Travel in Bernese Alps in July - hikes & weather?

Travel in Bernese Alps in July - hikes & weather?

Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 15
This thread is closed. You are welcome to log in and submit a new thread.
Counterparts
Counterparts
4 posts
new member
Jun 17, 2018 - 7:31 PM

Hello everyone,

I am in the process of planning my trip to the Bernese Alps area. The dates of my trip are July 1st - July 11th. Since I'm traveling solo, I decided it would be better to not camp during the night, but rather stay in public accommodation (hostels/huts etc). There are the places I made booking reservations for (in this order): Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald, Interlaken

I am looking to do mostly trekking during my trip, with maybe 1 relaxing day on the weekend. I gathered a lot of information from this wonderful post: www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim and I have my eye on the following trails:

  • Wengen > Kleine Schidegg > Männlichen
  • Lauterbrunnen > Stechelberg and back (visit Murren if time allows)
  • Lauterbrunnen > Lobhornhütte, return via Grütschalp
  • Eiger trail (Alpiglen train station > Eigergletscher train station)
  • Schynige Platte > First

Here are some topics I had questions about:

What kind of weather can I expect in beginning-mid July? What clothing is recommended to take?

How much water should I carry at a given time when hiking? Will I have opportunities to refill throughout the trails?

What are some tips you can share for hiking safely when alone? Also, are the trails easy to follow?

Much appreciated!

-Ziv

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Jun 17, 2018 - 9:10 PM in reply to Counterparts

Hi Ziv -

Wlcome to My Swiss Alps. Sounds like a great trip.

Good thing you have booked already...that is a busy time in the Alps.

For some of your general questions, check these links:

www.myswissalps.com/ab outswitzerland/nature

and,

www.myswissalps.com/hi king

No one can predict the weather in any detail in the Alps more than about 24-48 hours ahead of time. You'll have enough time there to allow for a couple of days with poor visibility.

This is one of the better weather forecasting sites:

www.meteocentrale.ch/e n/europe/switzerland/w eather-wengen/details/N-3517887/

If it is sunny, you'll need at most a light jacket on the trails. But, I always carry rain gear.

This site may help with averages and expectations::

www.worldweatheronline .com/wengen-weather-averages/ch.aspx

A couple of specific comments:

Do you plan to climb from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg, then Männlichen?

This map will help you with altitudes:

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&E=26 35809.36&N=1161941.29& zoom=5

I've turned on "Hiking Trails."

It is almost universally recommended to walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg.

Apart from the fact that it is slightly downhill, there is a substantial psychological effect from seeing and feeling the Eiger grow over you as you approach it.

I'd make a special effort to hike it in that direction.

You could take a cableway to Männlichen walk to Kleine Scheidegg and then do the walk you propose from KS to AlpiIglen via station Eigergletscher.

Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg and return will only take half a day, even if you stop to see the falls along the way:

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/lauterbrunnen-stechelberg.

You'll have time for Mürren.

Schynige Platte to First is far from an easy walk.

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/first-schynigeplatte

About 800 meters climb up to Faulhorn.....at 2681 meters.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/traveling-alone-in-bernese-alps-in-july?actionMode=editPost&po stId=615f6786-d6a0-6af6-92ea-ff000057114d&redirect= true#reply

Are you used to high altitude hiking? There is some pretty serious climbing at high altitude.

Acclimated to the heights and the "thinner" air? And, the last cable car down from First is at 1830.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jun 17, 2018 - 9:14 PM by Slowpoke
Mark
Mark
190 posts
active member
Jun 18, 2018 - 4:11 PM

Hi Counterparts.

You have picked some nice hikes. Here are some thoughts.

The trails you listed are all well marked, safe, and not technical. Of course anytime you hike alone there is some risk you might need help but these are popular trails and should have plenty of fellow hikers in July.

I don't know your level of fitness or hiking comfort but here are some suggestions. Consider taking the cable car from Wengen to Mannlichen as this section is steep. Then start your hike from Mannlichen to KS. (rated 1:20 hrs)

If you want a longer hike continue up to Eigergletscher which is a short bit very scenic section (1:00 hr) If you take the train down to KS you can walk down hill to Wengernalp with Jungfrau views closely on your left. Then train back to Wengen. Lots of cafes at KS.

When doing the Eiger Trail, the reverse direction Eigergletscher to Alpiglen (2:50 hrs) is downhill and much, much easier. There is a nice outdoor cafe for linch at Alpiglen

The hike from Schynige Platte to First is a great hike.
Consider taking the panaramaweg route at the start.

It adds maybe 30 min but is very scenic as you have the mountains on one side and the Interlaken lakes on the other side. The hike is 9.3 miles (15 Km) and rated 6:10- 6:30 hrs. There is a short steep ascent at Faulhorn bit the rest in not difficult. There were 8 of us that did the hike last Sept. and we had no problem with the altitude ( we're all in our 60s)

A note about the hike ratings. The Swiss calculate a rate of about 1.4 MPH walking and don"t figure in time for stopping breaks, nor do they adjust for uphill vs downhill.

I noted you are changing lodging 4 times. I think you may waste a fair amount of time doing this. All 4 towns are close by train to visit. Wengen is the most scenic and very convenient for both the Mannlichen hike and the Eiger Trail hike. Lauterbrunnen is very convenient for the Schynige Platte hike and the Stechelberg hike. You can easily visit Grindelwald and Interlaken from either Lauderbrunnen or Wengen .

Have you considered getting at the Jungfrau train pass. It is very convenient and can be combined with the Swiss Half Fare card.

Attached are some photos from some of these hikes. Sorry they are in kind of random order. Have fun. Mark

Please login to see the attached documents
maniimjach
maniimjach
17 posts
new member
Jun 18, 2018 - 7:11 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Slowpoke - do you know what the colors on the map of hikes mean? What 's yellow and what is red - cant find the explanations on that map.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Jun 18, 2018 - 7:40 PM in reply to maniimjach

Hi maniimjach -

<<"Slowpoke - do you know what the colors on the map of hikes mean? What 's

yellow and what is red - cant find the explanations on that map"

Yes, I do.

Sorry. I usually include this reference with that type of map, but, I was rushing.

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

In theory, you need no special gear for the yellow trails. They may still have substantial ascents and descents.

The red trails are " Bergwanderwege" that is - mountain hiking trails.

The distinction is that, in the eyes of the Swiss Land Office, you need boots or rugged hiking shoes and hiking staffs.

I find those useful on any trail, but the red trails may have more difficult surfaces such as scree, or ascents and descents that are difficult enough that a hiking staff is pretty much necessary. I prefer any tool that will help prevent turning an ankle on irregular surfaces.

The Swiss Hiking Trail Federation administers the routes, which are built and supported by the local governments.

www.schweizmobil.ch/en /hiking-in-switzerland/more-wl/swiss-hiking-trail-federation.html

Blue trails require technical climbing...ropes, crampons, pitons, etc.

This is a useful guide to the many trails:

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

Slowpoke

Counterparts
Counterparts
4 posts
new member
Jun 20, 2018 - 7:19 PM

Hello,

Slowpoke, Mark; thank you both for your wonderfully helpful and detailed replies. I'm replying later than I would have liked, sorry for the delay.

Regarding high altitudes and fitness, I'm not particularly used to high altitudes. With that said, I'm a 26 y.o male with considerable leg strength and stamina. My heart rate drops to as low as 48 beats per minute when resting and I frequently perform weighted squats and do bike-riding. I'm not too worried about uphill/downhill hiking but I will need to be careful with the higher altitudes. My current plan is to start my trip in Lauterbrunnen on my and walk up to Wengen, and gradually climb higher on the following days.

Regarding Männlichen and Kleine Schidegg, this is not the first time I hear the recommendation to hike in this direction. I would still want to hike from Wengen to KS to give my body more time to acclimate to the higher altitudes (see above). Perhaps from KS I will head back to Wengen and take the cable car up to Männlichen and then do the hike towards KS.

Regarding lodging, thanks for the advice; I may cancel my Grindelwald booking and extend Lauterbrunnen from 3 nights to 5. Looks like I will need to be quick about it due to the high demand.

Thanks again for the helpful advice!

-Ziv

Last modified on Jun 20, 2018 - 7:21 PM by Counterparts
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Jun 20, 2018 - 10:18 PM in reply to Counterparts

Hi Ziv -

<"egarding Männlichen and Kleine Schidegg, this is not the first time I

hear the recommendation to hike in this direction. I would still want to

hike from Wengen to KS to give my body more time to acclimate to the

higher altitudes (see above). Perhaps from KS I will head back to Wengen

and take the cable car up to Männlichen and then do the hike towards

KS.">>

Sounds to me like you are in pretty good shape. Once in a while we get really serious climbers on the forum.

One of them clombed from Wengen up to Männliche, maybe alos went up to the Gipfel ( can't remeber) thence to Kleine Scheidegg, Eigergletscher, Alpiglen and down to Grindelwald.

Certainly beyond my capabilites. But, you might be fit enough that I can ask this question:

Why not climb from Wengen to Männlichen instead of Wengen to KS?

Only 140 meters more altitude gain, and the trail is steep enough that you'd have to do it slowly. ;-)

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&E=26 37591.86&N=1162211.29& zoom=8

Also, walking from Männlichen to KS instead of the other way has another benefit. You avoid a sore neck. ;-) You don't have to keep twisting your head around to see if you want to stop at that point and look at the Eiger again. ;-)

Slowpoke

Mark
Mark
190 posts
active member
Jun 20, 2018 - 10:18 PM

Hi Ziv

i would doubt you will have much trouble with the altitude as most of the time you will be at 6-7000 ft. If a bunch of 60 year olds can do these hikes , I expect you will have no trouble.

If you can figure out how to incorporate the section from KS to Eigergletcher in one of your hikes , I think you will be happy with the views. I thought that section to be especially nice and it only takes about 1 hr.

Also in my opinion the vistas on the panaramaweg section on Schynige Platte is the most spectacular views in the entire region. The pictures I included on my first post really don’t do the views justice. Mark

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Jun 20, 2018 - 10:36 PM in reply to Mark

Hi Mark -

<<"Also in my opinion the vistas on the panaramaweg section on Schynige Platte is the most spectacular views in the entire region. The pictures I included on my first post really don’t do the views justice. Mark

Write your reply">>

If not the most spectacular, close enough to make no difference.

Slowpoke

Counterparts
Counterparts
4 posts
new member
Jun 23, 2018 - 9:17 PM

Sorry again for being unresponsive.

Slowpoke: A friend of mine actually did the hike from Wengen up to Männlichen a few years back and thought it was pretty challenging, but not impossible. I'm a fan of physical challenges so this sounds like an interesting option that I might go for. Since I didn't mention this yet, as far as hiking equipment goes I'll be bringing along my aluminum hiking poles and hiking boots by The North Face (both of which I'm already used to).

Mark: I think I can find time to do the hike from KS to Eigergletcher.

Regarding panaramaweg section, just to confirm, are you referring to this route in Schynige Platte? www.myswissalps.com/hi king/schynigeplatte/ro ute

I thought it takes around 6 hours but here it's rated at 2h30m. Am I looking at a different route maybe?

-Ziv

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Jun 23, 2018 - 10:00 PM in reply to Counterparts

Hi Ziv -

Good to hear that you'll have your hiking gear.

<<" Regarding panaramaweg section, just to confirm, are you referring to this route in Schynige Platte? www.myswissalps.com/hi king/schynigeplatte/ro ute

I thought it takes around 6 hours but here it's rated at 2h30m. Am I looking at a different route maybe?

-Ziv">>

We should wait for Marki, but I think the Panoramaweg he is referring to is a fairly short loop around the top at Schynige Platte. You'd normally bypass it if you were going to First.

I don't understand the 2hrs 30 minutes.

Slowpoke

Mark
Mark
190 posts
active member
Jun 24, 2018 - 12:22 AM

Hi Ziv,

The 21/2 hrs is referring to a loop that starts at Schynige Platte , bears left along a cliff top trail then returns back towards SP along a trail down the plateaus center. The most spectacular views are along the cliff top portion which will have views of Eiger, Mönch,Jungfrau, Männlichen, and Lauderbrunnen valley on the right side and views of Brienzersee, Interlaken, and Thunersee on the left side. You will pass Oberberghorn

Normally the signs at SP will direct you onto the return central path if you are going the most direct route to Faulhorn and First. Instead follow the Panaramaweg sign to the left to traverse the cliff top portion. It goes in the same general direction. When the Panaramaweg trail turns back toward SP at Laucherhorn, you continue strait ahead towards First. It is clearly marked at this junction and quite obvious which way to go. Since both paths ( cliff top and central trail) go in the same general direction, I would guess the cliff top portion adds about 30 minutes overall.

Slowpoke I’m glad you enjoyed the views as much as I did. In addition to the vistas, you also get the added bonus of a concert of cow bells. Having to dodge the occasional stray cow in the middle of the trail made me feel like I was back home in Tennessee. Mark

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Jun 24, 2018 - 11:11 AM in reply to Mark

<<"Normally the signs at SP will direct you onto the return central path if

you are going the most direct route to Faulhorn and First. Instead

follow the Panaramaweg sign to the left to traverse the cliff top

portion. It goes in the same general direction. When the Panaramaweg

trail turns back toward SP at Laucherhorn, you continue strait ahead

towards First. It is clearly marked at this junction and quite obvious

which way to go. Since both paths ( cliff top and central trail) go in

the same general direction, I would guess the cliff top portion adds

about 30 minutes overall.">>

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&E=26 36356.86&N=1167243.79& zoom=8

Slowpoke

Counterparts
Counterparts
4 posts
new member
Jun 25, 2018 - 7:40 PM

Hi Mark, Slowpoke,

If I understand correctly, the route you are describing is about the same as this one but in the opposite direction (starting at SP and finishing at First): www.myswissalps.com/hi king/first-schynigeplatte/route

After I finish the hike, I would want to return to Lauterbrunnen for the night. If I understood correctly, I should aim to arrive at First at no later than 17:00 so that I can catch the gondola down to Grindelwald, and from there I can take transportation to Lauterbrunnen. If I finish the day back in Lauterbrunnen it will allow me to travel lighter since I can keep some of my equipment in the hostel.

Am I understanding this correctly?

-Ziv

Mark
Mark
190 posts
active member
Jun 25, 2018 - 9:25 PM

Hi Ziv

You are correct about the route. Of course the hike can be done in either direction. If you end at First you will need to be there by 18:30 or you will have to walk down to Grindelwald. If you end in SP, I believe the last train down leaves at about 18:20 but you should check to be sure. Mark

More on MySwissAlps.com

Swiss tips in your mailbox

Sign up to receive our newsletter and the latest forum messages. The best way to prepare for your trip!

Sign up

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They will book your entire trip.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2018