<<"Thanks for the very informative reply Slowpoke, muchappreciated. ">>
Hope it helps.
<<"We had our heart set on doing the hike to First but it seems we have chosen the wrong time of year. ">>
I have had that surprise as late as early June. I wanted to walk the trail from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg, and it was snowed in. I still find it difficult to think "snow" when Spring is well advanced in April and May at lower altitudes.
<<"Would we have better luckin the Engadine region or is it pretty much the same conditions there?I've heard that is generally considered a dryer area compared to BerneseOberland? We like to do hikes with breath taking views, walk pastwaterfalls, streams etc. ">>.
I can't speak from experience at that time in either the Upper or Lower Engadine. I do recall one early day in June in St. Moritz years ago when lifts were not yet open for hikers, and skiing was pretty well finished.
After going in June to Ftan and Guarda quite a few times, we shifted to September. We like that end of the valley better than St. Moritz, but a walk to meet and exceed your standards is the one from Muottas Muragl to Alp Langard.
My first thought would be to check altitudes and then look at annual temperature vs. date information on the internet. St. Moritz is certainly sunny. I don't know one way or another about drier. Perhaps Arno or Annika can add some information. I also recall weather forecasts in the newspapers that give the altitude for the zero degree celsius line and the altitude at which it snows. That is more useful when you are already there, I guess.
The Rhone Valley is definitely dry and often sunny.
<<"Giventhe above information you provided - does Wengen still make sense as agood area to base ourselves in for the 3 nights. ">>
I hesitate to make that judgement call for you. The scenery is there, but you'd see it from the cograil train or the lower altitude trails, or from Wengen itself.
I personally would not do it, but my hiking standards are very different. As much as I like the Alps, I am quite happy walking in the Emmental. And, I'd go in May, usually. April is risky for rainy weather, compared to May.I would simply choose to go walking there. Different kind of scenery. I took a chance on mid-April in 2014, and stayed at lower altitudes. Even May is problematic above Wengen.
Attached is a panoramic image I took from above Sumiswald in the Emmental on April 17th, 2014, when there was unusually dry and sunny weather for about a week. I was standing at about 800 meters; the village of Sumiswald ( lower left) is at about 660 meters above sea level. The major lakes are all at about 400 meters. Wengen is at about 1300 meters; Lauterbrunnen at about 800 meters; First about 2200 meters.
<<"Still getting our headaround the Swiss travel card options - but as this stage we had plannedto get the 50% discount card and train direct from Zurich airport toWengen. ">>
Arno and Annika are the forum moderators and expert on the transport passes. The do their best when you have a specific itinerary in mind.