Trip report part 7 - Grindelwald- First/Bachalpsee

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39 posts
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Oct 6, 2017 - 9:11 PM

If you hadn't already read my previous trip reports, see the link below.for part 6 which also contains the links to parts 1-5. rum/topic/trip-report-part-6-lauterbrunnen

Day 9 - Monday 11th September

The start of my 2nd week in Switzerland and it was a good start. Weather forecast looked good. Checked the webcam for First to make sure during breakfast and was clear and sunny. Didn’t waste another moment, and headed for Firstbahn, a 10 minute walk away. I bought a 1 way ticket up (CHF 15) as I wasn’t sure if I would be coming back down First via cable car or the various other ways you could come down by, which turned out to be a good decision.

It was an absolutely glorious cable car ride up because the sun was shining and the higher up you go, the further you could see. The views were just amazing. Had the whole cable car to myself and it was a pretty long ride but really enjoyed it. Reached the top and did the Tissot Cliff walk.

On the Tissot Cliff walk : 6h6MPjEEZ/?taken-by=bensumw

View of FIrst : 65j0RD9VP/?taken-by=bensumw

Then headed towards Bachalpsee. The surrounding hills and mountains had dustings of snow which made a pretty picture and a beautiful hike. Saw a couple of mountain bikers, gosh, I can only imagine how tiring it was to cycle the trail rather than hiking. Reached Bachalpsee between 10 to 10.30 am and it was not crowded. It was beautiful ! See pic here : 6NKcXD_O9/?taken-by=bensumw

Met a couple on the hike who were on a honeymoon Europe trip, both are based in Sydney, Australia but originally from Venezuela and Czech Republic respectively. We share the same travel mindset of travelling to places of outstanding natural beauty. We had the same plans of continuing on towards Faulhorn (2681) after Bachalpsee, so hiked together. The hike up to Faulhorn was incredible with the views as the weather was still sunny. We could see all the way to Brienz lake from the top of Faulhorn. I remember hearing a thunderous sound while we were walking by the lake side towards the start of the hike to Faulhorn. We couldn't figure out what created the sound ? It was definitely very very loud ! Sounded like an explosion or an avalanche/rock fall but the closest large mountain was not nearby. Still remains a mystery to me.

Picture looking back towards Bachalpsee.: 6OXJSD8B9/?taken-by=bensumw

Final section to Faulhorn - 6Vls0jCAU/?taken-by=bensumw

At the peak of Faulhorn (2,681) - 6WR-ZjCRx/?taken-by=bensumw

We had lunch at the mountain hut, ordered Rosti with bacon and onions (CHF 23). We then decided to continue on to Schynige Platte, another 10km / 3 hours hike and started off at 1.30 pm. But soon the weather turned cloudy / foggy for the entire way soon after we began our hike. A testament to how quick weather can change in the mountains. In hindsight, the hike to Schynige Platte was not worth doing, because we could see nothing along the entire hike and it took us 3.5 – 4 hours, longer than the suggested 3 hours.

On the final section towards Schynige Platte, there was a different hiking route along the ridge top, that would have great views of Lake Brienz, Interlaken & Lake Thun. We were aware of the last train at 5.53 pm and it was 4.15 pm then. The couple decided not to do the ridge top route due to the foggy weather and so we parted ways.

Along came an elderly hiker (my guess would be around 70s) with walking poles who also did the ridge top trail. I think he was British. He was going at a relatively good pace, but struggled on ascents. I stopped to take pictures / videos briefly, but he vanished ahead of the trail that I couldn’t see him and I didn’t even spend too long taking pictures as I know I don’t have much time if I wanted to catch the last train. I again ran on the easier parts of the trail and finally managed to catch up with him midway through the hike. It just shows that if you keep a consistent pace and keep plodding on, you can progress quite quickly. Reached Schynige Platte just before 5 pm, so had plenty of time to spare. Took the train back to Grindelwald.

Bring sufficient water with you for the entire hike as there's no clean source of water to refill. I had 1 litre throughout the entire trip (First to Schynige Platte), but 1.5l should have been better. You can buy bottled water from the restaurant at Faulhorn but its not cheap as i guess they would have supplies delivered by helicopter.

Next up : Brienz & Geissbach Fall

Last modified on Oct 7, 2017 - 5:23 AM by Lucas
118 posts
active member
Oct 7, 2017 - 9:52 AM

Hi Ben, as you know we were not far behind you that day 😀

We heard that massive explosive sound too, other people were commenting it was jets.

I am amazed at how fit some older hikers are, put me to shame 😂

39 posts
active member
Oct 7, 2017 - 1:25 PM in reply to Adelaidean

Hi Adelaidean,

I don't think it was the Swiss Air Force jets although yes, they were flying in the area that day. Throughout my entire 16 days in Switzerland, I heard them everyday and saw them fly above me on 4 occasions and it was no where as loud. The sound we heard that day was easily x100 louder. Unless it was the jet breaking the sound barrier, which i highly doubt as i'm not sure if the jets they use are capable of that and the sonic boom would cause significant noise and worry.

The elderly hikers are really fit, because they have been doing it for so long and muscle memory.

10496 posts
top member
Oct 7, 2017 - 3:16 PM in reply to ben

Hey Ben,

It could well have been the Air Force jets. They have F-18's and I've noticed they break the sound barrier about 2-3 times per year...usually intercepting planes for one reason or another (I try and check the news the next day). I heard it in Zurich too but it was a little quieter than normal so I figured they were in Luzern - Grindelwald apparently!

There is nothing quite like that has to be an emergency for them to be allowed to go that fast as it gives everyone a heart attack!

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