Stechelberg medium hikes

Stechelberg medium hikes

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toogie
toogie
3 posts
new member
Jul 3, 2011 - 10:31 PM
We have family in Northern Italy, where we will visit in early Sept. We want to come to the Stechelberg area for 2-3 days for 4-6 hours of hiking per day. We may stay at Obesrteinberg one night but are there any other "must do" hikes. Challenging, but not expert. Any local expertise will be appreciated.
kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Jul 4, 2011 - 6:29 PM
Yes, there are at least half a dozen "must do's!" You will be in hiking paradise.
The obvious is Stechelberg up to Mürren, but that's only a couple of hours. Well worth doing however.
Here are some other favorites (I'm pasting this in from a document that I've written from a Wengen perspective, easily translatable to Stechelberg since they are so close):
Lauterbrunnen to Lobhornhütte, return via Grutschalp. This is a stunning hike that will easily fill 6 hours (see comment below about reducing the time). Take the train down to Lauterbrunnen, then walk up to Isenfluh (pronounced EESen-flu). The trail will be marked very nearthe station or just ask. This is about 1000 feet of vertical and 3 or so milesvia an unused road that got wiped out in a rockfall. There are a couple of nicewaterfalls and the remains of the rockfall are quite impressive. There’s onenice restaurant/inn in Isenfluh where you can stop for lunch if you wish (it’sobvious).

From Isenfluh, walk up to Sulwald for some stunning views.This is fairly steep, about 1500 feet of vertical over a couple of miles. Ifyou want to opt out of this section, there’s a small lift that runs up fromIsenfluh (it’s pretty obvious, but ask at the restaurant if you miss it -- this will also cut about an hour out of the hike). There is a charming café, the Sulwald Stübbli, at the top of the trail/lift servingwurst, sandwiches, and such at outdoor tables. I recommend this be your lunch (orat least a drink) stop as the views are simply breathtaking. (There’s a shot ofthe Stübbli at www.mylauterbrunnen.com but it doesn’t show the best views!) The proprietor spent several years workingat Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe, California so speaks good English. She makes amarvelous and unusual hazelnut cake (“Haesslikuchen”) – don’t miss this if shehas it available.

After lunch, head up the trail to the Lobhornhütte (www.lobhornhuette.ch), which is about another 1400 feet and about 2 miles. The hut is primitive,but the soups are good and it’s a view spot well worth seeing. It is very popular with the locals and with other tourists from Europe, so you will likelybe surprised by how crowded this “out of the way” spot actually is,particularly since you rarely see many others on the trail. How did all these people get there? (There is a more detailed description of this portion of thehike along with pictures at www.walkingswitzerland.com)

After a rest at the Lobhornhütte, head down the hill to Grütschalp. Again, great scenery, but different views. This section isnearly all down hill and takes about 2 – 3 hours as the terrain is quite steepin places and the trail surface requires constant attention (rocks, roots, andsuch) at least half of the way. There is no exposure so nothing to be concernedabout, it’s just a bit tedious. (However, I don’t recommend this route the dayafter a heavy rain as it will be very muddy – if you end up going to Lobhornhütte on such a day, simply retrace your steps to return to Wengen.) You’ll end up at the train station in Grütschalp, where you can catch thegondola down to Lauterbrunnen then return to Wengen on the WAB. Or, if you’restill ready for more walking, take the stunningly gorgeous 1 mile (flat) walk fromGrütschalp to Mürrren and take the gondola down from thereto Stechelberg. Take the bus back to Lauterbrunnen (or walk) and train back upthe hill to Wengen.
Wengen to KleineScheidegg (pronounced KLINE-eh SHY-deck). This is a perfect first day hikefor those that are reasonably fit. It is moderately strenuous – about 2600 feetof vertical and 6 or 7 miles – and the views are spectacular. See www.pictures-switzerland.com for some marvelous photos of Kleine Scheidegg and some of the views from there.

There are three different routes: high, center, and low,which should be clear on a trail map or ask at the tourist office. I like the centerone the best as you go through lots of different terrains, but they are allnice. You will see good views of Mürren across the valley. In the last half ofthe hike you will have great views of the glaciers crowning the Eiger massif (left to right, the Eiger, the Mönch, and the Jungfrau).

Kleine Scheidegg is thetraditional base camp for Eiger ascents. This is also where all the trainsgoing to the Jungfraujoch (pronounced “YOONG-frow-yock”) change so it isswarming with tourists changing trains and buying T-shirts. But don’t be putoff by all the touristy-looking stuff – the food here is just fantastic and isyour reward for a nice hike! Sit at the long communal tables by the tracks atRestaurant Bahnhof (www.bahnhof-scheidegg.ch)and order either the wurst and rösti (a Swiss national dish that is basically the best hash browns you’ve ever eaten) that are being prepared outdoors orsomething off of the extensive menu They have some of the best salads in the country– huge bowls of fresh local vegetables in the green salads and an amazingarray of fresh fruits, nuts, and vegetables in the “Half-Pipe Salate”. Othermenu choices include hamburgers, the ubiquitous cheese and dried meat plates,schweinschnitzel (pork schnitzel), and so on. Everything is great except the sauerkraut. Donot leave here without having an Apfelkuchen mit Rahm (apple cake with whipped cream – don’t skip the cream!) and, if they have it, the Grande Nussini, which is a cookie that’s like a cross between shortbread and biscotti and loaded with hazelnuts, pistachios, and sometimes pecans (you usually have to go inside the restaurant to find one, and consider yourself lucky if they’ve made any thatday).

A large herd of very tame goats has taken up residence at Kleine Scheidegg. They have no qualms about walking/standing on the tracks and it’s not unusual to see trains stop and the conductors come out to shoo themoff. They are also quite the beggars.

We prefer to take the train back to Wengen since we don’tlike hiking down. Trains run about every 20 minutes. Another option if youstill have energy is to hike up to Männlichen (see below) and return to Wengen by gondola (Luftseilbahn).

Wengen to Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. Inmy opinion, you can’t go to Wengen and not do this hike (assuming you are in shape for some vertical!) I’ve probably done it 20 times. Although you end upin Kleine Scheidegg again it is well worth it. Männlichen (pronounced “MEHN-leek-en,www.maennlichen.ch ) is the peak behindthe village. This is reasonably aggressive, about 3300 feet of vertical over 2– 3 miles (depending which of the two ascents you take), but the views arebreathtaking. The terrain is interesting and varied – some in lush forest,other through fields of wildflowers with open vistas.

Note: if the aggressive Wengen to Männlichen hike isn’t your cup of tea, take the gondola (Luftseilbahn)from the station in the center of Wengen up to the top. It runs about every 20 minutes and the triptakes about 7 minutes. From there you can catch the easy trail down to KleineScheidegg.

To get to the trailhead to Männlichen, take the road thatruns in front of the Schönegg hotel out toward the mountain (past Hotel Berghaus) and you’ll encounter the trail signs at the base. The trail to theleft is the steeper of the two ascents. If you take the trail to the right, keep your eyes open for trail signs in the first quarter of the hike as the trail toMännlichen diverges from the trail it shares with several other Bergwegs,taking two sharp lefts somewhat early on. At the last major diversion, the trail becomes quite steep but is well maintained and marked. There is little exposure and the footing is secure.About half way up you will see cables for the gondola. At that point, look fora family of Gemse (like a cross between a deer and a mountain goat) that livesin the rocky peaks below the cable car line.

At the top, you are treated to more vistas on the Wengenside of the hill, and, to the east, the Grindelwald side. By the way, the funnylooking steel structures you see near the top and on the peaks opposite areavalanche fences. The Männlichenbahn station in Wengen was wiped out by anavalanche five years ago so they have put lots of work into avoiding that again.

I should probably mention that you will see lots of cows grazing in many areas, but particularly around Männlichen. Although they arehuge by US cow standards and tend to stand around on the trails, don’t beconcerned. They are accustomed to humans and don’t cause problems. They like to be petted.
kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Jul 4, 2011 - 6:30 PM
And sorry about the weird characters, always happens on this site when cutting and pasting from elsewhere. Hopefully you can figure it out!

Kim
SwissMountainLeader
SwissMountainLeader
55 posts
active member
Jul 5, 2011 - 1:15 AM
Loads of useful info there!

kim11 said:
I should probably mention that you will see lots of cowsgrazing in many areas, but particularly around Männlichen. Although they arehuge by US cow standards and tend to stand around on the trails, don’t beconcerned. They are accustomed to humans and don’t cause problems. They like tobe petted.


That may not be great advice though. Cows can be a hazard, if you do meet one on a trail it's better to make a small detour around it. They're rather slow animals with limited senses so it's easy to surprise them and can be dangerous, there's a small number of injures each year. People with dogs are at most risk. There's an information campaign running here and local guides were recently invited to spend some time with local farmers to talk about bikes, hikers and cows.
There's a couple of info sheets linked here and a some photo's of two of the participants from the training day :-)
paper 1
paper 2

20110601-153802.jpg
20110601-154208.jpg
Annika
Annika
4424 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 5, 2011 - 4:55 AM
kim11 said: And sorry about the weird characters, always happens on this site when cutting and pasting from elsewhere. Hopefully you can figure it out!
Kim


Don't mind Kim, I just edited your post to remove the characters.
kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Jul 5, 2011 - 12:50 PM
Thanks Annika for the editing assist!

SwissMountainLeader: I agree with your advice re: the cows. Perhaps we have just been fortunate, but no reason to push it! And those two training participants look rather surly indeed, I'd cut a wide swath around them :-)
SwissMountainLeader
SwissMountainLeader
55 posts
active member
Jul 6, 2011 - 7:25 AM
aren't they gorgeous? the second ones are Belted Galloways which is primarily bred for beef, Winston Churchill used to breed them apparently. I was out on my MTB yesterday and passed through a few herds of other breeds, I make a point of calling to them as I approach then slow a bit which gives them chance to decide what to do. I more or less do the same all over the world with animals, try and make sure they know I'm there and let them decide what to do.
toogie
toogie
3 posts
new member
Jul 6, 2011 - 11:11 AM
Thanks Kim, that IS a lot of info. When we get our maps we'll take a look. We don't have much time in Stechelberg, two travel days and one full day. Anything else based around the Obersteinberg hike? In case we don't have time for the Wengen trips???
kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Jul 6, 2011 - 12:52 PM
After Obersteinberg you can take trail #10 to Oberberg and over to the Rotstockhütte for a look at another hut. Then down from Rotstockhutte to Mürren. You could then take the gondola down from Mürren to Stechelberg, perhaps stopping in Gimmelwald for a look at the views on the way down. That would give you about 6 hours of hiking. Here's a link to more information about this route tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g285724-i9893-k4594759

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