Eiger Jungfrau walking trail
This was my first experience with Grindelwald’s extensive network of cable-cars. Being petrified of heights, I was somewhat nervous to watch the village disappear into the valley below. The gondola took us up the mountain, across green alpine pastures with the ever present melody of cowbells ringing up from below.
Once at Mannlichen cable station, snow capped peaks rose above the cloud shrouded mountains. On a clear day, the panaromic views would be breathtaking. We were more than pleased we had chosen to bring our scarves and jackets in the crisp, exhilirating mountain air.
The cold didn’t stop us enjoying a 5.4km walk along the ridge to the cog railway hub of Kleine Schiedegg, the start of the popular Jungfrau railway route.
Travelling along the well formed paths, we were greeted with an abundance of wildflowers. We had views over Grindelwald on the valley floor below. The backdrop of the Monch, Jungfrau and Eiger mountains were shrouded mysteriously in a blanket of cloud.
Even in the height of summer, we still came across the occasional snowdrift. My nephews took the opportunity to make a snowman and enjoy a snowfight while we took a brief rest on our trek.
The walk was relatively easy. However by the time we conquered the uphill trek towards Kleine Schiedegg, we were more than ready for lunch. An alpine restaurant seemed to appear from nowhere. We spent an hour or so enjoying a beer, apfelstruessel and schnitzel before continuing on our hike. During our time in the Swiss alps, I never ceased to be amazed at the places we found restaurants and bars on our hikes.
Enjoying our meal in full view of the mountains, we could watch the clouds slowly lift to provide breathtaking views of the famous peaks.
Lunch over, we headed downhill. towards the rail station. We decided to keep on past the station with the 2.5km section of the Eiger-Jungfrau trail. This took us almost to the Eiger glacier face.
This uphill trek was on the challenging side for an inexperienced hiker. I must confess to finding a rock (any rock looked comfy by this stage!) to plonk myself on while the others hiked to the top.
My sister, however was having none of this. She encouraged me up the hill “one step at a time” to the Eiger Glacier station, while loudly singing “Climb Every Mountain” at me.
(Okay, so I was guilty of sitting in the back of the minibus singing “Lost in France” at her earlier in the trip, but that’s a story for another blog)
“You’ll own this once you get there” she assured me, and she was right.
Once at the top, I could understand the jubilation of experienced mountaineers who conquer the north face of the Eiger. We had breathtaking close up views of the Monch, Eiger and Jungfrau mountains, just emerging from the clouds, as well as the famous Eiger glacier.
The downhill trek to Kleine Schiedegg was certainly much easier (and quicker). Taking the train to the Eiger Glacier station and making the one-way down hill trek would certainly be easier. The 10k walk at a leisurely and enjoyable pace took us the better part of a day. This giving us time to relax and enjoy the spectacular alpine scenery before taking the unique cog railway from Kleine Schiedegg back into Grindelwald.