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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
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Apr 19, 2015 - 9:30 PM in reply to brit37
<<"

I looked up the Bergsonne- I think it might be sold out.">>

More likely, they are closed until warmer weather.

Here is what they told me when I e-mailed a month or so ago and requested a table and a room:

"....And for dinner a table. We are closed and open on beginning May. "

And they are closed on Mondays and may be closed on Tuesdays in shoulder seasons.

Try again. You probably won't need my name, but you can mention that I suggested the hotel to you if you choose to. They pick up e-mail some days when the hotel is closed, so give that a try and wait a few days.

brit37
brit37
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Apr 20, 2015 - 4:13 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Ok, I am going to try to get a hold of someone at Bergsonne on Wednesday if I don’t hear back via email. I think it makes more sense to stay closer to the mountain, especially for the views. And I think we will just stay the one night as you suggested and get there around noon from Luzern.

Thank you for all the information about the trains. I would have been so confused about all of this without your help.

I will check with the airline about the bags- good suggestion. I know different airlines have different policies on weight vs size of allowed carry-on luggage. I may need to pack very light and just buy a nice Switzerland sweater while I’m there to keep me warm and then wear it home. :)

Making progress on this itinerary. Thank you so much for everything!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5154 posts
expert
Apr 20, 2015 - 9:13 AM in reply to brit37

<<" I know different airlines have different
policies on weight vs size of allowed carry-on luggage.">>
Lufthansa/ and maybe Swiss Air- 8 kg.

KLM -12 kg

They have not enforced it one when I have checked in on KLM. But, I have Platinum Elite status on my boarding pass. it helps with that kind of stuff. Sometimes they look the other way.

US airlines tend to be about 20 kg. Rarely enforced.

My Swiss friends say that it can be enforced on European airlines intra-Europe. Of course, you may make your own judgements about whether the UK is part of Europe ;-)

...especially, no roll- aboards on small planes.

If you have to check luggage, the connection we discussed should still be Ok.

If you are late out of Malpensa, there are trains every hour rfrom Lugano to Arth-Goldau.

brit37
brit37
19 posts
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Apr 20, 2015 - 6:21 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Ok, thank you for giving me the weights! That is very helpful. I will weigh my bag before I leave and try to keep things light. I guess if we are forced to check our bags it isn't the worst thing. I know some airlines charge but what can you do... :)

Good to know about the trains too. Our itinerary is still a work if progress and after some discussion last night I may be making so changes but so far Luzern and Rigi are for sure as well as staying in Wengen and exploring B.O. I'm so excited for this trip, I can't wait! :D

Thanks again for all the info!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5154 posts
expert
Apr 20, 2015 - 6:43 PM in reply to brit37

<<"Ok, thank you for giving me the weights! ">>
You'd better check with your airline. I could be wrong, or they could have changed.

Getting checked bags in Zürich is usually fast.
Don't know about Malpensa. Assume the worst.

You may decide to change your plans once you are there, too. After all, it is your trip, not ours. The benefit of a rail pass is complete flexibility, with no worry about buying tickets.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5154 posts
expert
Apr 20, 2015 - 6:48 PM in reply to brit37

<<"Ok, I am going to try to get a hold of someone at Bergsonne on Wednesday
if I don’t hear back via email. I think it makes more sense to stay
closer to the mountain, especially for the views. ">>

Don't be surprised if they are not there ....last minute vacation, etc.

It would be a great surprise if you could not get a room when you will be there.

You will be on the mountain, not just close to it.

No views if bad weather, however, so then you have to enjoy the food and wine. ;-)

Study the topo

http://www.swisstopo.admin.ch/internet/swisstopo/en/home.html

brit37
brit37
19 posts
new member
Apr 20, 2015 - 7:05 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Food and wine can make any rainy day brighter :)

I will double check with the airlines. Thank you!

I am hoping that I will be able to get a hold of someone Bergsonne... being ON the mountain is ideal!

I will study up on the the topography- thank you for the link!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5154 posts
expert
Apr 20, 2015 - 8:53 PM in reply to brit37
<<"I am hoping that I will be able to get a hold of someone Bergsonne... being ON the mountain is ideal!

I will study up on the the topography- thank you for the link!">>

This should help. Rigi Kaltbad is 1450 meters above sea leavel, on the slope that faces south by southwest. Rigi Kaltbad is about 1000 meters above the lake.

Rigi Kulm ( the top) is at 1798 meters.

See attached.

In another thread,

myswissalps.com/forum/ topic/permalink/ cgKKW6DW9mqS6v8AAFcRTQ

we are talking about what to do when you are up there, with ideas about getting up and down. We can discuss further, especially in May, since I'll be available only a few days in the rest of April

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brit37
brit37
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Apr 20, 2015 - 10:16 PM in reply to Slowpoke

That panorama is perfect.... I have a much better sense of things now. Thank you.

I looked at the other thread. I have a question about Mt. Pilatus. We are planning to hike there so that's why I thought it might be a full day. Is it not a good mountain for hiking? I thought I read somewhere that you can hike up it? or at least to the last gondola...

I love all the ideas for hikes at Mt. Rigi. We are very fit and used to hiking at altitude so would welcome a challenging hike if you have others that you recommend. How much snow do you predict will be on the trials while we are there?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5154 posts
expert
Apr 21, 2015 - 12:45 AM in reply to brit37
brit37 said:

<<"That panorama is perfect.... I have a much better sense of things now. Thank you.">

You are welcome.

Are you used to reading topos? Now is your chance to practice.

<<" I have a question about Mt. Pilatus. We are planning to hike there so that's why I thought it might be a full day. Is it not a good mountain for hiking? I thought I read somewhere that you can hike up it? or at least to the last gondola..">>

I do not know about hikes at/on Pilatus. Here are some ideas,and my rather incomplete impressions.-

Check the topo at -

http://www.swisstopo.admin.ch/internet/swisstopo/en/home.html

The peak is at 2199 meters.

This link will show you several trails...check them out. I don't know them.

wanderland.ch/ en/hiking-in.html?phrase= Pilatus+%28OW% 29+-+ Alpnach& sname=& sid=136474

I have seen people climbing that mountain on the switchbacks.

See attached image

This My Swiss Alps web site can lead you to the Pilatus home page, after you open this link, look at the lower right..

www.myswissalps.com/ pilatus

Or, here it is:

www.pilatus.ch

The splash screen for the Pilatus web site changes through 3 or so images. Wait for a look at the one for Summer. You will see a trail with switchbacks. That is all I know. Now, we get into to my ill-informed and biased opinions. Very unreliable. ;-(

If you like to climb 1700 meters up a rock without technical gear, who knows, this might be paradise for you. There is almost nothing at the top, as far as hiking goes. It is a big, sharp pointed rock, with tourist attractions up top. A few paths up there and a restaurant, a couple of hotels with great views, and, in general, great views.

However, my opinion is uneducated, ill-informed, and not reliable. It certainly does not provide a complete answer.

Check the Switzerlnd Mobility website -

wanderland.ch/ en/hiking-in.html?phrase= Pilatus+%28OW% 29+-+ Alpnach& sname=& sid=136474

It has ideas for you.. then , talk to the Tourist Info office in the Hauptbahnhof in Luzern, and go from their ideas to get even more information.

It is a very different mountain compare to the Rigi.

<<"I love all the ideas for hikes at Mt. Rigi. We are very fit and used to hiking at altitude so would welcome a challenging hike if you have others that you recommend. ">>

When you come into Switzerland, go to a store with maps. In Luzern, it is Orell Füssli, close to the sttaion. Ask at the Tourist Info office by track #1 at Luzern Hauptbahnhof. They will point you to the store. Get the Wanderkarte or Wanderkarten for the region including Pilatus, and/or Rigi. If you want detail, get the 1:25,000.

Those maps will tell you more than I ever could. The link to SwissTopo earlier i this post will get you started on line, but, IMO, a paper map is better for your questions.

<<"How much snow do you predict will be on the trials while we are there?">>

Essentially none on the "trials", or on the trails, on the Rigi... IMO, there are no trails to have snow upon them on Pilatus....joking. Don't really know, but 2200 meters can keep snow long into the summer, depending on the angle of the sun.

You can get infornation with good detail by asking at the base station for the Pilatus Bahn , most likely. Or, Tourist Info in Luzern Hauptbahnhof.

Where have you been hiking at high altitude?

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5154 posts
expert
Apr 21, 2015 - 6:43 PM in reply to brit37

<<"I love all the ideas for hikes at Mt. Rigi. We are very fit and used to hiking at altitude so would welcome a challenging hike if you have others that you recommend.">>

Here is the easy answer to your question...for challenge, start at the
bottom of any of the mountains in the area and take a trail up the side
to 1000 to 1500 meters high. Probably, that is not what you meant...;-)

The reason I asked where you had done your high altitude hiking was to learn how high is "high altitude."

Did you mean mountaineering...rappelling, crampons, pitons, etc?

You will be in Switzerland at a time when the Berner Oberland trails at above 2000 meters are likely to be closed, or at least, have substantial sections that are not passable because of deep snow.

The exact dates and altitudes depend on whether it was a heavy snow year this year, which way the trail faces....is it exposed to lots of sun? Or, in a shadow?

What region do you ask about....? The north wall of the Rhone Valley is more likely to be accessible earlier that some others, because it is in a rain shadow zone (very dry) and very sunny.

So, if you want high altitude, defined as being above approx 2000 meters, you should return to Switzerland in July or August, or early September. Or, maybe look to hikes up on the Alps above the Rhone Valley, on a south facing slope.

If you define it as 1450 meters then, the easy hike on the Rigi from Rigi Scheidegg to Rigi Staffelhöhe, mostly in the sun, will be a different story.

I can't easily answer the question as phrased, and even if knew exactly what places you were talking about, I'd still have trouble. ;-(

The Switzerland Mobility web site is a good source for planned/defined routes. You get a height profile, points of interest, transport connections, etc.

Note the tiles for different transport modes at the top.

wanderland.ch/ en/hiking-in-switzerland.html

I ran across this site yesterday:

mountain-forecast.com/peaks/ Mount-Pilatus/forecasts/2132

Of course, that forecast is for the next few days. Still, the weather up there can get pretty fierce. Suddenly.

BTW- in that other thread discussing hikes on the Rigi, the writer proposed a walk from Rigi Kulm to Rigi Klösterli and onward. That hike doesn't have much scenery. It goes down into a valley from which you can't see much.

brit37
brit37
19 posts
new member
Apr 21, 2015 - 7:05 PM in reply to Slowpoke

I am used to hiking at around 7,000 feet above sea level. I think my question may have been confusing though. We aren't searching for hikes at high altitude, but we would be ok if we were to be on a hike at high altitude (not worried about altitude sickness or anything like that). We are happy to do any hikes! We just like them to be challenging in the way of a steep climb vs a casual stroll along flat paths, although we will do some of those as well for the views i'm sure.

That weather looks freezing! I hope it warms up by the time we arrive. There are some great suggestions on this site for hiking and I like that you can choose the option for easy, moderate or difficult. I will do so more research so I can figure out which hikes we want to do each day while we are in B.O. By the way, I am still perplexed as to where to stay in B.O. I know you said Wengen but I have another person telling me that Murren is so much better with better views. We have the option of staying at a hotel with bunk beds in Wengen (for convenience of being close to the train to explore) or for the same price staying in Murren at a place with a little kitchen but less convenient to trains...What do you suggest? We were thinking about cooking a few nights to save a little money but if there are affordable places to eat in Wengen maybe we should just choose to stay there for the convenience unless it's really not that much of a difference.

I spoke with someone on the phone today at the Bergsonne. I told them you made the recommendation and he knew who you were :) He was such a nice gentleman! and they have availability so I'm very excited to stay there. Thanks again for the suggestion.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5154 posts
expert
Apr 21, 2015 - 8:19 PM in reply to brit37
brit37 said:

<""I am used to hiking at around 7,000 feet above sea level. I think my question may have been confusing though. We aren't searching for hikes at high altitude, but we would be ok if we were to be on a hike at high altitude (not worried about altitude sickness or anything like that). We are happy to do any hikes! We just like them to be challenging in the way of a steep climb vs a casual stroll along flat paths, although we will do some of those as well for the views i'm sure.">>

The hikes on the Rigi are mostly tame. For challenges, climb the mountain from below at various points.

Climbing up Pilatuis would be hard work, but, at least, the altitude would be OK for you..

In the parts of the BO below 2200 meters (7300 feet), there are plenty of trails with significant altitude change that have great views.

When you get into Luzern, stop at the Tourist Info by Track #1 at the main station. Ask where to get Wanderkarten. Wanderkarten (T series) show the marked and well maintained Wanderwege in red, overlaid on the standard high quality map.. I usually get mine at Orell-Füssli book store , 50 meters away.

Look for the orange-yellow (not bright yellow) ones from the Federal Land office at 1:50,000. Pick up #235T (Rotkreuz) and #245T ( Stans) for the Rigi Luzern area. They are not cheap. My 12 year old ones cost 22CHF then. They come in 1:50,000 which is the old standby. They now also are being produced at 1:33,000. I have not used that scale yet. You want fine detail in the mountains.

For the BO, #254T and #264T.

Before buying any , as a learning process, take a close look at 235T which covers most of the Rigi. Or, check my following post.

It should convince you to buy (some of) the maps.

Those maps will answer your questions about where to hike if weather is assumed to be good. Ask at the local tourist office for further details.

For more detail on special Wanderkarten for popular regions, there are also a very few Wanderkarten produced at 1:25,000. Not cheap -- 32.5 CHF each. Brown covers. Examples -
#2510T - Luzern/Rigi Pilatus. #2520T - Jungfrau region. I have #2522T for the Napf and love it.
Terrific detail, and they cover a fairly large region. Saves the cost of buying several smaller ones matched to the national grid of quadrangles.

Lots of info on maps at the SwissTopo website, under "Products" "Maps.'" "Hiking Maps."

swisstopo.admin.ch/ internet/swisstopo/ en/home/ products/maps/ leisure/hiking/ hiking_25.html

Some hotels and hostels might lend or rent maps.

As noted above, there exist a few special regional 1:25,000 maps (not Wanderkarte) with brown covers for I think Luzern and definitely Jungfau region ( #2520) . The 1:25,00 may be too detailed, but you should look at , eg., Wengen and Müerren on each kind of map to learn a lot.

Better yet, look at at the same maps in "T" series with trails marked. You can't beat 1:25.000 with the Wanderwege already marked on them...but, you do have to pay. ;-(

<<"That weather looks freezing! I hope it warms up by the time we arrive. There are some great suggestions on this site for hiking and I like that you can choose the option for easy, moderate or difficult. I will do so more research so I can figure out which hikes we want to do each day while we are in B.O">>

The Switzerland Mobility site will not give them all to you in the BO. Check out the maps I mention above.

<<". By the way, I am still perplexed as to where to stay in B.O. I know you said Wengen but I have another person telling me that Murren is so much better with better views. We have the option of staying at a hotel with bunk beds in Wengen (for convenience of being close to the train to explore) or for the same price staying in Murren at a place with a little kitchen but less convenient to trains...What do you suggest?">>

Wengen vs. Mürren is one of those never settled wars of opinion. Coffee, or tea? Orange juice or tomato juice?

The views from Wengen are great. They are different and could be called better from Mürren.

In particular, the view of the Jungfrau Massif per se from Mürren is spectacular and more complete than from Wengen. The view from Wengen,. less complete of those mountains, but better in other ways. See attached.More important after you have looked a few times is - access to the trail and transport system. Wengen wins on that one. You are closer to more hikes. If you want to go up to First, which might be accessible by then, for example, it is a lot easier from Wengen.

Wengen has better transport access to most of the region and out of the valley.

I do not wish to fight with your acquaintance. It is a matter of individual preferences. I prefer Wengen. So does Kim. See her reports, linked below.

You can't lose at either place. I like Wengen.

As for eating in Wengen, see if the place you checked out has a common kitchen.

I do not fully understand your position on the classic project management trade-offs -

"Good, Fast, Cheap - pick any two." The point is that you generally can't get all three...;-(

My perspective is get the facilities that maximize your travel and sightseeing, rather than savinng money on some meals.

You can save money at home. You can not explore the B.O . at home.

My wife have need for a certain level of comfort and convenience, due to age and health issues, and we are willing to pay for better than basic.

So, i can't really give much guidance on your tradeoffs.

Here is some solid information about Wengen.

myswissalps.com/forum/ topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

The reports or the author could possibly help you. The author (Kim) is a Wengen fan, as you will quickly learn, but what I have read so far in her reports is very accurate.

<<"I spoke with someone on the phone today at the Bergsonne. I told them you made the recommendation and he knew who you were :) He was such a nice gentleman! and they have availability so I'm very excited to stay there. Thanks again for the suggestion.">>

You are welcome. Mr Camps is an excellent host. He just gets grumpy when the restaurant is full and he is working hard. If you like his wine card as much as I do, let him know. He works hard to build his excellent cellar.

More on what to do while you are up there in upcoming posts.

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5154 posts
expert
Apr 22, 2015 - 12:43 AM in reply to brit37

<<" We are happy to do any hikes! We just like them to be challenging in the way of a steep climb vs a casual stroll along flat paths, although we will do some of those as well for the views i'm sure.">>

Here is something which shows you one way to address your concerns.

I have scanned a segment of Wanderkarte 235T Rotkreuz, and compressed it to fit within the forum's size limits. Image quality is less than I like.

However, for the purpose intended, it is adequate. For precision, buy the map.

Purpose - to show the lay of the land around the Rigi, and the location /elevation/topography relevant to the Wanderwege - red marked trails.

I have placed colored marks at key places.

You may compare with the map at SwissTopo if you want more detail. Or, buy the paper map. Recommended. ;-)

Access points at Vitznau, Weggis, and Arth -Goldau are marked. The path of the cograil from Arth-Goldau to Rigi-Kulm is marked. The other train, down to Vitznau, is pretty clear, but I marked it in yellow.

Rigi Scheidegg and Rigi Kaltbad are marked. So is Rigi Kulm.

From this you can see there there is a reasonable density of trails, and that many have substantial elevation changes. Some do not.

The Hotel Bergsonne is at approximately where the uppermost (3rd) right hand red circle is, at Rigi Kaltbad.

I hope that this gives you some guidance...or, at least a starting point.

Rigi is a tame mountain, but, if you want exercise, there are trails to provide it. ;-)

Let me know your reactions.

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5154 posts
expert
Apr 24, 2015 - 5:46 AM in reply to brit37
<<" We aren't searching for hikes at high altitude, but we would be ok if we were to be on a hike at high altitude (not worried about altitude sickness or anything like that). We are happy to do any hikes! We just like them to be challenging in the way of a steep climb vs a casual stroll along flat paths, although we will do some of those as well for the views i'm sure.">>

For a range of hikes of all kinds and degrees of difficulty, read pp. 22 to 37 in the report in this link:

myswissalps.com/ forum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

Several fit your description....scenic but also strenuous.

brit37
brit37
19 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2015 - 5:01 PM in reply to Slowpoke
This is great! Thank you so much, I appreciate all of your help!
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5154 posts
expert
Apr 26, 2015 - 8:50 PM in reply to brit37

brit37 said: This is great! Thank you so much, I appreciate all of your help!

Brit -

Glad that the information meets your needs.

Earlier in the thread, I suggested taking the cog-rail fom Rigi-Kaltbad up to Rigi-Kulm, after you check in at the Bergsonne, then walking down the the "xxxxx Hohe Weg, X's because I cannot remember the full name. ;-(

Of course, you could walk it up hill. Just as scenic. Then decide whether to walk back down to Kaltbad, ride down, or walk down to Staffel or Staffelhoehe, walk the old rail road bed ( very clear, continues all the way to Rigi Scheidegg) to First, turn right, and swing back to Kaltbad. One of the trails from First goes right by the Bergsonne, before a modest descent to Kaltbad.

Once you are at any of the locations, and can see the lay of the land (often rather vertical) those Wanderkarten will bring it all into focus.

And, you can save them for planning your next trip. ;-) And, write on them to compare your times to the Wanderweg signs.

brit37
brit37
19 posts
new member
May 9, 2015 - 2:34 PM in reply to Slowpoke
Just saw your last post! Sorry i'm so late to respond. Thank you again for all your suggestions and advice, you have been a tremendous help!
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5154 posts
expert
May 9, 2015 - 2:55 PM in reply to brit37

You are welcome.

After you get back, I'd love to hear your reactions. Maybe even a brief trip report?

Have a great trip!

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