the mountains. They just get on one of the frequent trains, go there, ride up and down on the service to the top, eat, hike, stare, ski, whatever, and turn around and come down.

There is no reason to commit to a tour, which thus gives you flexibility if the high mountains are cloudy one day and not another.

Have you got any specific locations that interest you?

A good map + a timetable will help.

map.classic.search.ch/

and -

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

.

Slowpoke.

asper664
asper664
2 posts
new member
Aug 9, 2015 - 7:04 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks, 'Slowpoke' for the detailed info. Will be v helpful in planning. Some great practical points! Will ask forum moderators too.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2641 posts
expert
Aug 9, 2015 - 8:29 PM in reply to asper664

Don't know if you hope to do any hiking, but my favorite trail for first-timers won't be open. Here are some pictures taken in late September 2009 around Männlichen. The trail from Männlichen southwards to Kleine Scheidegg is particularly impressive when the Eiger looms over you as you walk toward it (downhill direction.) , so I personally feel strongly about hiking it in that direction. It is easy enough that it s jokingly called "The Grannies' Walk."

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

When you see a Swiss Grannny striding along full speed with her hiking staff in the up hill direction at 2300 meters, it will give you some respect for the walking habits of the Swiss, ;-)

Until June 1 (more or less) that trail will will be closed, as you get closer Tschugggen and then to the Eiger.

This link to all the trails is is reasonably current, but at change of season times, it is wise to check at the various train stations or tourist offices. Most have TV monitors showing real time conditions.

www.jungfrau.ch/en/som mer/tourism/destinatio ns/kleine-scheidegg/hiking-trails/

Of course, if you cannot hike it, you may be able to ski it. ;-)

Slowpoke

Last modified on Aug 10, 2015 - 12:40 PM by Slowpoke
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Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 10, 2015 - 8:34 AM

Hello asper664!

It's very hard to predict temperatures and the amount of snow for next March and April. At lower elevations around Zurich and Lucerne there may be a start of Spring, and brutal winter cold shouldn't be expected there. Milder cold is still possible though. It really depends on what kind of Winter sets in and how long it lasts. Mountain tops will certainly be covered in snow, and you'll have to prepare for low temperatures when visiting them. The amount of snow definitely results in stunning views though, so if you don't mind some traveling time from Zurich, and if skies are clear, I'd certainly recommend visiting at least one viewing point.

End of March and beginning of April are indeed a kind of in-between season and you'll have to check opening times carefully. Links to respective timetables of the viewing points you're interested in can be found under "More on other websites" at

Similarly, you can check the timetables by visiting the pages of other attractions you may wish to visit: www.myswissalps.com/ac tivities.

Zurich itself has a lot to offer too: please see www.myswissalps.com/zu rich for sightseeing tips and www.myswissalps.com/zu rich/hotels for accommodation.

It's not the best season for hiking. Some valley hikes are possible, higher trails will be closed and only open up in May, June or July, again depending on current circumstances. Moreover, Zurich isn't the best base for hiking, as it does take quite some traveling time to reach the mountains. Our general planning tips at www.myswissalps.com/pl antrip/doityourself/co mposeitinerary may be of help too.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2641 posts
expert
Aug 10, 2015 - 11:56 AM in reply to Annika

<<"Moreover, Zurich isn't the best base for hiking, as it does take quite some traveling time to reach the mountains. ">>>

True for alpine hiking. But, there is a nice walk of a couple of hours from Uetliberg station to the lift at Felsenegg, which returns you to the trains in the valley below.at Adliswil.

Uetliberg station, at the end of the line, and the beginning of the walk, is a 20 minute ride twice per hour from Zürich main station.

And, the network of marked hiking trails ( die Wanderwege) runs everywhere in Switzerland. Generally, as you note, the lower valleys will be mostly free of snow.

High mountain pass roads don't open until early June, in contrast.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Aug 10, 2015 - 5:10 PM by Slowpoke

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