Sargans to Montreux

Sargans to Montreux

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Mar 28, 2011 - 12:38 PM
I am planning to hike the alpine pass route with 3 other friends at the end of May 2011. I am wondering if it is possible to just get by with a day pack and send my other bag forward via train or bus to the next stop. I really do not want to carry much but the essentials and really hope that my other gear can be sent ahead of me........as I will be traveling through Europe for 5 weeks.
aloha, Mary
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
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moderator
Mar 28, 2011 - 3:13 PM
Hi Mary, and welcome! The Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) offer several baggage services. You can hand in your luggage at most railway stations, even the smaller ones, and pick it up after two days (or later). So you could hand in your suitcases in Sargans and have them sent to Montreux, where you can recollect them after your hiking tour. Is this what you mean? There's a fast baggage service as well, allowing you to hand in your luggage in the morning and pick it up at another station the same evening. However, this can only be done at larger railway stations, so it won't be an option for some legs of your hiking tour.

Although you didn't ask for it, I can't help advising on something else :-): please note that (end) May is quite early for such a high altitude hiking tour. Generally, the season for alpine tours ranges from June to October. July, August and September are considered to be the best months, with the least chance of snow fields and bad weather. It's important to prepare well, take good notice of local and daily weather circumstances, and skip high altitude legs if they're not safe (you can inquire about this at local tourist offices). The Wanderland Schweiz website offers valuable information, including accommodation tips and public transport alternatives for each leg.

Have a great tour!
kim11
kim11
320 posts
top member
Mar 28, 2011 - 5:07 PM
Hi Mary,

My husband and I and a couple of friends did this same route in Summer of 2010. You will not be able to go over many of the passes in May, the high ones will all still be snowed in. You can take public transport around those, but given that the Alpine Pass Route (also knows as Via Alpina) is the route over the most high passes of any other route you will find yourselves spending lots of time on trains. Which may be fine, you just need to know this and make your decision. June is even too early for many peaks, July - September are the best times.

If you haven't yet found it, I highly recommend http://activityworkshop.net/hiking/alpinepassroute/ as a good way to plan your route.

Yes, you can send your bags ahead using the SBB rail service. Our algorithm was 4 days walking with day packs, and catch up with our bags every 4th day. We sent them along using the two day delivery method then the arriving station would hold them for us. It works perfectly, costs about 10 CHF per bag.
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Mar 29, 2011 - 12:41 AM
Thanks so much for your responses..........I am familiar with the sites you all mentioned. The bag situation was of interest as we want to travel light! To Kim11, did you have the opportunity to summit all the passes? We have booked our tickets and are committed to our tavel dates..so will manifest good weather! Were there any particular highlights on the route that you would mention?

aloha,

mary
kim11
kim11
320 posts
top member
Mar 29, 2011 - 12:54 AM
Hi Mary,

Yes, we were able to summit all the passes since we started in late August. The entire route takes 3 weeks to complete. We mostly followed the route described by Activity Workshop although did some customizing.
I will send a second message later re: highlights and advice re: passes you will likely be unable to summit in May.

I am assuming you and your companions are VERY experienced mountain hikers with outstanding, tested gear? Willing to press on through all sorts of nasty weather?
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Mar 29, 2011 - 2:36 AM
Look forward to your additional response.........

aloha,

Mary
kim11
kim11
320 posts
top member
Mar 31, 2011 - 6:11 PM
Sorry for the tardiness.

You should plan on not being able to go over any passes higher than 2,000 meters, and there may be snow even at that level. So 7 or 8 passes along Via Alpina that won't be crossable unless some sort of weather miracle occurs (like one that has never happened before).

Our favorites:
- Elm was a real delight, wouldn't mind staying there for a few nights and doing hikes in the area.
- Engleberg also was great, the little town had definitely improved since the 5 years it had been since we were there previously. Another area you can stay a couple days and do day hikes.
- Meiringen to Grindelwald is one of the all-time classic hikes. DO NOT MISS lunch at The Rosenlaui http://www.rosenlaui.ch/essen/en.php. You *may* be able to get over the Grosse Scheidegg. If not, you can catch a bus just below the summit and take that into Grindelwald.
- Of course, the Sefinenfurgge and Hohtürli are the classic passes but no way they will be open in may. Griesalp (the place you stay between these two passes) is totally charming, but time-consuming to get to via public transport.
- Kandersteg to Adelboden is a great hike but, again, you won't be able to get over the Bunderchrinde.

So, you really need a back up plan. How many days have you allocated to this?
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 2, 2011 - 5:13 AM
Hi Mary! This topic provides alternatives to the Alpine Pass route as well. It may give you some further ideas.
reversecooper
reversecooper
1 post
new member
Oct 2, 2011 - 11:04 AM
I'm planning on doing the Swiss leg of the Via Alpina route next August with some friends. We were hoping to camp most nights. Is this possible do you know? Also is wild camping allowed?

Excellent advice though, cheers.
kim11
kim11
320 posts
top member
Oct 2, 2011 - 1:43 PM
Camping is not allowed in Switzerland except in designated campgrounds so, no, no "wild camping".

These are usually rather large places near larger towns with lots of services (showers, food, etc). You will find a few of them along the Via Alpina route, but not sure how many. There is one near Interlaken and another near Lauterbrunnen. There may be one near Kandersteg, I know there is a boy scout camp there.

There are some marvelous small inns in small villages/towns along the route, that's what most people do.

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