Recommendations for a three-day alpine hike

Recommendations for a three-day alpine hike

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gluckster
gluckster
5 posts
new member
Jun 6, 2015 - 6:51 PM

Hello all,

At the end of August I would like to organise a 3-day hike somewhere in the Alps for my friends. There seem to be so many options - I've already spent a lot of time on wanderland.ch - so it'd be great if I could get some recommendations!

Specifically, I am looking for a route that:

-Is moderately challenging and mountainous, preferably climbing to a high altitude and with spectacular views

-Does not require advanced navigation skills

-Has huts along the way so there isn't the need to tent

Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Jun 7, 2015 - 4:30 PM in reply to gluckster

Hi Gluckster and welcome to the forum!

For a first reply I will direct you to a series of PDFs that includes lots of information on the region in addition to two 4-day point-to-point hikes. We prefer to stay in small inns in the villages as the mountain huts are usually quite primitive. Think no showers, cold running water from a communal tap, pit toilets.

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

If nothing described there suits come back with more questions.

gluckster
gluckster
5 posts
new member
Jun 10, 2015 - 6:54 PM

Incredible! What a fantastic wealth of knowledge you have to share. Thank you very much!

I think I'm working against some time restrictions and some of my group are unable to get the 5 days in a row off to do a 4-day hike I'm afraid.

I'm thinking of doing the aletsch panoramaweg which is doable in 2 days. Can anyone here comment on the challenge level of that hike?

kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Jun 11, 2015 - 6:45 PM in reply to gluckster

The "Moderately Challenging" hike you are looking for is too subjective to be able to comment on. For some, 10 miles on flat terrain is challenging. For others, 20 km with 1000 meter (or more) vertical ascent is a piece of cake.

As I'm sure you've seen, wanderland.ch rates this hike as moderate but with difficult terrain.

Please advise as to the experience level you and your friends have. Specifically alpine hiking experience (meaning at altitude), experience with vertical ascent and steep trails, and hours a day you want to hike.

gluckster
gluckster
5 posts
new member
Jun 11, 2015 - 7:04 PM in reply to kim11

We're all in our late 20s and reasonably fit. I have a little experience hiking at altitude, but nothing that one would consider extremely challenging. My friends have less experience.

None of us can or have done any kind of technical climbing. We have done a very small amount of scrambling.

For reference, I have together with my friends ascended Mt Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis. These are all in the UK and would be considered small hills by Swiss standards ;)

I think we could hike 8 hours per day, assuming the challenge isn't too great.

kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Jun 11, 2015 - 7:32 PM in reply to gluckster

Having reference points is great! It looks like there are multiple paths with varying degrees of difficulty up all of these mountains. Sorry to be such a pest, but can you tell me which routes you took? The challenge range is really quite significant.

gluckster
gluckster
5 posts
new member
Jun 11, 2015 - 8:41 PM in reply to kim11

Not being a pest at all! To the best of my knowledge, the tracks we took were:

Snowdon: Miner's Track

Scaffel Pike: Corridor Route (from Borrowdale)

Ben Nevis: Tourist Route

I think it's safe to say that in each case we took the easiest route!

kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Jun 11, 2015 - 10:31 PM in reply to gluckster

Based on what our friend Google tells me, these are the ONE-WAY metrics (of course you did both ways I'm assuming!) of the three hikes you and your friends have done :

Snowdon Miner's Track: 5.5 km, 725 meters ascent (3.4 miles, 2400 feet ascent)

Scaffel Pike Corridor Route: 7.8 km, 975 meters ascent (4.7 miles, 3200 feet ascent)

Ben Nevis Tourist Route: 6.85 km, 1324 meters ascent (4.25 miles, 4320 feet ascent)

I may have the distance incorrect; perhaps the various sites are quoting one way vs round trip distances? That could very well be. Looking at the Ben Nevis Tourist Route, this is described as the easiest way up. And 1000 vertical feet of ascent per mile of distance is VERY steep. If so, double the distances I mention above.

If this is correct, these are some quite challenging hikes! And it looks like there are scree fields and, with at least one, some boulder scrambling. I have not done the Aletsch Panoramaweg. I have a problem with exposure and that bridge would kill me (likely literally!) But based on the description it should be a fine 2 day hike for you and your travel mates. Assuming my numbers about the hikes you have done are correct.

I have another idea for you if you want an area that is gorgeous yet not quite as strenuous. Downside is there will be more tourists.

Day 1: Lauterbrunnen to Lobhornhütte then down to Grütschalp. Accomodation: take the gondola from Grütschalp down to Lauterbrunnen and stay at Valley Hostel or Camping Jungfrau (the latter has dormitories, cabins, etc not just tents).

Day 2: Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg via Wengen, then on up to Männlichen. Stay overnight up top or gondola/train back down to valley floor to stay same place you stayed Night 1.

This gets you outrageously stunning views on both sides of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, which I find to be the most gorgeous spot in the country. You can get an idea of both of these (although not the exact routing I recommend here) in the PDF file up on this site. Look in "Moderate to Challenging Hikes" section. Lauterbrunnen to Lobhornhütte, Return via Grütschalp, and Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg.

The other advantage to this routing is, if you get bad weather, you are sorta stuck out on the Panoramaweg 2 day outing. If you get bad weather with a Lauterbrunnen Valley base there is only about 1,000 other things to do.

gluckster
gluckster
5 posts
new member
Jun 12, 2015 - 12:47 PM

Wow - once again I must thank you for wonderfully detailed advice!

I like your suggested itinerary. Your guide describes the Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg route as taking about 2 hour 50 minutes. Do you think it'd be possible to combine that route with a visit to the Jungfraujoch by train?

kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Jun 12, 2015 - 4:08 PM in reply to gluckster

Absolutely. But get an early start. Jungfraujoch ascents are best done in the morning as clouds often come in during the afternoon. A relatively clear day is needed to go up. It's very expensive and if cloudy you see nothing

you could also come back down to KS and do the stunning walk up to Maennlichen afterwards

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