3 day hut to hut hike in Interlaken region

3 day hut to hut hike in Interlaken region

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4 posts
new member
Jun 17, 2016 - 10:43 PM


I will be coming to Switzerland for the first time in mid August this year with my girlfriend. We really want to do a 3 day hut to hut walk that covers some amazing alpine range and lake views. We are both fit but have no serious hiking experience so we don't want to do anything too crazy, our priority is more being out there rather than really pushing ourselves on a really difficult/dangerous hike - in saying that we also don't want to walk along a paved road or anything too easy like that haha

I am finding it quite difficult to find information online and don't know anyone to talk to so I thought I'd ask you guys a few questions :)

  1. A suggested (preferably round trip) route?
  2. How the huts work - do you have to book in advance? If so how? How much is it roughly per night?
  3. We are backpacking through Europe so will have gear with us we probably don't need to bring on a hike - is there anywhere to leave stuff securely? - this is a lower priority question haha

Sorry if this is a bit basic or confusing but any help would be greatly appreciated :D

Also, we are young and on a budget so the cheaper the option the better!

Thanks so much


4380 posts
expert &
Jun 19, 2016 - 8:57 AM

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for joining us! If you don't have any serious hiking experience, it's very wise not to set the bar too high. Please read about preparation and safety here. Advance booking for huts is recommend, as August is high season and lots of fellow hikers will be exploring the mountains. The SAC website is a great resource.

If you're entering by train, you could use baggage facilities (either lockers or storage rooms) at larger railway stations.

As for a route: there are lots of options. You could search for the easier sections of either national or regional hiking routes. Exploring the options at www.wanderland.ch would be a good start. Some sections of the Via Alpina might work. Meiringen-Grindelwald and Grindelwald-Lauterbrunnen in the Bernese Oberland would be very scenic and doable, for example. I suggest you also explore these other forum threads, as ore options are discussed there.

Pay close attention to height profiles and difficulty indicators when choosing stages, and don't pick anything you're not comfortable with.

4 posts
new member
Jun 23, 2016 - 12:58 AM in reply to Annika

Is it possible to walk a 3 day stage of the Via Alpina?

What stage is this? (attached)

Thanks :)

Last modified on Jun 23, 2016 - 12:59 AM by DanielReeve
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2558 posts
top member
Jun 23, 2016 - 6:37 AM in reply to DanielReeve

Hi Daniel-

You have a good start in your planning with Annika's advice.

Here are a few links that can help you, as well.

www.alpenwild.com/stat icpage/trail-signs-swiss-alps/

This excellent topo map can show you quite small details; I have turned on the overlay for "die Wanderwege" - the marked and maintained hiking trails. The color coding follows the conventions in the above link:

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&layers=ch.swisst opo.zeitreihen,ch.bfs. gebaeude_wohnungs_regi ster,ch.swisstopo.swis stlm3d-wanderwege,ch.swisstop o.landeskarte-farbe-10&layers_visibility=f alse,false,true,false& layers_timestamp=18641 231,,,&X=161280.00&Y=6 37460.00&zoom=5

The maps in Switzerland Mobility (linked by Annika) are also quite detailed.

Annika's link on preparation emphasizes altitude as a determinant of hiking ease ( and speed). Even at 1600-1700 meters (about a mile high, if you prefer English units), some people find it takes a few days to be comfortable with strenuous exercise, until their bodies become acclimated to the "thin" air and reduced oxygen availability. If you are hiking at 2000 meters and above, even if you are fit, you may find that you have to slow down or pause for breath, meaning it will take a a lot longer than you might expect to cover a stretch of trail with a lot of ups and downs or a climb of hundreds of meters. (Hence, Annika's comment about checking altitude profiles.) One of the reasons that I like the Switzerland mobility web site is the altitude profiles.

If you find you want to do shorter hikes, or return to base each night, this link can offer some suggestions:

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

The preparations linked to by Annika are quite important. The weather can change very quickly in the Alps. Although it is certainly far from likely, snow is possible even in August, and thunderstorms arr rather common in the Alps in August. Make sure you have warm clothing and wet weather gear with you in case the weather changes suddenly.

On any but the most easy trails ( the yellow ones on the Swiss topo map) good gear makes the trip easier, faster, and, most critically, safer. Note the advice for good boots - study shoes with lugged soles are a reasonable alternative, but boots give ankle support. The extra stability from using hiking staff(s) becomes apparent on the rough trail sections - especially when you are going downhill. Or, when hiking on scree.

You should be aware of the available mountain rescue services (especially useful in ski season.) Two of our good friends, experienced hikers, slipped on easy trails on different ocasions and broke their ankles, and had to use the helicopter services one called REGA.

I maintain a membership in the most common (and original) one - REGA - which costs us around 60 USD per year for a family, or around 30USD per person. Cheap insurance. I know you are on a budget, but I thought I would mention this . They take credit cards, but you have to dig into the site a bit to figure it out. If you are in Europe, they have a 'konto" number for funds transfer.

If you don't have the membership (which is insurance, actually) they'll get you anyway, but you'll get a bill for a few thousand CHF or USD. The Swiss like you to pay your debts.

www.rega.ch/en/home.as px

(They call their members "patrons" - in German, "die Gönner.")

Check out all this information on the Via Alpina:

www.wanderland.ch/en/r outes/national-routes/route-01.html

I can't name the small lake in the picture you attached in your message. Perhaps someone else can.

Annika has already mentioned sections 1.10 and 1.11.

There are no SAC huts on those sections. Follow the links under Services to find accomodations.

Also,notice the warning :

<<"Beware: snowfields possible into summer months on high-level sections.">>


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4 posts
new member
Jun 25, 2016 - 2:09 AM

www.wanderland.ch/de/r egionale-routen/route-059.html

I like the look of this one, only thing is the start of the trail looks difficult to get to considering we are coming from Munich, and I am a bit concerned about altitude sickness, thoughts?


4 posts
new member
Jun 25, 2016 - 2:19 AM in reply to DanielReeve

Would doing it in reverse help with acclimatizing?

2558 posts
top member
Jun 25, 2016 - 11:56 AM in reply to DanielReeve

<<"Would doing it in reverse help with acclimatizing?">>

Don't know the answer, and I'm not qualified to guess. Both ends start at altitudes where the atmospheric pressure is high enough that most people don't notice much effect.

The benefit of starting at Bignasco is that the first 12 km or so is on a road and you have a way back out if it looks like it will be too much hike. A quick look at the timetable did not show me a bus past Bignasco, though.

A first time hiker in the Alps ought to have plans for dealing with problems due to inexperience.

I do not make hikes in that class and don't know about you or the hike to make a realistic judgement. However, that said, I think that this hike lacks a critical element to meet your requirement:

<"We are both fit but have no serious hiking experience so we don't want to do anything too crazy, our priority is more being out there rather than really pushing ourselves on a really difficult/dangerous hike -">>

It is really difficult.

And, there is no escape route in the middle, only once you reach Alpi de Cristallina, although the SAC hut at Passo di Cristallina would serve.

Perhaps the SAC website information on the hut in Passo di Cristallina would have some comments on the trail.

Further, in my opinion, making those climbs will cause you to "really push yourselves."

I do note some kinds of cableways, along the route, but don't know if they are functional when you are hiking, or if they even are for people and not goods.

When I mentioned the Gotthard Pass, I was thinking about the old trade routes, such as the Strada Alta.

www.wanderland.ch/en/r outes/etappe-01380.html

There are more places to break your hike and the climbs on the route, as in the section that I linked here are not so extreme. There are more sections along the Strada Alta.

I know that there are some experienced Alpine hikers in this forum.

Let's see if they pick up the thread. I am rally not the person to give advice from my own knowledge



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