Train ride to Jungfrau if scared of heights

Train ride to Jungfrau if scared of heights

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macyclaire
macyclaire
26 posts
active member
May 9, 2016 - 3:52 PM

We are planning on going up to Jungfraujoch. I am scared of heights but can handle it as long as I am not on the edge of a mountain. Are there any parts of the train ride from Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald to Klein Scheidegg to Jungfrau where the train is on the edge?

Same with gondolas/cable cars. I can handle the ride over tree tops but not if I am just swinging over a valley. Besides Jungfrau, we are hoping to go to Mannlichen, First and the Aletsch Glacier - do any of these require a ride that would be hard for me to handle?

maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
318 posts
top member
May 9, 2016 - 11:43 PM in reply to macyclaire

Hello macyclaire

Welcome to the forum.

I sympathise with your problem A few years ago our daughter joined us for part of our holiday in Switzerland and we had to rethink some of our plans for her stay because she refused to ride in cable cars and gondolas - not a fear of heights so slightly different problem, a mistrust of cable cars! but we still needed to think carefully about our excursions.

Jungfrau - from what I remember (it's a few years since I last did the trip) but I think you will be OK with it - try sitting in an aisle seat rather than beside the window. Are you OK once you reach the top of a mountain? If so there are other good trips using cogwheel trains rather than cable cars. Try the train trip up to Schynige Platte for example. Or the train from Brienz up to Brienzer Rothorn. Again if you feel nervous you don't have to sit by a window. We also took a trip to Montreux where we took the train up to Rochers-de-Naye. You don't say where you will be based so not sure which of my suggestions will be convenient to reach for a day trip. You could possibly do a day trip to Zermatt and take train to Gornergrat for a view of the Matterhorn or go to Lucerne and take train up to Mt Rigi.

If those suggestions are too far then the short gondola ride from Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp, train to Murren would be OK for you and there is a funicular to Allmendhubel from Murren you could cope with. - great views of the Jungfrau, Eiger and Moench from there.

If you really want to go up to Mannlichen, the gondola ride from Wengen is much less scary than the cable car from Grindelwald! Stand in the middle of the car - it's big so you should feel safe. First is only reached by cable car I'm afraid! Have you ever tried facing the mountain in a cable car? Especially on the way down - less obvious that you are over the valley. But it would be harder to handle than my other suggestions.

It would be a great shame to visit Switzerland and not get up in the mountains so I hope some of my suggestions will help you to enjoy yourself without fear.

Maggie

macyclaire
macyclaire
26 posts
active member
May 10, 2016 - 12:05 AM in reply to maggiehorswell

Thank you, Maggie. I really do appreciate your help. I am fine on top of mountains and am even fine in a cable car as long as I can look down and see tree tops (basically as long as the cable car follows the slope of the mountain). I can't handle cable cars going over a deep ravine, etc. same with the train, the height is ok but I don't like being right on the edge with a sheer drop. My family really wants to do Mannlichen and First and I can do it as long as there is ground a few 100 feet beneath me as opposed to a 1000 feet beneath me.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
May 10, 2016 - 12:28 AM in reply to macyclaire

Hi Macyclaire-

Here is a picture taken from the large car of the cableway from Wengen to Männlichen, taken facing away from the slope below.

By the way the correct spelling is either Männlichen or Maennlichen, but not Mannlichen.

Hope it helps.

Slowpoke

PS - I added a couple of pictures to show why you want to go up there. ;-)

Last modified on May 10, 2016 - 1:03 AM by Slowpoke
Please login to see the attached documents
macyclaire
macyclaire
26 posts
active member
May 10, 2016 - 2:57 PM in reply to Slowpoke

WOW, slowpoke, those pictures are gorgeous!! The "looking down on Wengen" picture shows treetops - is it like this most of the way up? If so, I will be able to handle it. Looking at your pictures makes me really want to go up!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
May 11, 2016 - 1:39 AM in reply to macyclaire

<<"The "looking down on Wengen" picture shows treetops - is it like this most of the way up? If so, I will be able to handle it. ">>

That is why I posted it. ;-)

I'm ;looking for another one looking up from the ground. I'll post it later.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
May 11, 2016 - 8:23 AM in reply to macyclaire

Hi Macyclaire -

I found some pictures from 2009, taken as my daughter and granddaughter and I rode from Wengiboden ( Wengen) to Männlichen .

Two cameras were used, and the technical quality from hers was not great, but these, plus the earlier post, are a reasonable insight into the path of the cableway.

Its greatest distance from the land below is probably when the car is about a quarter of the way up. Near the top, it hugs the slope pretty much.

As you can see, Wengen sits on a plateau above the valley. That may reduce somewhat the feeling of being suspended over nothing but thin air.

www.google.com/maps/pl ace/3823+Wengen,+Switz erland/@46.6086487,7.9 316406,1938m/data=!3m1 !1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x478fa 1c61e6dd461:0xb1a996fa ce2f0381!8m2!3d46.6!4d 7.916667

I recall that the Gondelbahn from Grindelwald Grund ( small cabins for 4 people) may stay closer to the ground all the way up to Männlichen. I don't have pictures of that; I always stay in Wengen and have gone up from Grindelwald only once.

Hope these help. It would be a shame if you could not experience that ride

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macyclaire
macyclaire
26 posts
active member
May 11, 2016 - 2:53 PM

I can't thank you enough, Slowpoke. I feel so much better about this now and am so looking forward to seeing these gorgeous views myself. I truly appreciate you taking the time to find and post your pictures.

Would you be able to tell me if the train ride from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen to Jungfraujoch has any portions where the train is right on the edge of a mountain?

Once again, thank you for relieving my fears about the cable car to Mannlichen!!!!!!!!!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
May 11, 2016 - 3:14 PM in reply to macyclaire

Hi Macyclaire -

<<"Would you be able to tell me if the train ride from Lauterbrunnen to

Wengen to Jungfraujoch has any portions where the train is right on the

edge of a mountain">>

I don't really understand what you mean by the edge of a mountain.

All the mountain railways climb slopes on routes dug into the side of the slope as they go up, and most have switchbacks. So, on one side of the train you typically have cliff side or mountain side going upwards; on the other, a view over a valley.

Grindelwald to KS has less of that. LB to Wengen has only a little and it is not really on the edge of a cliff. Wengen to KS is on the side slope of a mountain(s) .

rütschalp to Mürren runs along or near the edge of the plateau, but always has views on the uphill side of mountains, etc.

Play with this excellent map. Zoom in and look at the altitude profiles/contour lines near the tracks for steep areas. Closely spaced contour lines mean a steep slope. You can tell if it is up or down by looking for altitude markers along the lines somewhere.. If the track crosses contour lines at something near a right angle, you are usually going up or down a wide slope (as for parts of the trip from Grindelwald to KS), but may also find something running along the top of a ridge. That is much more common for trails ( people like ridge walks) than for trains. An example of ridge walk is at Fulegg, just west of Faulhorn. Zoom in.

if you look between Wengen and Männlichen on this map, you can compare the contours on the map with the photographs I posted, to give you an idea of how the map matches the reality.

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=d e&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&X=162379.70&Y=63 5085.10&zoom=5&layers= ch.swisstopo.swissimag e-product&layers_visibil ity=false

Slowpoke

macyclaire
macyclaire
26 posts
active member
May 11, 2016 - 3:41 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Sorry for being confusing - I am fine with trains overlooking a valley but I don't like it when there is a sheer drop on one side - in other words, I need some land between me and the valley rather than the train being right on the edge. Hope this makes sense.

Thank you for the map, I will play with it for sure.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
May 11, 2016 - 4:01 PM in reply to macyclaire

<<"rather than the train being right on the edge. ">>

Don't ride the Brienzer Rothorn Bahn.

Slowpoke

macyclaire
macyclaire
26 posts
active member
May 11, 2016 - 6:03 PM in reply to Slowpoke

I won't!!!

I hope this means that the trip to Jungfraujoch does not involve these scary situations!!

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
May 12, 2016 - 5:51 AM in reply to macyclaire

I don't recall any steep cliffs during the Jungfraujoch ride. Perhaps a few spots between Lauterbrunnen and Wengen, but not much. From Grindelwald it's sort of a hilly landscape so no problem either. Once you've reached Kleine Scheidegg it's mostly tunnel to Jungfraujoch, so perfectly doable. The train makes a short stop at Eigerwand, where you can walk to the windows to look down the Eiger North face. Although one of the highlights for many people, you may want to skip that opportunity and stay seated.

It's hard to estimate this for someone else. What's perfectly fine for one is scary for someone else. But I think this ride should be fine for you, and it's an experience not to be missed.

I think you need to skip the Schilthorn cable car, but the cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp, then by train or on foot to Mürren is fine I think.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
May 12, 2016 - 12:15 PM in reply to macyclaire

My memory matches Arno's, but I cannot be 100% sure that the Wengen to KS train is free of the issues that concern you.

Short ride, sit on the left, look at the mountain side.

I'm quite sure that LB to Wengen will be OK, because there are a lot of trees along the potentially most troublesome stretches

Slowpoke

Last modified on May 12, 2016 - 12:18 PM by Slowpoke
Zanoffc
Zanoffc
20 posts
new member
May 12, 2016 - 12:15 PM

Our itinerary includes Lucerne where I was planning on Mt. Pilatus, Murren (3 days), Montreux (planning on going to Zermatt to see Matterhorn, weather permitting), Bern/Zurich. My husband has an extreme fear of heights, and like the previous poster, I am looking at travel to avoid some of the cable cars.

I guess there is no other way to get to the Schiltthorn other than the cable car, correct? I was thinking of taking the cog train to Murren and back down to avoid that cable car ride. Isn't there a "doable" path to Gimmelwald that would allow us to walk down to the town without walking on the side of a mountain?

I appreciate your info about the Jungfraujoch ride--still plan on doing that.

Given my itinerary, any other suggestions for doable trips would be appreciated. We plan on doing the Bernina Express and Golden pass as a way to enjoy the scenery without dealing with some of the challenges!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
May 12, 2016 - 12:22 PM in reply to Zanoffc

Hi Zanoffc-

I have added "die Wanderwege" (trails) to the map linked above in an earlier post in this thread.

Study of the map will help you understand the lifts and trails.

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=d e&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&X=162379.70&Y=63 5085.10&zoom=5&layers= ch.swisstopo.swissimag e-product,ch.swisstopo.s wisstlm3d-wanderwege&layers_visi bility=false,true

Click on Wanderwege in the overlays and the trails can be made to disappear. There is a road to Gimmelwald. He might walk on the inside edge of the road.

The map grid has 1 km squares.

However, there is no doubt that you are on the side of a mountain. You might be better of taking the cable car up one stop from Stechelberg, and watch the clilf side, instead of the valley. That is, if you really think it s worthwhile to go to Gimmelwald.

<<"I guess there is no other way to get to the Schiltthorn other than the cable car, correct? I was thinking of taking the cog train to Murren and back down to avoid that cable car ride.">>

There is no way to get to Mürren by public transport without a cable car.....either from Stechelberg or from LB to Grütschalp, then train ti Mürren.

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
May 12, 2016 - 1:42 PM in reply to Zanoffc

I wouldn't recommend the trip to Pilatus with an extreme fear of heights. I don't think your husband would like the last leg of the cogwheel train and the second section of the cable car. I think the cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp, to reach Mürren, might be doable. This used to be a funicular, so no steep drops there.

Last modified on May 12, 2016 - 1:42 PM by Arno
macyclaire
macyclaire
26 posts
active member
May 12, 2016 - 3:50 PM

Thank you, Arno & Slowpoke for the help. It sounds like I should be able to do it. I have watched videos of part of the train ride and what I have seen is something I can handle but, of course, the videos are not of the entire ride. Arno, I can handle looking out the window as I will be inside the tunnel - I just don't enjoy being right on the edge of a cliff and looking straight down down down - i need a small piece of land between me and that edge!!

Zanoffc
Zanoffc
20 posts
new member
May 12, 2016 - 5:27 PM in reply to Slowpoke

I recall reading in Rick Stebes something about a cog train that was very scenic that was an alternative to the cable car? Perhaps it isn't in service anymore.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
May 12, 2016 - 5:40 PM in reply to Zanoffc

<<"I recall reading in Rick Stebes something about a cog train that was very scenic that was an alternative to the cable car? Perhaps it isn't in service anymore.">>

Look at the map. I can't see any.

There is a train from Grütschalp to Mürren, but the slope is modest, and I doubt if it is a cog rail. Most likely gravity traction.

Slowpoke

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