Inn to inn hiking in Bernese Oberland July (2)

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cclem
cclem
7 posts
new member
Aug 12, 2019 - 7:34 PM

Thanks to everyone who responded to my first post about trying to put together an inn to inn hike for next summer! ( www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/please-help-with-inn-to-inn-hiking-itinerary).

While the first itinerary sounded amazing (hike Leukerbad to Kandersteg, Kandersteg to Griesalp, Griesalp to Murren), we've decided it might be too ambitious for our group. We'd still love to hike inn to inn for a few days, but are looking for an itinerary with more moderate hikes.

We're now thinking:

Day 1: Hike Meiringin to Grosse Scheidegg

Day 2: Hike Grosse Scheidegg to Grindelwald

Day 3: Hike Grindelwald to Wengen (likely taking a gonola up to Mannlichen then hiking)

We'll be in Switzerland for 8-9 nights total, but are just looking to hike inn to inn for a few of those days.

I'm sure this won't be as epic as the original plan, but we're thinking it might be better for an introduction to hiking in the Alps.

I would love any input or any suggestions for alternate routes. Thank you so much!!

Mark
Mark
381 posts
top member
Aug 12, 2019 - 10:45 PM

Hi cclem

You have several options on days 2 and 3

You did not say which route you planned to take on day 2. You could take the direct route from GS to Grindelwald but it is in trees, steep switchbacks, and not very interesting. Or you could hike GS to First and down to Grindelwald. The section from First to Grindelwald is steep and only slightly more scenic (it roughly follows the cable car. By far the most scenic and probably overall easier is GS to First to Bachalpsee then down to Waldspitz to Bort then cable car to Grindelwald ( you could of course walk the steep part from Bort to Grindelwald instead).

A substantially longer option is GS to First to Bussalp and then bus back to Grindelwald

On day 3 I would seriously consider train from Grindelwald to Alpiglen then do the Eiger trail to Eigergletscher. From there walk or train down to Kleine Scheidegg and then walk to Mannlichen and cable car to Wengen. This route takes you on the fabulous Eiger trail that goes to the very base of the Eiger and you get to do the Grannies’ walk to Mannlichen as well.

It is a little convoluted but for me personally the best of all routes is to take the cable car from Grindelwald to Mannlichen and walk to Kleine Scheidegg continue past KS up to Eigergletscher and do Eiger trail down to Alpiglen. At Alpiglen you can catch the train to Wengen (if you want a little longer hike you can leave the train at KS and walk to Wengernalp then train to Wengen). This option only has a very short uphill portion of 1 hr. From KS to Eigergletscher the rest is mostly level or downhill and therefore not strenuous and I think you would find the scenery much more memorable than just the KS to Wengen route.

Mark

cclem
cclem
7 posts
new member
Aug 13, 2019 - 1:06 AM

That is so helpful, thank you!! I didn't realize there were so many options for routes. I will pass this on to my group. I really appreciate your input!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6448 posts
expert
Aug 13, 2019 - 10:03 AM in reply to cclem

Hi CClem -

<<" I didn't realize there were so many options for routes.">>

There are a lot, and one way to sort them out is to look at a topographic map with hiking trails marked.

I gave you thorough instructions on how to do that in your earlier thread.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/please-help-with-inn-to-inn-hiking-itinerary

If you compare your suggestions in this thread with the suggestions from Mark immediately above, using that topo map, you'll see that your suggestions are more strenuous, with greater altitude changes for little benefit on scenery. All three of your days in this thread have that issue. Possiblty, that is because you chose to make a linear journey. That is more practical in less alpine regions, such as the Emmental, where inn to inn hiking is a tradition.

Mark has given options that take better advantage of the transport system to gain or lose altitude, and cover distance, while getting you the scenery from the higher alpine trails. That is a benefit of the transport density in the region. They are not a linear trail, as you laid out in your routes, but you are still going inn to inn.

And, his Day 3 takes you from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg in the definitely better direction. See attached). It lets you feel the Eiger grow over you as you hike. Awareness of the history of the North Face of the Eiger (in Geman, die Nordwand) , nicknamed die Mordwand ( the Murder Wall) adds to the feeling.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Eiger

Looking at his day 3, on a map, you can see that it is actually not very convoluted.

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&catalogNodes=139 2,1538,1396,1430,1436& layers=ch.swisstopo.sw isstlm3d-wanderwege&E=2641788.7 3&N=1160985.47&zoom=6

It is a circular route. But, you don't have to return to Grindelwald. And, to continue with your thought about options, there are at least two variations you can consider.

As he proposes for day 3, you will make the not very difficult climb from Kleine Scheidegg to Eigergletscher, then continue on the Eiger trail down to Alpiglen.

You can also ride the cograil train from KS to Eigerglettscher, if you choose.

Second option...definitely more convoluted -

Once at KS, take the cograil train down to Alpiglen. Then hike the Eiger trail up hill about 400 meters, and across to Eigergletscher. Train or walk down to KS, and return to Grindelwald by train. Or, if you want to go to a different inn, ride down the Wengen or Lauterbrunnen.

Advantage- you don't beat up your knees as much with the 400 meter descent to Alpiglen. Disadvantage - you don't face the valley as you make the climb. On the way down, you face the valley more. Since the trail has switchbacks, that is not precise comparison...the switchbacks do let you see in all directions, but the differnce may be meaningful.

A bit more food for thought (or your stomachs) . The mountain in at Alpiglen is famous for it's Käseschnitte.

alpiglen.ch/index.php?userlang=en&page=resta urant

What starts out as simple melted mountain cheese on toast ends up with wine soaked bread, and a large number of added toppings. It is very large, and a goal of the journey for some.

www.ursiswelt.ch/Wenge n-Grindelwald.htm

Roughly translating some of the first text from that link:

"Und auch das Restaurant Alpiglen hatte schon offen, so dass ich auch noch meine Käseschnitte geniessen konnte."

"And Restaurant Alpiglen was already open, so that I could still enjoy my Käseschnitte."

As an aid to planning, you should be aware thta you can leave luggage at Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, and Wengen stations.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Aug 13, 2019 - 10:08 AM by Slowpoke
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Mark
Mark
381 posts
top member
Aug 13, 2019 - 11:38 PM

Hi CClem

As you can see you have a lot of options. Here are some added thoughts and i've attached some photos of the hikes as well

The Eiger Trail is spectacular in either direction. By my source if you hike uphill you climb 2500 ft (about 700 meters) and descend 200 ft . Downhill of course reverses these numbers. Like Slowpoke my knees are a consideration. I found the trail to have good footing and no rocks to have to step down from and the steepest part is the last part of the trail (about 20-25%of the overall distance) So the downhill direction was not so bad for me. Many people do choose to hike uphill instead but be prepared for a 2500 ft climb.Either way hiking poles are a big help.

I usually recommend walking up from KS to Eigergletscher instead of the train even though its a 250 meter climb. The reason is to me it is an especially beautiful section. You hike along a spine with close views of Monch and Jungfrau strait ahead and descent to Wengernalp to the right and the Eiger to the left. see photos. If you are going in the reverse direction these views are to your back so you might as well ride the train down if you start at Eigergletscher.

On day 2 I would definitely try do the First to Bachalpsee to Waldspitz sections, especially the part to Waldspitz. see photos. It is also one of my favorites.

Mark

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6448 posts
expert
Aug 13, 2019 - 11:44 PM in reply to Mark

Hi Mark-

<<". By my source if you hike uphill you climb 2500 ft (about 700 meters) and descend 200 ft .">>

I certainly don't disagree. I was imprecise...I was only referring to the steep part directly above Alpiglen, before the trail shifts to a more gentle slope.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Aug 13, 2019 - 11:44 PM by Slowpoke
cclem
cclem
7 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2019 - 1:38 AM

Thank you so much!

I really appreciate both of your input. Your suggestions are going to make a big difference in our trip. I'm going to try to spend some time with the maps this week to finalize a route.

Thank you!

cclem
cclem
7 posts
new member
Aug 18, 2019 - 8:03 PM

Thank you again for all of your help!

I've finally had time to look into your suggestions more and I think they will be perfect for our group.

Our itinerary for this part of our trip now looks like:

Day 1: Hike Meiringin to GS (We don't have to start in Meiringin though if there's a better town to hike to GS from)

Day 2: Hike GS to First to Bachalpsee to Waldspitz to Bort. Cable to Grindelwald, train to Alpiglen (I'm thinking we'll stay at the guesthouse in Alpiglen so we don't have to start with a train the next morning unless that seems like a bad idea...)

Day 3: Eiger trail from Alpiglen, walk to KS, walk to Mannlichen, train to Murren

It seems like that will be roughly 12-13 KM per day if I'm looking at it right (I'm not super good with maps, so would appreciate insight if that seems way off..)

Do you think this is the best direction for the route, or should we reverse the whole thing and start in Murren and end in Meiringin?

Thanks so much!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6448 posts
expert
Aug 18, 2019 - 8:25 PM in reply to cclem

You can do as you wrote, but, then, you are ignoring our advice about the walk from Maennlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. You will miss one of the best hiking experiences in the Alps.

Pleas see my comments above.

If are thinking about going in the other direction, from KS to Maennlichen, the other direction, I'd skip it. It is totally different experience.

Just my opinion.

Slowpoke

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