Mar 31, 2011 - 2:48 PM
Hello susi, and welcome! You're right, the end of May may be too early for the Alpine Pass route
(Via Alpina). Snow fields are even possible well into July and August. Generally, the advice is not to start any sooner than June, but that's still quite early. What you can do is walk the legs of the route that are at lower altitude. For pass legs, inquire about weather and terrain circumstances at the local tourist offices. If these legs aren't accessible, or still too dangerous, you can alternatively use public transport. Please refer to the Wanderland Schweiz website (to which I linked above) for all details.
Detours or hiking alternatives aren't available for all sections, as mountain passes are involved and the goal is to get from the northern to the southern side of the Alps. So one way or another, the Alps have to be crossed. The only real hiking alternative would be to avoid mountain passes and get to Montreux via the western part of Switzerland. The Jura Crest trail
and the Via Jacobi
will lead you to Geneva/Montreux via the western side of the Alps and they don't include passes as high as the Alpine Pass route, so they may fit your needs.
Our hiking page
provides general tips on preparing for your hike and safety.