Novice hiking near Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen

Novice hiking near Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen

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tazbb
tazbb
23 posts
new member
Jun 28, 2017 - 10:02 AM

Hi everybody,

I plan to stay in either Grindalwald or Launterbrunen for 3 days in August. Love natural scenery and want to try some hiking . A few questions to ask, and appreciate your help :-

1/ Do I need a guided tour ? (no experience in hiking) seems like tours offered are mostly from Luzern.

2/ I am a solo traveler, is it safe to hike alone in this region ?

3/ Any easy trails for novice you can suggest ? I can walk for approx. 1.5 hour to start with.

4/. Should I stay in Grindalwald or Launterbrunnen ?

5/.Any tips to prepare for unexpected weather during hiking ?

6/. Any resting points along the trail e.g. reasonably priced restaurant offering good views, hopefully there is still table available ? or public transport along the trail in case I want to change my plan ?

7/. Also want to try First flyer. How to plan a hike with this ? Do I need to queue for 2 hours as mentioned in some of other posts ?

Have done some searching on the internet, but still can't get a clue to decide on my itinerary. Thanks in advance for your help. :)

AlanPrice
AlanPrice
194 posts
active member
Jun 28, 2017 - 6:11 PM

Hi tazbb,

There are plenty of good walks for novice hikers as long as you are fit. You will need some good wet weather gear in case it rains and a pair of light weight hiking boots. If you are going solo, let your hotel know what your plans for the day are in case something goes wrong.

There are some beautiful walks around Grindelwald. The walk from First to Bachalpsee would be perfect, as would Maennlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. A little more adventurous would be Pfingstegg to Baeregg which follows one of the glaciers into the mountains.

There are plenty of places that offer refreshments along the way, except for the hike to Bachalpsee. There is a restaurant at your starting point that you come back to at the end of the hike.

All paths are well maintained and sign posted so yo shouldn't get lost.

One tip, get your boots and rucksack before your trip and get used to wearing them before you go.

Cheers

Alan

Annika
Annika
4992 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 28, 2017 - 6:29 PM

Hi tazbb, welcome to MySwissAlps!

This selection of hikes in the Bernese Oberland may get you started: myswissalps.com/bernes eoberland/activities (scroll down). You can filter the easy and moderate ones. Going solo shouldn't be a problem for the easier and shorter hikes, especially if you keep a close eye on the weather and, as Alan suggested, inform someone else of your plans. Booking tours isn't necessary for your type of plans. Please read about safety and preparation at myswissalps.com/hiking.

Whether to stay in Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald is a personal choice, and opinions vary. Please follow the links I included to compare for yourself, and use the timetable to find traveling times to the destinations you have in mind.

tazbb
tazbb
23 posts
new member
Jun 29, 2017 - 11:22 AM in reply to AlanPrice

Hi Alan and Annika,

Thank you so much for your prompt response and all the information. They are very useful !!

I will definitely try the trail from First to Bachalpsee , and get my hiking boots and start wearing it from now. Also study the links provided by Annika, they are really helpful.

1. Do you think trekking poles are necessary for those EASY trails ? Are they mostly well maintained ? I don't mind gentle slope, but not so good in handling slippery ground.

2. Someone told me that there are ready to drink water taps along the trails, is this correct ? then I don't have to carry so much water.

3. Have you tried the First Flyer ? Understand I should have posted this question under a separate thread, but just in case you have tried, would like to seek your comment on how to plan a hike with this Flyer experience (with long waiting queue) as i am not sure about the connection, and understand I should plan well to catch the last transport back to my hotel in time.

4. Annika, the Swiss timetable - is there an app for this ? What is the difference between this and Sbb app which I understand only provide information about trains, am I correct ?

Thanks again :)

Arno
Arno
11177 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 29, 2017 - 2:53 PM

Hi tazzbb,

1. Trails are mostly well maintained. The easy ones without much ascending/descending don't require poles in my opinion. For all other trails I prefer poles, but you'll see also people who manage without them.

2. There are taps, but there's no guaranteed number of them per trail. Could be none, could be some. So I would not count on it.

3. I haven't done it but it shouldn't be difficult to plan. Departure point is the First cableway top station. It's the same place where the hike to Bachalpsee starts that Alan mentioned. If you enter "First (Grindelwald)" in the timetable you'll see how to get there.

4. The SBB app provides the same information as the timetable. You'll find links here. It's for all public transport, not just trains.

AlanPrice
AlanPrice
194 posts
active member
Jun 29, 2017 - 8:54 PM

Hi tazzbb,

Hiking stocks are a matter of choice, although they are so common they seem to be part of the uniform. You don't really need one on the easy walks, they probably hinder more than help. Having said that, I always carry a T-Handle stock (Much better for down hill walking than the more common ski-pole type). Carrying 2 poles is really only useful if you are carrying a heavy pack, or have really bad knees.

It's a good idea to carry a bottle of water on your hikes, but you will find drinking troughs for cattle scattered about. They are usually made of hollowed out logs and fed by continually running spring water which is perfectly fine to drink, just drink from the spigot and not from the trough. You will find them most often around barns, but not very often above the tree line. From memory, there are none on the First-Bachalpsee walk, so you will have to carry water for that.

Cheers

Alan

tazbb
tazbb
23 posts
new member
Jun 30, 2017 - 7:59 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thank you for your advice. My SwissAlps is responsive and provides very comprehensive information.

I think I better bring my own bottle of water. For the First Flyer, how about if I do it before the hike, is the bottom station of the Flyer connects to any part of the hiking trail, or I have to take cable car to go back to the top station of the Flyer before starting the hike ?

Thanks again ! :)

Arno
Arno
11177 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 30, 2017 - 8:05 PM in reply to tazbb

You're welcome Tazbb! Yes, do bring water and consider water along the trail as a bonus. The First Flyer starts where the trail starts and ends, so you better hike first and take the First Flyer down afterwards. Otherwise you'll need to go up and down twice, which takes more time and money.

tazbb
tazbb
23 posts
new member
Jun 30, 2017 - 8:06 PM in reply to AlanPrice

Hi Alan,

So kind of you providing information so detailed and useful ! :) I also got my hiking boot and start wearing it today !

Have the kind of T-handle stock which I may bring along if I do not have too many stuff to carry.

Will bring water definitely as advised by you and Arno.

Thanks again !:)

tazbb
tazbb
23 posts
new member
Jun 30, 2017 - 8:14 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

You are just wonderful and so swift in your response !

One more question, I shall get a Swiss Travel Pass. I understand I need to buy a ticket for the Flyer at the station, cable car station before I go up to where I start the Flyer, right ?

Do you know if I can purchase the ticket only at the time when I reach the starting point of the Flyer ? What I am thinking is that I want to see how long the queue is before I decide if I am going for it.

Thanks again ! :)

Arno
Arno
11177 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 1, 2017 - 7:33 AM in reply to tazbb

Hi Tazbb,

Yes, you can buy a ticket on the spot, or give them a call to ask how busy it will be: +41 33 828 72 33.

tazbb
tazbb
23 posts
new member
Jul 1, 2017 - 8:26 AM in reply to Arno

Thanks Arno for your help !

Will give them a call before I go :)

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