Hiking in Switzerland - difficulty expectations?

Hiking in Switzerland - difficulty expectations?

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NJfam
NJfam
43 posts
active member
Aug 16, 2017 - 7:31 PM

please guide us in the Difficulty mode of hiking. We like to hike in woods, like to walk a lot. We do not climb mountains and are not experienced hikers. so I have a question on the difficulty rating when choosing a hike

1. Difficulty: moderate - what can we expect ?

2. Hoping to hike in the Schynige Platte - what kind of platform can we expect and what will terrain be like ?

3. we are also planning to hike in Mt Rigi and Mt Pilatus - seems doable in both these places

Thank you very much for your response !

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Aug 17, 2017 - 1:34 AM in reply to NJfam

Hi NJfam.

This may help with rating:

www.myswissalps.com/hi king

The quality and difficulty of hikes in the places you have named vary tremendously.

One way to get some ideas is to study the options in -

www.myswissalps.com/hi king

Another is to look at topo maps. Can you read them?

If so, we can link you to maps that clearly show the difficult terrain.

For one example of why that may be useful-

There are no easy hikes on Pilatus. There are short walks around the top.

There are lots of hikes on the Rigi, most fairly easy on good quality trails, but many have large altitude changes. So, your comments in #3 are puzzling to me. See Pilatus images attached.

So, when you say " We do not climb mountains" I have to ask, do you mean that you do not do technical climbing, or, that you don't go up easy paths that have a substantial altitude change?

This website may help you understand the trail marking system:

www.alpenwild.com/stat icpage/trail-signs-in-the-swiss-alps/

If you work this map (below) , and turn on "Hiking Trails" in the menu, and look around variuos areas, you will see a few trails that are blue. They require technical climbing...ropes, crampons, pitons, etc. The red ones only ask for boots and hiking staffs, but can have huge altitude changes:

I have set this map with "hiking trails" turned on in the menu, and focused it on Schynige Platte:

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&layers_visi bility=false,true&X=16 6815.18&Y=634257.19&zo om=6

My experience says that there a some short, fairly easy trails up there, but all are rugged ..not simple and smooth.

I do not know what you mean by "what kind of platform."

The hikes you have mentioned are mostly are above the tree line. The Rigi is an exception, but Rigi Kulm is above the tree line.

To understand hiking, it is extremely important to know when you are going.

Trail availability and difficulty vary a lot during the fall months; altitude is critical. There can be snow at high altitudes while everything is easy at lower altitudes... There was snow at Männlichen a few days ago.

Could you please give us bit more idea of when you are going to various regions?

Slowpoke

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NJfam
NJfam
43 posts
active member
Aug 17, 2017 - 1:02 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks a lot Slowpoke. I'll take a look at the links you have provided me with. We don't do any technical climbing and med range altitude should be ok - I guess we can try and go as far as we can and stop when we think its high enough . We will be arriving in Switzerland September 17 for 6 days. so hoping no rain and no snow :) . I'll post once I look at the links. Thanks !

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Aug 17, 2017 - 2:05 PM in reply to NJfam

Are you comfortable with topographic maps?

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Aug 17, 2017 - 3:08 PM in reply to NJfam

Hi NJFam-

Perhaps I misunderstand your comments, but they could mean that you expect to climb a lot, even though you would not do technical climbing.

Some of the nicest trail are at high altitude. Unless you are really fit, you do not climb easily at a mile and a half high. However, if you want to take them, there are trails that start at about 800 meters ( near Lauterbrunnen) and go right on up to Männlichen via Wengen. Männlichen ( in the following comments) is at about 2230 meters...that is just under a mile and a half altitude. When I take the 100 meter climb up from Männlichen to Männlichen Gipfel ("peak") at 2342 meters, I pant a lot and pause to catch my breath.

However, the views are worth it.

And, unless you are in shape for them, long downhills on steep trails can beat up your knees.

So, the Swiss nicely provide many high altitude trails that can be accessed at each end by public transportation, which includes cable cars and even chairlifts.

Many are listed here:

www.myswissalps.com/hi king

Also, this report describes a lot of different trails and degree of difficulty:

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

Here is one that I have walked many times with family members and friends. Spectacular, famous, and easy. Nicknamed "The Grannies' Walk." Except , Swiss grannies charge up it in the "wrong" direction from Kleine Scheidegg to Männlichen. They set a pace that would be surprising even on a level walk at sea level. ;-)

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

I've attached a few pictures taken going in the "right" direction....towards the Eiger. Some were taken on about September 25th in 2009 when my daughter and granddaughter joined me. Glorious day.

Notre the gravel. You can slip if you don't have your hikiong staffs and footgear with grippy soles. i prefer boots for ankle protection.

Good luck with the weather.

Here is one way to keep track:

en.swisswebcams.ch/suc he/ort/m%C3%A4nnlichen -6935774/

By the way, they had snow up there a few days ago. All gone now, and the trails were not closed.

Slowpoke

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NJfam
NJfam
43 posts
active member
Aug 20, 2017 - 9:16 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Omg slowpoke thank you so so much for the great info. I also looked at the links you provided earlier Thank you will look at the new links. We are planning to stay 3 nights in Grindelwald - so the links will definitely help. Looking forward to Switzerland , so much to do and see unbelievable!!

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