Recommendations for hiking the Via Alpina

Recommendations for hiking the Via Alpina

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mjsummit
mjsummit
21 posts
new member
Feb 5, 2018 - 12:58 AM

I am looking for recommendations for about a 7 day trek somewhere on the Via Alpina. Preferably with entry and exit points not more than 3-4 hours from a major airport. Also prefer higher altitude areas. Last summer we did Engelberg to Lenk and loved it but are looking for a different trek for this summer. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Feb 5, 2018 - 7:52 AM in reply to mjsummit

Hi mjsummit,

Please have a look at this thread and be sure to click on all the blue links provided in the different posts. There's a lot of information shared by other forum members.

Nevertoolate
Nevertoolate
24 posts
new member
Feb 6, 2018 - 4:01 AM

MJS-- In Switzerland, for the Via Alpina, you've basically got the Green Route and the Red Route (plus a bit of the Blue, but will ignore that one). It sounds like you've done the climax part of the Green Route already, so that leaves the Red, which is done a lot less and hard to research. (I haven't done it, but have looked into it pretty extensively.) The main issue I see with it is that it seems to follow major road systems for a good part of the way. Am also not sure it will satisfy your high altitude requirement.

If you drop the condition that it be Via Alpina, you could find some nice country at altitude in the Mischabel and Zermatt areas, and of course there is the Haute Route, or some part of it, to consider.

Watch out for late snow conditions this year, due to the epic snowfall this winter in the western Alps. Might need gaiters and ice axe for some trails, unless going in late August or Sept.

NTL

mjsummit
mjsummit
21 posts
new member
Feb 6, 2018 - 7:38 AM in reply to Nevertoolate

thanks for replying !

It does not have to be the Via Alpina, I am just familiar with that .

Do you have any specific trips in mind in the areas you mentioned ?

It sounds like the Haute route might be a bit too ambitious for us ( 25 km / day and all )

I am considering the Carnic High Trail , do you know anything about that?

We are planning for late june / early July so ice axes and gaiters/ crampons may be needed, right ?

Arno
Arno
10342 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 6, 2018 - 11:35 AM

Hi MjSummit,

The Karnischen Höhenweg that you mentioned is in Austria and beyond the scope of this website, but what about Graubünden? Did you consider that area? The canton is packed with trails lasting a day or less (scroll down on this page) and longer ones too. Here's one crossing the National Park, for example: www.schweizmobil.ch/en /hiking-in-switzerland/routes/reg ional-routes/route-045.html.

I always avoid routes requiring axes and crampons. That's required for climbing, but there are plenty of routes for regular hiking. Snow is the main risk here. If there's still (too much) snow you'll have to pick a lower alternative trail.

Debra
Debra
114 posts
active member
Feb 7, 2018 - 6:54 PM in reply to Nevertoolate

I also am interested in the snow pack this year, as my plans are in the works for section hiking the haute route from La Sage to St Niklaus and also considering the section of the Via Alpina from Altdorf to Meringen. Last week of July to second or third week of August. Still figuring it out.

Nevertoolate
Nevertoolate
24 posts
new member
Feb 7, 2018 - 10:26 PM

Arno, or anyone else-- Is there a website that shows snowpack at various locations in the Alps, as a percentage of normal for the date (i.e., not simply the cm count)? Would be very useful for hikers planning their summer treks. My sense from the news this year is that we're looking at 200% or more of normal, but that may be localized or merely impressionistic.

NTL

Arno
Arno
10342 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 8, 2018 - 2:24 PM

Hi all,

I'm not aware of such a website. But I would be interested too! The most important thing is to plan alternatives as well. You need them anyway, as bad weather can also force you to take a lower or shorter route. Apart from that, there are snow level reports which provide an indication (e.g. www.bergfex.com/schwei z/schneewerte/), webcams around huts (e.g. www.albertheimhuette.c h/huetteninformationen /webcam/) and the local tourist offices for up to date details (not for forecasts I think).

In any case, this year I would not count on multi day high altitude hiking tours until summer is in full swing, so ideally August and September. But it's only early February now. Spring can be hot, so who knows... The climate is heating up but still anything can happen, as this winter shows.

Last modified on Feb 8, 2018 - 2:27 PM by Arno
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4485 posts
expert
Feb 9, 2018 - 2:15 AM in reply to mjsummit

HI MJsummit -

You are surely aware of this site, but, just in case, it might be helpful:

www.schweizmobil.ch/en /hiking-in-switzerland/routes/nat ional-routes.html

Follow the links. Lots of good information on accommodations, altitude profile, etc.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Feb 9, 2018 - 2:16 AM by Slowpoke
Debra
Debra
114 posts
active member
Feb 9, 2018 - 2:24 PM in reply to Arno

Would it be the sections of the long distance trails that involve passing through cols that would retain snow or above a certain altitude? Last year I hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc and didn't encounter much of any snow patches (didn't take the high alternative routes) Also spent most of a week camping in the Lauterbrunnen valley day hiking and again no snow, would these hiking areas retain snow as well? I've been working hard to shave ounces off my pack this year so the idea of carrying an ice axe or crampons is not attractive.

Last modified on Feb 9, 2018 - 2:37 PM by Debra
Debra
Debra
114 posts
active member
Feb 9, 2018 - 2:26 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks Slowpoke I hadn't seen that site; would you also know the altitude I should be looking for which would be concerning for snow in late July to mid August?

Debra
Debra
114 posts
active member
Feb 9, 2018 - 2:34 PM in reply to Arno

Arno you make a good point about alternative plans. Good to have a Swiss Travel Pass in this case to change plans on a whim! I used it liberally last year! Whilst on the TMB the weather turned foul and (travel pass not in effect yet) I got off trail at Ferret and took transportation to Courmayeur and went to Pre St Didier thermal spa instead of slogging through sleet and mud!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4485 posts
expert
Feb 9, 2018 - 3:24 PM in reply to Debra

Hi Debra-

<<"Thanks Slowpoke I hadn't seen that site; ">>

You are welcome. I am not such an ambitious hiker as you are, so I follow the links to find the altitude profiles and detailed maps available, stage by stage. On the hiking maps on this site, some routes are shown as heavier green lines, corresponding to the named/national routes. Right clicking in those line brings up the info[page for that stage.

<<"would you also know the altitude I should be looking for which would be concerning for snow in late July to mid August?">>

' Fraid not.

In passing, I'll mention that he maps on the Swisstopo website are superbly detailed, and shoow the hiking trails color coded yellow, red, blue.

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 37000.16&N=1158923.24& zoom=3

Slowpoke

mjsummit
mjsummit
21 posts
new member
Feb 9, 2018 - 4:09 PM in reply to Slowpoke

I have been using this site but have not seen most of those trips.

Thanks!

The 6th choice, the Alpine Passes Trial, looks interesting. Can anyone recommend a section of that, approximately 10 days long, that goes over some of the higher passes ?

We are thinking about the TMB as well but are unsure if it might be too crowded.

I think the 6 trail will be less travelled, right ?

Also, I did not see detailed info on accommodations for the stages of this hike. Is that available somewhere ?

Any help is appreciated .

Thanks.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4485 posts
expert
Feb 9, 2018 - 4:36 PM in reply to mjsummit

<<"Also, I did not see detailed info on accommodations for the stages of this hike. Is that available somewhere ?">>

Did you click on "more."

if you did , you saw what was available.

If you find the page that lists each stage by number, then click on the stage, you get all kinds of info for that stage.

www.schweizmobil.ch/en /hiking-in-switzerland/routes/nat ional-routes/route-06.html

www.schweizmobil.ch/en /hiking-in-switzerland/routes/nat ional-routes/route/etappe-01684.html

Don't be surprised if you have to work at it.

I find the site very difficult to navigate, because I have not internalized the logic.

But, at least for those named trails, it is very useful.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Feb 9, 2018 - 4:37 PM by Slowpoke

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