Swiss Alpine Pass Route (Part 2)
This year we went back to complete the other half of the Swiss Alpine Passes Route which closely follows the Via Alpina (our previous trip is detailed here Swiss Alpine Passes Route part 1).
Day 0: To Caux (1050m) above Montreux
We flew to Geneva and took the train to Caux
Accommodation: Hostellerie de Caux
Day 1: Col les Mosses (1440m)
From Caux we took this funicular train to Rochers de Naye (2042m) and walked down to the Col des Chaude (1621m) and around Lac de l’Hongrin to Col les Mosses.
Stats: Ascent: 660m, Descent: 1050m, Time: 6hrs (an unexpectedly tough day)
Accommodation: Les Chalets Des Mosses
Day 2: Gstieg (1184m)
We continued south to Oudiou and east up to the Col Des Anderetes (2030m) & the Col de Vore (1918m) before finally crossing the Blattipass (1919m) to drop down into Gstieg for a change of language from Swiss French to Swiss German.
Stats: Ascent: 1090m, Descent: 1334m, Time: 8.25hrs
Accommodation: Hotel Viktoria
Day 3: Lenk (1068m)
Then on over the Chrine/Krine pass (1659m) down to Lauenen (1241m) and back up to the Trütlisbergpass (2038m) – we then deviated from the standard route to come by the Stübleni over some simply fantastic karst geology before taking a cable car down to Lenk from Betelberg to save our tired knees.
Stats: Ascent: 1335m, Descent: 595m, Time: 8hrs
Accommodation: Hotel Garni Alpenruh – Lenk
Day 4: Adelboden (1348m)
Up to the Hahnenmoospass (1950m) where we were just in time to escape an electrical storm in the restaurant at the cable car station – we sacked the afternoon walking due to the weather and took the available transport into Adelboden.
Stats: Ascent: 950m, Descent: 115m
Accommodation: B&B Bernerhof
Day 5: Oeschinensee (1593m)
The weather continued to be unsettled as we ascended to a basic mountain hut at (1760m). There we stopped for coffee and an impromptu Alpenhorn rendition from the owners to help ‘call the sun out’ for us – it failed. The rain brought out alpine salamanders in huge numbers. We avoided the standard route over the Bunderchrinde (2385m) to take a slightly higher col at 2411m (approx 1 km to the north) to allow us access to a cable car at Undere Allme (1723m). This provided us with an unexpectedly exciting descent into Kandersteg. We then continued to Oeschinensee as the afternoon weather improved significantly.
Stats: Ascent: 1815m, Descent: 1570m, Time: 8hrs
Accommodation: Hotel Oeschinensee
Day 6: Griesalp (1408m)
We ascended to the Hohtürli pass at 2778m a truly alpine day, and stopped off for cake in the Blumliasphütte (2834m). This is the highest point on the Alpine Passes Route. We were relieved to find the ‘ladders’ and chains protecting the top of the route were nothing like as scary as our imaginations had lead us to believe. The descent to Griesealp was quite dull as thick cloud endeavoured to spoil our views.
Stats: Ascent: 1290m, Descent: 1460m, Time: 6hrs
Accommodation: Berggasthaus Golderi
Day 7: Mürren (1638m)
Up to another high alpine pass called the Sefinenfugge (2612m) and our first views of the Eiger-Jungfrau mountains. We also had a nice afternoon cake at the Rotstockhütte (2039m) before ariving in Mürren.
Stats: Ascent: 1275m, Descent: 1130m, Time: 6hrs
Accommodation: Hotel Alpina
Day 8: Shilthorn (2960m) day trip
As we were based in Mürren for two nights, we used our ‘rest day’ to take the cable car to Birg (2677m). From there we climbed the Shilthorn (with its crazy revolving restaurant used in the 1969 James Bond film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service‘).
Stats: Ascent: 400m, Descent: 400m
Day 9: Wengen (1275m)
We continued on the Alpine Passes Route through the awesomely steep sided valley of Lauterbrünnen (800m). We planned to base ourselves in Wengen for the remainder of our trip and had booked ourselves a nice self catering cottage.
Stats: Ascent: 600m, Descent: 935m
Accommodation: Chalet Bärnermutz
Day 12: Kleine Scheidegg (2061m)
As a rest from our previous two days out, we took the Wengen cable car to Mossenegg (2229m), popped up the nearby Mannlichen (2342m) peak for photos, and then walked back down to Wengen via Kleine Scheidegg effectively completing the final stage of our Alpine Passes Route.
Stats: Ascent: 200m, Descent: 1050m
Day 13: Trümmelback Waterfalls
We walked down to Trümmelback via Preech-alp from Wengen – a rarely used and remarkably steep little route with some interestingly paths across steeply tiered limestone cliffs (described as ‘slabs’ in the guide book). We then did the tourist thing visiting the falls at the bottom. These are quite amazing; partly because of the fantastic waterfall that has cut so deeply into the mountain it is effectively completely underground, but almost equally for the sheer engineering effort that has been invested in tunnelling into the cliffs to provide easy access to view them (including a crazy lift).
Stats: Ascent: 275m, Descent: 1180m
Website: Trümmelbach Waterfalls
Day 14: Mannlichen (2342m)
From Wengen we walked up to Mannlichen again and got the Mossenegg cable back down to Wengen.
Stats: Ascent: 1035m, Descent: 155m
Day 15: Returned home
We spent an interesting afternoon looking around Bern, where we visited Einstein’s House and their Alpine Museum.
Author: Phil Newby