Walking above Grindelwald

Grindelwald Holiday – May 2023

Eighteen people wisely took the opportunity to go to Switzerland and enjoyed great weather, beautiful scenery and good company. It was an amazing break walking in fresh mountain air, through wildflower-filled meadows, visiting snow-capped peaks, and testing out local transport options, all to the soundtrack of cicadas, goat and cow-bells and distant avalanches. Flora and fauna highlights included marmots (A party), ibex (B party), alpine choughs, cuckoos, gentians and crocus carpets. It is easy to see why Grindelwald is designated a UNESCO world heritage centre.

Sunday
We walked as a group from the hostel along the Terrassenweg to reach the Wetterhornhof, where we had coffee. B party then enjoyed a nature trail before following the Schwarze Lütschine river through flower meadows back to Grindelwald. [approx 9 miles]. A party took higher woodland paths near Grindelwald glacier and watched and heard avalanches.

Monday
B: We caught the cable car to Bort, the first station on the line then followed the Hohen 1600 trail, which traversed the mountain in the direction of Bussalp, hearing rolling thunder on several occasions. We stopped at Rasthysi for our lunch, then carried on, turning downwards towards Grindelwald just before reaching Bussalp.

A: From Bort cable car station we walked a wildflower loop before a significant climb up through more wildflower meadows and woods to a mountain hut for refreshments. There were stunning mountain views all day and a marmot display on the way down.

Tuesday
B: We took the rack and pinion railway to Kleine Scheidegg at 2062m above sea level. We spent time at the top having coffee and taking photos. We then followed the track all the way down to Grindelwald via Alpiglen walking through snow for the first few hundred meters. (approx 7 miles).

A: We caught a train to Wengen, then the mountain railway to Kleine Scheidegg where we met the B party. We explored the snowy cap before our major descent, lunch on a ski platform with spectacular views, a nature trail to enjoy views in a second valley, then a woodland path to Lauterbrunnen. The train took us back to Grindelwald via Zweilütschinen. (1300m descent, c. 250m ascent).

Wednesday
A free day. Many people went to Interlaken, took a boat trip and walked through the old town. Others travelled to the capital city Bern to enjoy the sights there (bears, elaborate fountains, covered shopping arcades, green sandstone buildings and medieval architecture), or had other local adventures.

Thursday
B: We took the train to Wengernalp. From there we walked to Wengen, a beautiful village, before walking down to the stunning Lauterbrunnen Valley to catch a return train to Grindelwald (approx 7 miles).

A: Our adventures included a train trip to Lauterbrunnen; a river walk to Trümmelbach Falls (involving a lift up inside a massive rock then walking down through a geological time capsule, past whirlpools etc); a cable car from Stechelberg via Gimmelwald to Mürren (small mountain settlement with major building works underway); wildflower route (mostly dandelions!) for views of snow-capped Eiger; testing out a second adventure playground of the day; and a steep woodland path down to Lauterbrunnen station.

Friday
B: We took the cable car to Schreckfeld, a stop higher than Bort. From here we traversed the mountain, again walked in snow, before making our way to Grosse Scheidegg and then down through flower meadows to reach the Terrassenweg and back to the hostel. (approx 9.8 miles).

A: We took the cable car to the top, First (2168m). Instead of taking the more adventurous and speedy routes down (zip wire, trottibike scooters, mountain carts or hang gliders) we took the cliff walk (high platforms suspended by wire) round the mountain top before following the route cleared through snow banks to Bachsee, a frozen high-level lake. We then took a less travelled contouring path, initially through snow with fabulous mountain views and a stunning lunch spot on a rock with alpine choughs getting very close, before taking woodland paths, then a route through beautiful flower meadows and wooden chalets back to Grindelwald (c.12+ miles with 300m climbing, 1300m descent).

Thanks very much to overall organiser Aline, walks organiser Ian, walks leaders Ian, Anthea, and Catriona and evening entertainers Debbie, Gaynor and Heather for a fabulous week – Grindelwald was great!

Gail and Heather

Photos

Maps of the walks

Grindelwald Circular

Bort to Grindelwald

Kleine Scheidegg to Wengen

Lauterbrunnen Circular via Murren

First to Grosse Scheidegg