Monday, August 23, 2010
A bit more detail this time. Spent pretty much every day hiking - pretty worn out after this segment of the trip. I think I covered the bulk of the valley, though.
Day 1: The North Face trail
Arrived in the afternoon and wanted to get back in time to say hello to Sue, so I hiked this short, nearby trail. Some nice views and a good introduction to the area.
Day 1 pictures (repost)
Day 2: Summit of the Schilthorn
Took the gondola up in the morning and got the beautiful, high-altitude view of the region. Lots of low level clouds today, but the mountain peaks were clear, fortunately. Hiked down from the peak and south around the mountain, climbed along the Wasenegg ridge, then back up and around to Rotstockhutte. Had loads of time left (more than I needed to get back the way I wanted), so I got some hiking recommendations from the proprietor.
Ended up climbed the bluff overlooking the hut (called "pride rock" by a fellow hosteler, really Poganggen I think), which was a bit of effort due to the lack of trail and the ankle-breaking moss-covered furrowed rock underfoot. Also climbed Sefininfurgge, the pass to the next valley. Ridiculously steep trail made almost entirely out of slick mud - not sure how I avoided falling on my ass.
The cows in the section of the valley are particularly unfriendly - I was charged once by a bull (hid behind a nearby rock) and had some foot-stomping aggression from others. Cows are dangerous.
Day 2 pictures
Day 3: Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg
Took my first trip up the other side of the valley today. Transportation in the valley is rididulously expensive - just to get to and from hiking spots on the other side (not that far away) runs me like 50 francs a day (with railpass discounts - Swiss conveniently refuse to fully honor the pass above Interlaken).
From Lauterbrunnen - train to Wengen, gondola up to Mannlichen, then hiked along the ridge to Kleine Scheidegg. From there, I hiked up to Eigergletscher - the last train stop before it goes through the mountain on the way to the top. I did not go up: waaaaaay too expensive (~150 francs or so), was kinda cloudy at high altitude today, and the damn thing doesn't even go all the way up - it goes to the ridge between Jungfrau and Monch.
Climbed down along the plateau back to Wengen, and as soon as there was no turning back, it started POURING. I had my raincoat of course, but it was woefully inadequate - I still got pretty soaked. Spent much of the walk back with an older guy from Hamburg who insisted I use one of his walking sticks because it wasn't safe to hike otherwise. Made it out alive though, with only an ugly little blister the worse for wear - not bad for 4 solid days of high-speed hiking in tennis shoes. They might actually help - I've been by far the fastest hiker on the trails every day, and beating the pace times by a solid margin - the Swiss are in awe.
Day 3 pictures
Day 4: Schynige Platte to First
Was originally intending to leave this morning, but liked the look of the ridge hiking the previous day and decided to take one more. By far the longest hike - got up at 6 to make sure I wouldn't miss the final gondola down; ended up getting to First with hours to spare and hiked on to Grosse Sheidegg, though.
The ridge from Schynige Platte runs between Brienzersee and Grindelwald valley (other side from Mannlichen) - nice circumnavigation as Grosse Scheidegg is about 180 degrees around from Schynige Platte (leaving 90 degrees for the previous day's ridge and 90 degrees from the Jungfrau range).
Probably the nicest day so far - sunny and very few clouds. And I suffered animal attack today - a dog calmly walking along with his owner suddenly lunged to the side and took a chunk out of my ass - maybe I should shower more. A little bruised but I haven't seen any blood.
Day 4 pictures
Coming soon - Fussen and Bavarian castles...