The weather is supposed to be clear but cold tomorrow, which will be one of our major hikes.
We didn’t expect much of the weather today, but figured it would be decent enough for a hike to the Rotstockhütte, about 2,000 feet above Mürren. We did OK, with only brief spells of sleet and snow. The worst part was that we got only a few glimpses of amazing views.
We started the hike at about the time farmers were calling their cows. They enticed the cows by shaking bags of grain, but the cows were not always cooperative.
Tomorrow’s weather is supposed to be worse, so we probably won’t do much.
Mürren is on the west side of and about 2,500 feet above the Lauterbrunnen valley. In 2009, we stayed in Mürren and took lifts and trains to visit the Grindelwald area. Some of the best views are from the Mürren side, even in bad weather. Because Mürren has gotten more expensive, we had planned to stay only one night here, but with rain coming, we decided to stay longer in Mürren rather than have the extra cost and hassle of going elsewhere.
As soon as we got rid of our packs, we headed uphill to Allmendhubel, which is a hill above Mürren on the edge of a large valley known as the Blumental (Flower Valley). It was a pleasant trail with great views back.
Tomorrow, we will explore more of the area above Mürren as the weather allows.
Otherwise known as a glacier canyon. This one is between the Schreckhorn and the Eiger.
On the way, we realized we had found Grindelwald’s “wrong side of the tracks/river”, complete with a store that functioned as Walmart/Home Depot. True to the Swiss, everything still looked well-kept and clean.
We spent some time this morning adjusting our schedule to accommodate several days of rain coming our way in the next several days. We contemplated fleeing, but decided to spend the next several days in Mürren on the other side of the Lauterbrunnen valley. Yes, it will rain there, but it will be beautiful even in the rain.
Today, we took the bus east to Schwartzwaldalp, then hiked west to Grosse Scheidegg, First, and back to Grosse Scheidegg before taking the bus back to Grindelwald. Parts of today’s hike repeated hikes I remembered fondly from 2009.
The hike from Schwartzwaldalp is a steep climb through woods, pasture, and cow manure. I was reminded of the exhilaration I felt in 2009 that after all my dreaming and preparation, I was actually hiking in Switzerland. The trail could be anywhere
In sum, it was simply a glorious day. Great weather, great trail, great views, and we felt great.
Today was a lazy rainy day. We were feeling a bit allergic to cold, so we just puttered in downtown Grindelwald, which consists primarily of souvenir shops, outdoor clothing stores and restaurants. Most of the day, mountains were hardly even visible.
We are facing more bad weather, so plans may need to change. Tomorrow may be our only good hiking day left in this region.
During the night at Faulhorn, I thought I was hearing airplanes, but it was the howling wind. At least the wind shooed away some of the clouds. We got up early to take some photos from the clerestory windows of the matratzenlager.
Suddenly, we were out of the wind with only a slight drizzle. It was almost warm, and we were on a highway of a path surrounded by tennis shoes and yoga pants. A completely different world in which we were the odd balls with our muddy boots.
Faulhorn is the oldest mountain hut in Switzerland, dating from the 1820’s. the hike to it from the west is considered the best in the area because of the view of the Eiger. We didn’t get the view in 2009 because it rained. This time, it rained, sleeted and snowed.
Then we were in snow. Roger seemed to be in a hurry. I’m glad he didn’t tell me until we got to Faulhorn that he was concerned the snow would glaze over. This was the first time I have ever scrambled over rocks sticking out of snow.
We still had no view, but at least we were finally out of the weather. There are 81 beds at Faulhorn with one inside toilet, but there were only 10 guests. I wish I could say we slept warm, but even with thermals, two thick wool blankets, and each other, we still struggled to get warm.
This page didn’t load. I will have to recompose it. I would delete it if I knew how.
In Zermatt, we bought salads, milk and tomatoes and caught the train to Lauterbrunnen. We had to change trains three times, but in Switzerland, this is not an issue. Trains really do run precisely on time, so the connecting train is always there, often on the next track.
As we changed trains, though, we realized how much our legs had suffered from the 3,500-foot descent. We had dinner, bought more milk, and headed to bed.