3 nights in Lucerne and 4 in Murren itinerary help

3 nights in Lucerne and 4 in Murren itinerary help

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Posts: 14
rituparnab
rituparnab
8 posts
new member
Jan 4, 2018 - 2:37 AM

Hello,

My mother, 76, and I will be in Switzerland for a week. We have finalised our dates, and booked rooms in Lucerne (3 nights) and Murren (4 nights). Reading the online forums about various trails, I feel my mother might not be able to complete the North Face Trail, but we will still try. If she gets tired, we will take a train/lift from an intermediate station, if possible.

Here's our plan now:

June 21. Arrive in Lucerne around 10 pm

June 22. Mt. Rigi excursion (Overnight Lucerne)

June 23. Lucerne city (Overnight Lucerne)

June 24. Golden Pass from Lucerne to Brienz. Brienzer Rothorn round trip by train. Brienz to Interlaken Ost by boat. Interlaken Ost to hotel in Murren (Overnight Murren)

June 25-27:

Murren-North Face Trail-Murren

Murren-Brig Thrill Walk-Schilthorn-Murren-Stechelberg, walk to Lauterbrunnen

Murren-Lauterbrunnen-Wengen-Mannlichen-Kleine Scheidegg

Murren-Lauterbrunnen-Wilderswil-Schynige Platte-Grindelwald-First-Bachalpsee

June 28: 10 pm flight from Zurich

1. Kindly help me fit in the above 4 trips between 25th June and 27th June

2. Is there any way we can fit in any or both of the following without making the schedule too hectic:

a) Murren-Stechelberg-Isenfluh-Sulwald

b) Murren-Lauterbrunnen-Interlaken-Harder Kulm & Lake Thun

3. Please suggest something for June 28th as our flight from Zurich is at 10 pm.

Once the above is finalised, we will work on purchasing a travel pass So far the Half Fare Card with Super Saver Pass, BO Pass and Jungfrau Pass are looking attractive.

Thanks in advance,

Ritu

Lucas
Lucas
3612 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 4, 2018 - 5:37 PM in reply to rituparnab

Hi Ritu,

That does seem like a lot of hiking over just a few days - but perhaps your mother is fitter than most at that age! Stay flexible due to weather and your own abilities. :)

I think the simplest option for you on fitting in those hikes is to do one per day and choose between the Bachalpsee or Schynige Platte.

As far as making your schedule too busy...only you can decide what is too busy for you. Use the timetableto plan out the travel needed to get everywhere and see if that is reasonable to you.

Something like one hike or mountain and maybe one lake or town trip per day would be about my limit. :)

I think the Regional Pass - Bernese Oberland probably makes the most sense for your itinerary or perhaps the Swiss Travel Pass. We have a web page here to help you do the math and compare prices.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3994 posts
expert
Jan 4, 2018 - 11:41 PM in reply to rituparnab

Hi Rit

<<"Murren-Lauterbrunnen-Wilderswil-Schynige Platte-Grindelwald-First-Bachalpsee">>

That is a very difficult and tiring hike if you mean that you will walk from Schynige Platte to First. It includes a 600 meter climb from 2100 meters to 2687 meters at Faulhorn. Also, if that is what you mean, you have subtracted needed time from the hike by starting from Mürren.

Although most high altitude trails are open by late June, Schynige Platte deserves a careful check on that point. There might still be snow on the train at 2700 meters. If you are coming back down to Wilderswil by train from S. P. before going to First by train and cableway, your route list does not show that. There are trails from S.P. to Grindelwald. Is that what you mean?

Many of those hikes are at high altitude...200o meters and above. If you are not acclimated, you will be out of breath and go slowly for the first couple of days.

This very detailed map can show you what you may be trying to do, if I read your mesage correctly. If did not, i apologize, but your plans are still quite ambitious. In addition to altitudes, that map can show transport stops ( as you noted for the North FaceTrail). I have turned on "hiking trails" in the menus. You can also turn on "transport stops." If you study it carefully, and look at the altitude changes, you may well find that your plans are generally too ambitious.

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=ech&lang=en&bgLa yer=ch.swisstopo.pixel karte-farbe&layers=ch.bav.ha ltestellen-oev,ch.swisstopo.swiss tlm3d-wanderwege&E=2637920.0 0&N=1167660.00&zoom=5& layers_visibility=fals e,true

Slowpoke

rituparnab
rituparnab
8 posts
new member
Jan 5, 2018 - 1:55 AM

Thanks Lucas and Slowpoke for the prompt replies. The only real hikes that are in our mind are the North Face Trail, Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidigg and Stechelberg-Lauterbrunnen. We only intend to visit the rest of the places. I am sorry I did not state it clearly.

We want a slow paced relaxed trip, but after reading the forums it seems 4 days are not enough in the BO Region. Should we cut down one day in Lucerne and add it to BO?

Thanks for the map Slowpoke. I will study it.

Ritu

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1378 posts
top member
Jan 5, 2018 - 2:07 AM in reply to rituparnab

Hi Ritu,

>> My mother, 76, and I will be in Switzerland for a week ... I feel my mother might not be able to complete the North Face Trail, but we will still try. If she gets tired, we will take a train/lift from an intermediate station, if possible.

I haven't done that hike myself, but I have had a look at a map, and am certain there are no trains or lifts along the way. What is your mother's hiking experience and fitness level?

>> June 24. Golden Pass from Lucerne to Brienz. Brienzer Rothorn round trip by train. Brienz to Interlaken Ost by boat.

Will you have luggage with you, or are you sending it ahead?

Alpenrose

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3994 posts
expert
Jan 5, 2018 - 2:09 AM in reply to rituparnab

Hi rituparnab-

<<"The only real hikes that are in our mind are the North Face Trail, Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidigg and Stechelberg-Lauterbrunnen. We only intend to visit the rest of the places.">>

That sounds much more reasonable and will allow time for some looking around.

Sorry that I misinterpreted what you wrote.

The map is excessively detailed for your needs. If you can use it...great. If not, this one is easier, but does not include altitudes:

map.search.ch/?pos=638092,160500&z=64

The latter two are easy to moderate. If at all possible, do the Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg...in that direction.

Sometimes called "The Grannies Walk." However, Swiss Grannies do it just as fast in the uphill direction as in the downhill direction. ;-)

I took my granddaughter and daughter on that walk in September, 2009.

Slowpoke

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rituparnab
rituparnab
8 posts
new member
Jan 5, 2018 - 2:41 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Hi Alpenrose,

My mother has moderate knee pain, and walks 1 km daily, but not into hiking!! She will make full use of benches along the trails 😃😃

Yes, we will have luggage in the Rothorn trip - a medium size suitcase and a backpack. Will it be inconvenient?

rituparnab
rituparnab
8 posts
new member
Jan 5, 2018 - 2:49 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Your pictures are mindblowing. Definitely Swiss people are more active than us. This will be my mom's first real hike! So we will play it by the ear and see how much she can manage.

I will revert after studying your maps and doing the maths for thr best travel pass.

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1378 posts
top member
Jan 5, 2018 - 8:35 AM in reply to rituparnab

>> My mother has moderate knee pain, and walks 1 km daily, but not into hiking

In that case, I would expect the North Face Trail would be more than she can enjoyably manage.

Here is a diagram of the elevation profile of the hike:

www.gps-tracks.com/Profile/U00 351Profile.png

If I were you, I would start with an easier, flat hike from which it is easier to bail out (e.g. Lauterbrunnen Valley). See how she goes with that before attempting this one.

I would also recommend that, due to her age, lack of hiking experience, and knee problems, that she not attempt this hike without sturdy hiking shoes with good grip, and a set of hiking poles. The last thing you want is for her to have a fall or twist an ankle.

She might get more enjoyment from sitting in a Mürren restaurant with a beautiful view, or strolling though Mürren while you do the hike.

>> we will have luggage in the Rothorn trip - a medium size suitcase and a backpack. Will it be inconvenient?

So you have a suitcase and packpack each? The train is quite small (picture attached), and people don't usually take more than a small daypack on it. There are luggage lockers at Meiringen and Interlaken Ost where you could leave your luggage.

Alpenrose

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3994 posts
expert
Jan 5, 2018 - 10:11 AM in reply to rituparnab

Hi Rituparnab-

I looked at the altitude profile of the North Face Trail.

I would not dream of hiking it. It is steep, and at high altitude which would cause shortness of breath unless you are acclimated for a few days.

I am a couple of years older than your mother, have moderate knee pain which has almost gone way due to treatment for the originally severe knee pain. In both knees I have a torn meniscus and arthritis.

I can walk a few km with little or no discomfort now,as long as I walk on smooth surfaces - roads, smooth trails - in ordinary shoes Actually, I wear training or runners shoes....sneakers?...not sure what your term might be. They are cloth and leather, made for runners or athletes, have a fairly wide sole and heel for stability, good arch support, supplemented by custom molded insoles ("orthotics.")

www.newbalance.com/pd/ mens-new-balance-990v4/M990-V4.html?dwvar_M990-V4_color=Grey_with_Cas tlerock#color=Grey_wit h_Castlerock

If I try instead to walk on a rough trail that causes my feet and ankle to grip the ground at different angles, and have significant ups and downs making my knees flex a lot, my knees start to hurt - a lot.

Even before my knees were troublesome, a steep downhill stretch like the last 250 meters of the North Face Trail would cause my knees to be sore for a few days, and they would be very tired and sore at the end of the descent. To prevent that, I had to exercise by climbing on hills and do related in-door exercises for strengthening the knees.

The end of that trail is hard work, as is the climb at the beginning of the hike. Downhill is notoriously hard on knees.

To hike on trails that do not have smooth surfaces I wear boots with high ankles. The support allows me to deal with the irregular surface.

www.lowaboots.com/mens /hiking/renegade-pro-gtx%C2%AE-mid?color=Brown/Red

I did the Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg walk in September, with boots and hiking staffs. Only a trace of pain, toward the end. This description is accurate:

<<"The hike from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg is a fairly easy short route with only slight ascents and descents. From Kleine Scheidegg, there is a beautiful view of the Jungfrau massif. The trail leads through grasslands where many alpine flowers can be seen in Summer. This route is perfectly suitable for families with small children and for people who want to walk in the high mountains without too much effort.">>

The route has an altitude drop of about 300 meters, spread out over 4 or 5 km. They are a few modest steeper up an down stretches. A gravel surface on the trail requires caution, and/or support from a hiking staffs, as well as grippy soles on the footwear, in order to avoid slipping on the short somewhat steeper sections with gravel surfaces.

Alpenrose suggested the walk from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg.

It is smooth, nearly level, and has bus stops along the way. You can see the road along the valley floor in my image of the LBV from Wengen, posted above.

The sight of the mountains, and some beautiful waterfalls along the way make it a very nice walk.

At Stechelberg, you can take the cableway up to Mürren.

Slowpoke

PS - I have added a couple of old pictures of the Brienzer Rothorn train. It is a spectacular train ride.

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rituparnab
rituparnab
8 posts
new member
Jan 5, 2018 - 1:10 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you for the amazing response, Slowpoke. I am ruling out North Face Trail. That gives us time to do something else. What about Isenfuh-Sulwald by bus and cable car?

How is the walk from Schynige Platte station to the Alpine Garden? Will this walk, and the Alpine Garden itself, be doable for my mother?

Arno
Arno
9740 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 6, 2018 - 4:26 PM

Hi Ritu,

The trip is Sulwald is a fun experience with a small bus driving through circular tunnels, then a small cable car. Once on top, turn right and walk for about 500 m on the easy nearly flat road until the curve. There's a nice viewing point there. Here's the map: map.search.ch/?pos=634558,163890&z=10 24.

Schynige Platte should be doable too. I don't recall the exact trails, but this is a major tourist destination, so anything around the hotel on the top will be fairly easy to reach.

www.myswissalps.com/sc hynigeplatte

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3994 posts
expert
Jan 6, 2018 - 5:37 PM in reply to rituparnab

Hi Ritu-

It has been many years since I was up at Schynige Platte. There are some short steep climbs, as I recall. For example, to the hotel. The walk to the Alpine Garden, if I recall it correctly, is pretty tame. A loop out past the garden, which then swings up to the left( to the edge of the ridge) with stunning views down to the lake , though not terribly difficult, does have a fairly rough surface. It had some modest elevation changes, as I recall.

Importantly, you can always turn around and go back on a relatively easy trail. In contrast, the North Face Trail has steep climbs at each end.

Spend some time with the maps...you can at least figure out distances and elevation changes.

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=ech&lang=en&bgLa yer=ch.swisstopo.pixel karte-farbe&layers=ch.bav.ha ltestellen-oev,ch.swisstopo.swiss tlm3d-wanderwege&E=2636577.5 0&N=1167362.50&zoom=8& layers_visibility=fals e,true

Beyond that level of information, you are better equipped than I to understand your mother's capabilities.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jan 6, 2018 - 5:55 PM by Slowpoke
Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1378 posts
top member
Jan 7, 2018 - 12:20 AM in reply to rituparnab

>> How is the walk from Schynige Platte station to the Alpine Garden? Will this walk, and the Alpine Garden itself, be doable for my mother?

On this page there is an overview map of the Alpine Garden:

www.alpengarten.ch/en/ botanical-garden-of-the-alps/description-gardenplan.html

The buildings to the left of the photo are the Schynige Platte railway station. The restaurant and viewpoints are on the other side of the station beyond the left edge of the photo, and are reached by walking about 200 metres along a wide paved path that leads gradually uphill from the station (see attached photo). If your mother decides the Alpine Garden walk is not suitable for her, she could sit on the restaurant terrace, or on benches, overlooking the wonderful views while you do the walk (see attached photos).

On this page there are a few photos of the Alpine Garden track to give you an idea of what it's like:

commons.wikimedia.org/ wiki/Category:Schynige _Platte_Alpine_Garden

Things to consider in relation to your mother would be suitable footwear, whether her knee pain causes difficulty going up and down steps without a rail, and surefootedness on sloping gravel paths, particularly on downward slopes.

I have attached some photos of the path from the station up to the restaurant, the restaurant terrace, and benches overlooking the views.

Alpenrose

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