Seeking for multi-day hike in Bernese-Oberland

Seeking for multi-day hike in Bernese-Oberland

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Julie49
Julie49
2 posts
new member
Nov 9, 2015 - 3:56 PM

My husband and I want to complete a multi-day hike in the Jungfrau region. We would like to know your experiences with hiking in this region to help us develop and itinerary.Our preference is NOT to be based in one place and hike out daily but to go point-to-point in the mountains out of the valley. Some information about us and our goals:

Who: Experienced mature (aged 66) hikers/walkers - The Dolomites 2014, Julian Alps 2015. My husband is a mountain climber, I am not but I am confident with cables in high exposure areas along the trail. In the past, we have worked with local tour agencies to secure accommodations and have followed their routing on self-guided hikes. On this trip we would prefer to have more flexibility to accommodate weather, interest, and make develop our itinerary independently and keep our expenses low.

What: Route/Goal/Interest: A multi-day point-to-point hike in the heart of Switzerland. We are considering the Tour of the Jungfrau Region itinerary as developed in the Cicerone Press guidebook. Have you hiked this route? Why would you recommend it or not? What other routes would you suggest for point-to-point hiking in the region?

When: Either July or September 2016 - the winter snowfall will influence the date selection. We will consider July to experience the wildflowers, will absolutely avoid August travel, and September is usually our preferred month of travel. What is your experience with securing space in the huts in July? Is it necessary to have pre-arranged rooms before arriving in Switzerland in July? September? Or can we rely on calling the day before to secure space?

Budget: Prefer guest houses, huts, NOT luxury accommodations.Are there small affordable budget type accommodations available on The Tour of Jungfrau route? IF I understand correctly, the SAC huts our not easily accessible for hikers as their goal is to support climbers. Is this correct?

Thank you for responding to this initial post and any information you wish to share. I will be spending time researching trip reports and maps.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Nov 9, 2015 - 5:04 PM in reply to Julie49

Hi Julie- welcome to the forum.

Thank you for presenting such a well organized and well presented set of questions. Obviously, you have done a lot of homework already.

There several serious hikers here who can help with your questions, and the moderators (Arno and Annika) know a lot about accommodations, in addition to their other areas of expertise. Unfortunately, I am not one of the serious. I do easy day hikes, but my son hopes to follow your example some day, when he has time and money. ;-) So, we read a lot.

I suspect that you'll find Swiss information resources on Alpine hiking to be quite thorough, relative to Italy's. Perhaps i did not know how to use the Italian resources, but I never could get as much well-organized hiking information when I tried, compared to using Switzerland's extensive informal and also government-supported formal resources and information systems.

With your experience, I suspect that you have read Kev Reynold's book, Walking in the Alps, ISBN 1-56656-343-7?

Here are some links to help you get started, though some may be less than you need.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim.

Kim has done multiday hikes in the region.

www.myswissalps.com/hi king ....probably a bit elementary.

A very useful resource for hiking anywhere in Switzerland is the Switzerland Mobility website:

www.wanderland.ch/en/w anderland.html

The information about specific hikes includes altitude profiles, public transport access to the route, sightseeing attaractions, and accommodations.

My only issue with the site is that I have trouble using the search function. I some times have to resort to entering the name of a town or village on , or at a terminus of a hike. If I am planning a stay in a region, or am there and planning a hike, I use tisi web site extensively.

You'll like this map:

www.swisstopo.admin.ch /internet/swisstopo/en /home/products.html

A very powerful map. Explore the overlays/optional maps on the menu, after opening the map at xxxx.admin.ch/....

Look at the Products tab for paper Wanderkarten in various scales with marked Wanderwege and Bergwanderwege.

Here is the Jungfrau region with the hiking trails overlay turned on:

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.bafu.wrz-wildruhezonen_portal,c h.swisstopo.swisstlm3d -wanderwege,ch.swisstop o.swissalti3d-reliefschattierung&lay ers_visibility=false,f alse,false,true,false& layers_timestamp=18641 231,,,,&X=157360.00&Y= 639460.00&zoom=5

If you are not familiar with the Wanderweg network, let us know.

Do you read German?

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 10, 2015 - 6:22 AM in reply to Julie49

Hello Julie,

The huts are also for hikers doing the more challenging trails. You can find huts here: www.sac-cas.ch/en/huts/search-a-hut.html. Most of them need to be booked (details are on that site), although you usually would not book well in advance as it depends on the weather if you actually go there. Alternatively you can stay in the villages.

Julie49
Julie49
2 posts
new member
Nov 10, 2015 - 2:52 PM

Slowpoke, thank you for the extensive reply to my initial inquiry. I have just begun to read/research the links you provided. In response to the questions you posed 1) I am NOT familiar with the Wanderweg network a, 2) I do not read German. I can guess some of the information and rely on google translate (GTcan be problematic however it does provide me with a broad understanding of the text). And finally 3), Kev Reynold's book Tour of the Jungfrau Region is what got us started thinking about this trip. I am also considering purchasing the other book you mentioned to help focus our interests.

I am overwhelmed with information and trying to break it into small pieces. Currently, my biggest issue is trying to determine which hikes we would be interested in completing and their routing. Our preference is to stay up in the mountains in SAC or similar huts not drop into the valley during the hike. I am thinking avoiding the valley towns will help keep cost down by limiting the use of public transportation, gondolas, etc. But as I said earlier, I am still dissecting the information by selecting a route, determining if it is within our ability level and interest and if it provides good accommodation options.

Again my thanks and appreciation for your response.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Nov 10, 2015 - 5:26 PM in reply to Julie49

<<"Slowpoke, thank you for the extensive reply to my initial inquiry. ">>

You are quite welcome. Hope it helps.

<<" In response tothe questions you posed 1) I am NOT familiar with the Wanderweg networka, 2) I do not read German.">>

I asked because the best link I have been able to find to the Wanderweg organization is in German. Of course, German is useful in the Jungfrau regions, but that area was "colonized" by the English and has had enough English visitors for decades, so that English will get you by with no trouble in the area. Still, once in a while, some useful signs are in German.

Here are some links:

de.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Schweizer_Wanderwege

wiki.openstreetmap.org /wiki/Switzerland/Hiki ngNetwork

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

That shows trail types.

An important distinction is the three levels of maintained trails, the most difficult of which requires technical climbing gear (Alpinwanderwege). The easiest can be done with sturdy shoes, the middle called "Bergwanderwege" require boots or lugged sole hiking shoes, a Spazierstock (hiking staff) etc. Signs are color coded. there is some information in this website under Hiking:

www.myswissalps.com/hi king

Switch back and forth between the two images available at the top of the page, using the arrows, to see typical signposts.

I like to walk with a paper map in my pocket. The Swisstopo web site, under products, describes paper maps of various types and at various scales.

The Wanderkarte are special topo maps at various scales which show the Wanderwege in red, and show all public transport (e.g., bus) stops.

Those maps are widely available all throughout Switzerland, at stationery stores, sporting goods stores, convenience stores- such as the Swiss equivalent of tabacchi - the Aperto and Kiosk and Volg.

Let me know where you will enter Switzerland. I may be able to suggest a specif store with the ful range of maps.

<""And finally 3), Kev Reynold'sbook Tour of the Jungfrau Region is what got us started thinking about this trip. I am also consideringpurchasing the other book you mentioned to help focus our interests. ">>

I don't recall mentioning another book, but Kim's report is about 52 pages long. There is a lot of good stuff on hikes or segments of hikes, including multiday hikes, in considerable detail.

I guess you know about this book:

100 Hut Walks in the Alps, 2010, by Kev Reynolds.

I don't have a copy. My son may.

<""Iam overwhelmed with information and trying to break it into smallpieces. Currently, my biggest issue is trying to determine which hikeswe would be interested in completing and their routing. ">>

One of the nice things about planning travel in Switzerland is the amount of excellent information available on line. One of the problems is wading into it all and digesting it. We can help on the forum better as you begin to lay out a specific route ( or options) or specific towns or SAC huts. Not so much me, but there are others who know a lot about your specific interestsand can often help best by having a specific place or route to comment on.

<<"Our preferenceis to stay up in the mountains in SAC or similar huts not drop into thevalley during the hike. ">> In many places that would be the best way to preserve your knees. However, as you note, there is a lot of transportation available to give you a ride up or down, some times all the way, some times part way.

<<"I am thinking avoiding the valley towns willhelp keep cost down by limiting the use of public transportation,gondolas, etc. But as I said earlier, I am still dissecting theinformation by selecting a route, determining if it is within ourability level and interest and if it provides good accommodationoptions. ">>

That is a good way to go. Post your thoughts as they begin to shape up. Arno and Annika are aware of various discount passes for the use of the specialized transportation. There are a LOT of those. The trade off of transportation cost vs. cost of accommodation and cost of wear and tear on knees may favor some rides up and down to the valleys. I have never looked into the special passes, because of our visiting pattern and choices.

Although we live in the USA, we have Swiss residents 3 year 1/2 fare card. (So called "Halbtax" or "Halb-abo".) All you need is a Swiss Address, a passport type photograph, and the cost per year is not a whole lot more than the cost of a one month half fare card for a tourist. ;-) Once you start to g o back regularly, you may see if you have a friend with a Swiss mailing address....;-

At many places where you buy tickets you may see a sign in the window that refers to "Halb Abo" ...that is what it means.

I just use it and get a discount on most but not all of the specialized transport.

Slowpoke

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