The Hardergrat trail is a 24 km ridge hike, starting from Harder Klum at Interlaken. “Grat” means ridge in German and Harder is only a name but it is a “harder ridge” 😊
It is ONLY for people who do not get dizzy as you are walking along the exposed ridge most of the way. The ridge drops steeply on both sides, like 1500m steep!, that’s steep. There is no water or food so you must take it all yourself and start before sunrise as it’s over 10 hours long with a 3000m elevation gain. You must also plan your day and read the map before your go, if you don't make the Brienzer Rothorn’s last train down to Brienz you will have another 1700m down, probably in the dark. NEVER DO THIS PATH IN THE WET.
But a “taster thrill” walk exists. Catch the funicular from Interlaken to Harder Klum. Then from Harder Kulm follow the sign to Augstmatthorn (3 hours and 30 minutes) to the feet of Suggiture is mostly through the forest walking up about 400m of elevation taking around 80 minutes to reach to “the feet” of Suggiture. Coming out of the forest you will see the Suggiture. Climbing up the Suggiture is steep and very rocky, but also very short. It is about 150 m of elevation gain and about 30 min to reach Suggiture. (photo below)
From Suggiture to Augstmatthorn is walking along the ridge . From Augstmatthorn and way back you can walk down the steep trail to Lombach (about 45 minutes) and then walk another 1-1.5 hour to Habkern and then take a bus to Interlaken. P.s. be sure to check the bus schedule as they are infrequent. This “Taster thrill” walk whet your appetite to prepare for the whole 24 kilometers.
Yes, but with a permit. There are lovely lake or brown trout there. Only from Mid-March to end September. You must be able to agree to fishing by the methods stipulated by the Bern Fisheries department and it is quite costly.
New regulations from 1 January 2020 say that a Bern fishing license can in principle be obtained by anyone - with or without a residence in the canton. Although you can buy online, it will be posted otherwise you can buy from Tourism office in Lauterbrunnen.
The fee system is a bit complex, but basically a weekly permit is around 100CHF. It is personal and non-transferable and you need to report back the catch statistics. Each person who is fishing needs a license even if they share the rod except for kids under 9 if their accompanying adult has a permit.
You can find information here: www.vol.be.ch/vol/de/index/natur/fischerei/angelfischerei/patente/preise.html
While it could all sound a bit hard, the good news is fishing without licence is allowed in Lake Brienz and Lake Thun.
Of course there are some rules to observe such as fishing from the shore with a single rod and one single barbless hook is allowed. There are limits to numbers and sizes of course.
In Lauterbrunnen you will wish you had more time to stay. Every visit is never long enough. So you need a precision time piece to ensure you keep good time.
All of the top 10 oldest luxury watchmakers in the world are Swiss (although two were founded in other countries). Just what is it about Switzerland that produces such fine watchmakers?
It’s often said the secret to the Swiss industry’s rise was établissage, the system of assembling watches from parts made by many different craftsmen working independently. It took off in the early 1800s just when Switzerland’s former textile makers were looking for something more modern to do in the long winter months, and the country quickly took a lead over other countries who were still using a one man, one watch system.
It also has to do with a particularly Swiss sense of perfection. Every timepiece that leaves the Carl F. Bucherer workshops (since 1888), to name one long-established Swiss watchmaker, is a miniature miracle in which more than 100 components seamlessly intermesh.
The 10 oldest luxury watch brands:
Carl F. Bucherer – Lucerne, 1888
Audemars Piguet – Vallée de Joux, 1875
Waltham – Massachusetts, 1850 (now made in Marin-Epagnier)
Patek Philippe – Geneva, 1839
Longines – Saint Imier, 1832
Gallet & Co – Geneva, 1826
Breguet – Paris, 1775 (now made in Vallée de Joux)
Vacheron Constantin – Geneva, 1755
Favre-Leuba – Le Locle, 1737
Blancpain – Villeret, 1735
Photo: Manero Peripheral watch by Carl F. Bucherer
There are much evidence from the early Walser communities throughout the Swiss Alpine regions. Such as famous walking paths that originated from the Walsers as they travelled and moved their animals as part of their livelihood.
Who are the Walsers?
The Walser were colonists. They moved out of the Valais Rhone Valley in the region 14th and 15th Centuries around 700 years ago and were given special land management and grazing rights in the high altitude settlement areas. The Valais people themselves are not counted among the Walsers. Dr. Johannes Führer defined the group: "Walser is the name given to the inhabitants of the historic Walser settlements in the heights of the Alps, in which the language, culture, economy and historical awareness of the Walser were or are alive in the 20th century."
The long, snowy winters made these folk skilled in being able to store forage for their animals. The foundations of their barns were made from a wall built from unworked stones. A specific building style, the wooden ledgers of the stable and the round timber are connected in a log building, the walls are reinforced with stakes and tied to wooden cramps. Photo by Gloeggli in Gimmelwald.
Several Walser communities came to the Berner Oberland region and some preserved Walser wooden barn buildings can be seen in Gimmelwald and Mürren. Nowadays the barns remain mostly empty since modern farming mostly uses centralized large stables. An old and empty Walser barn in Safiental (GR) has been renovated and opened to the public with the support of a public trust, to show an example for perfect preservation.
As well as Gimmelwald and Mürren there were Walser settlements in Trachsellauenen (behind Stechelberg), ‘Ammerten’, (higher up above Trachsellauenen behind Stechelberg) and Walser farms in the Sefinental valley. Ammerton or Ammerten was a large settlement in the Ammertental behind Stechelberg. When and why this settlement was abandoned is unknown. It was mentioned in a choir manual from 1762 and Marc Théodore Bourrit from Geneva wrote in 1787: "Ammerten is still an almost lost home for people", and around the middle of the 19th century Peter Ober wrote “The village is no longer ". Perhaps the wave of emigration to the United States in the middle of the 18th century, included members of the Walser communities from the Berner Oberland region.
Photo below: “Rear Lauterbrunnen valley with Undri Ammerta and Obri Ammerta on the slope in the foreground to the left of the centre of the picture”
Visitors to the Lauterbunnen Valley, most often to see the world famous Staubbach and Trummelbach Falls, will also take many photos of the Weisse Lütchine river that races almost down the middle of the valley getting wider and fatter as it is fed by the many contributing tributaries.
While the Weisse Lütchine river flows down from the Sefinen-Gimmelwald-Mürren side, there is another very magnificent but overlooked waterfall at the junction in Stechelberg. These two mighty rivers meet, just like the Stechelberg Hotel is a great place to meet up and enjoy a meal in the garden or terrace and be amazed at the waterfalls all around.
This ‘Other River’, was made famous in art by artist Joseph Anton Koch (1821/1822) who captured the sensationalism of its waterfall. .Classifed in the Worldwaterfalldatabase.com as number 642, the stunning Schmadribachfall is a 270 metre waterfall with several steps in the Schmadribach behind Stechberg. The Schmadribach rises from the Breithorn glacier and the Schmadrig glacier at the foot of Grosshorn and Breithorn and plunges over limestone benches into the rearmost Lauterbrunnen valley.
It is possible to safely walk up along the side this beauty of nature via mountain pathway from Stechelberg 12.9 kilometres out and back. Or as a longer day walk climb from Stechelberg to the Berggasthaus Obersteinberg.
It’s possible to stay the night in this candle lit retreat if you book in advance, or you can walk back down to Stechelberg. A long but rewarding day.
Photo: Sylvia Furrer
Listed as a national food dish of Switzerland, Fondue is something everyone needs to try at least once in their life.
Despite being very rich and filling, a Cheese Fondue is a taste sensation of heavenly cheeses that will explode your taste buds. It takes many hours to gentle compile and simmer the base. Usually a blend of gorgeous alpine cheeses that taste delicious on their own. It is a a half day affair to prepare properly.
A little garlic here, a little nutmeg and dark spices there and a generous blend of wines that lose their alcohol content in the very long stirring process. When swooshing your long stick and bread cube in the liquidy cheese, try not to lose your bread and rather than mopping up the last bit of melted cheese from the bottom of the pot, let the flame continue to cook the cheese on the bottom of the pot so that a dark crust forms. This crust is called the religieuse and thought to be the end treat.
Not many people know about the significant research station on the Jungfraujoch. Built in 1937, it provides the infrastructure and support for scientific research that must be carried out at an altitude of 3’000-3’700 meters above sea level or for which a high alpine climate and environment are necessary. The buildings include the Research Station, Sphinx Observatory at Jungfraujoch, and lab space in the former Swisscom relay station on the Jungfrau East Ridge.
The High Altitude Research Stations Jungfraujoch and Gornergrat International Foundation (hfsjg) provides the necessary infrastructure such as accommodation and support for scientific work for researchers from all over the world. No research is carried out by the Foundation itself.
Some of the Research topics at Jungfraujoch with photos from www.hfsjg.ch :
Meteorological measurements at Jungfraujoch that play an important role in the computer programs of weather forecasts as they show at what speed changes in the weather can occur. They have also identified trends of great importance as the consequences of climate change.
Documenting the climate change since Jungfraujoch is far above most sources of air pollution, the High Altitude Research Station is suitable for measuring the composition of the atmosphere.
Monitoring the radiation balance: Radiation is the driving force in energy exchanges between the atmosphere, the oceans and the ground: the most direct effect of global warming is expected to be an increase of infrared radiation emitted from the atmosphere to the ground. Long-term observation of surface radiation fluxes is consequently an important part of climate change monitoring.
Since the 1990’s research to gain a better understanding of how the fine suspended particles in the air affect the climate and cloud formation.
The effects of a high-altitude stay on the human body has been a focus for many researchers. Investigations into cardiovascular systems, correlations between blood gas values, symptoms of acute altitude sickness and how heart patients handle an altitude above 3’000 meters.
Although there is special accommodation for researchers at the station, there is nothing publically available.
A day trip to the Jungfraujoch is a special day that one remembers for many years. There are diverse areas to explore such as ice caves, the views and an hour walk (maybe strenuous at altitude for some people) to the Mönch Hut in good weather also reveals the glacier world. The view of the magnificent UNESCO protected Aletsch Glacier is breath-taking.
Be sure to check the weather the day before your outing for optimal photo opportunities and the walk to the Mönch Hut. Be on the first train leaving Lauterbrunnen around 7am to avoid the crowds and pre-buy a ticket in summer as they have limited capacity on the trains (around 3500 seats per day).
In the homeward train journey, alighting at Eigergletscher station is well worth the side walk around to better see the Eiger Glacier. Then you can walk down to Kleine Scheidegg enjoying the views and the musical cow bells. Re-joining the train at Kleine Scheidegg before another hop off stop at Wengen for some village browsing before getting back on the train to continue to Lauterbrunnen. These side trips can make the day a full and colourful adventure.
When you visit the stunning Staubbach Falls that you have been watching mesmerized from the dining table of Eyhus 5, you will find a beautiful poem written on a plaque there.
Song of the Spirit over the Waters was written between 9 to 11th October 1779 when the author, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was on his second visit to Lauterbrunnen. It was published ten years later in 1789 as a six-stanza poem and is categorised in poetry terms as a lyric and thought genre.
Wikipedia says of the poem: "Goethe draws a comparison between the elements of nature and human existence; In concrete terms, he contrasts the human soul with the element of water and calls similarities between the two. The main theme is the transience of human life. The wind embodies the predestination of life. While the soul of man approaches the inevitable end of life, fate is alienated, and any attempt by humans to take it in their own hands can only fail."
Inspired by this poem, in 1820, the music composer Franz Schubert composed a compelling 10 minute orchestral piece; “Gesang der Geister über den Wassern" You can here the piece here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK20LMuCWx0
Do you know Actionbound? It is an interactive game in many locations. Download the Actionbound app and explore an area with a treasure hunt or trail like game called a Bound.
Ours is called Staubbach Stroll. A family friendly 40 minute stroll to find the best views of the Staubbach Falls and discover some interesting facts while you answer some questions along the way. If you get all 12 questions correct, you get a 5% discount on your next stay with us or your first stay if you have just found us. Simply email us your Team name.
Also called “Glade Skiing”, it is simply, skiing through trees!
In the 1960’s we skied trees when we yawned over the lift queues and had limited choice for ski runs in our low mountain region. No helmets then, but helmets are a must, so too are googles, no-one wants a poke in the eye by a stick!
Maybe it became popularised in the USA after the 1969 film release of the James Bond’s “On Her Majesty’s Service” that was filmed in the Jungfrau region and specifically around the Schilthorn of course !
In the 1960s, some USA ski resorts included “glade’ runs. Réal Boulanger, who is said to be the father of this trend was recalled to cut a few trees out of a slope that he knew would be in the way, let people ski it for a season, then, “every tree that has blood on it, I’m going to take out.”
Of course it’s dangerous and off piste. But it’s quiet, mystical and exciting. It’s another world.
-Don't use pole straps and you can reduce potential shoulder injury
- Look ahead, trees do not grow evenly spaced, find a 'lane' or line of sight down hill, ski that, then traverse to find another 'lane'. You are looking for spaces, a bit like basketball, don’t look at the trees (or you will ski into what you look at)
- Be decisive and make a solid pole plant
- Understand the terrain and where the slope ends and be sure that the snow cover is solid. Be wary of 'bumps" as they may be tree stumps or rocks. Try and look at an area as you ride a lift if it is a new run
- Exaggerate your edge pressure in the midpart of your turn, reduce your speed. Make yourself a bit smaller by crouching a bit to improve your centre of gravity over your skis. “Go slow, stay low”
-Side slipping confidence is a must as often you don’t have enough room to make the next turn
- Be careful of other people’s tracks or you can get stuck in their ruts
- Carry an accessible whistle, cell phone already loaded with the Air Glacier ski rescue service number Tel: +41 33 856.05.60 and space blanket and make sure your insurance covers off Piste adventures
- Be careful of "tree wells" — a space of loose, deep snow that can form around tree trunks. They are most common around evergreen trees and can be deeper in heavy snowfall years
- Don’t make it your last run of the day or late in the day
-ALWAYS ski with someone you trust to look out for you and always know where each other is at all times
- Don’t try it with one ski like James Bond who ended in a face plant pictured above
See James Bond Ski chase through trees:
One of the world’s strangest sports is in Switzerland. It is a national sport and has been around since the 16th century. Although Stone Tossing is also unusual and a national and famous sport, this other sport, is simply wild.
Played with a 79g “Nouss” which is short for Hornouss and translates as hornet in Swiss German. It is like an air dynamic ‘puck’ from hard plastic and this sport is very aerobic.
It’s called, Hornussen. Most Swiss people have never visited a game. It is played in only a few Cantons, of which Bern is one and there several clubs in the Interlaken and Thun area and played by all ages. (https://www.hornusserthun.ch/)
Played with two teams, it is a little like a cross between cricket and golf. While the whole of the defensive team side will field the puck, there will be only a few active players as hitters on the offensive team. The hitters use a golf club like long flexi stick and the hitters must hit the Nouss as far as they can over the field. As the Nouss drops, the defending team use their “Schoufels” to prevent the black plastic from touching the ground. The defensive team run hard to prevent the hitter from scoring.
Hopefully this “Farmers’ golf” sport is gaining more popularity since Red Bull made a hitter’s distance event in 2014 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWiRphS6sIg
More detail on the traditional game can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdIHOV6VGNU
It makes a really great day out, usually played on either Saturday or Sunday from March through to end September. Watching the teams striving to stop this hornet flying toward them with the clattering of their ‘shields’ is like a glimpse into medieval days. The hornet speeds at around 300km/hr so making the defending team use their shovel like defence equipment like a shield and to run hard. The hitters require strength and their own spine must be fit and flexible to make a power filled hit. Even the Swiss novelist, Jeremias Gotthelf said of this game in 1840, "There is no game that requires so much strength, agility and coordination between hand, foot and eye as Hornuss."
The hunting regulated by federal and cantonal legislation takes place in Lauterbrunnen as follows:
In September on weekdays: deer, roe deer, chamois and ibex
From October 1 up to and including November 15 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays: Roe deer
Until the end of January on weekdays: wild boar and badger (only until the end of December)
Until the end of February on weekdays: fox and marten (only up to 15 February)
The right to hunt has been legal since the 1500s and the canton’s official position is that hunting is ecologically necessary as the population of deer, for example, increases yearly and if not hunted would cause environmental collapse.
Licence holders have to take a tough exam and do hours of conservation work to get their permit, which then has to be renewed every year.
It is now understood that hunting - or not hunting particular animals - has an effect on other aspects of nature. Wildlife management makes special demands on the hunter. The hunts are well controlled and animals are specified, no longer are only male adult animals taken. This also causes hunters anxiety when they aim at female and young animals, as is required in a controlled hunt to manage the populations.
Hunting is strictly regulated by the cantonal government within the national framework provided by federal law. There are designated sanctuaries where hunting is not allowed.
Annual targets are set for each type of game and hunters must keep to them. Hunting is by individual licence as opposed to game reserves, for example, In September on weekdays: deer, roe deer, chamois and ibex
From October 1 up to and including November 15 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays: Roe deer
Until the end of January on weekdays: wild boar and badger (only until the end of December)
Until the end of February on weekdays: fox and marten (only up to 15 February)
The local hunting club say that “All usual leisure activities can safely continue and the forest and mountain trails remain open during the hunting season. Owners of non hunting dogs must have their dogs under effective control at all times. In particular, their dogs may not hunt during the hunting season.”
A licence is needed of course and the requirements can be found here:
Photo: by Eyhus 5 August 2019
October is a great time for walking in Lauterbrunnen and the Jungfrau. Many golden colours come out, the crowds are gone and there are lots of discoveries to be made.
Have you discovered Geocaching? Do you have a sense of adventure? Geocaching takes you to places that you most likely would never explore. One such place is the Kornbalmhöhle, a cave high on the Wengen side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley towards Stechelberg as shown by this Photo from http://vanzon.nu/
It is a steep walk up to these unusual caves with fabulous views back to Staubbach Falls. Good solid shoes and clothing are a must, as well as a sense of balance, scrambling skill and adventure. Even if you don’t find the cache inside (bring a torch), the view and scramble is worth it.
An easy walk to a real glacier is possible. Search on your tube for Kilchbalm and you will find someone’s vid of this magical place that no one seems to know about and it’s not far from the apartment.
Kilchbalm (Gimmelwald - Sefinental - Kilchbalm) Glasier
Time one-way: 1 1/4 hours
Distance one-way: 2 3/4 miles (4 1/2km)
Lowest point: 4134 ft (1260m)
Highest point: 5046 ft (1 538m)
You can get cable car from Schilthorn Bahn up to Gimmelwald. (Bus from outside Eyhus along to Schilthorn Bahn in the direction of Stechelberg)
The gradient is not very steep, and you can walk to the very end of the Sefinental valley, where only freezing-cold streams flowing from the snow and ice ( real glacier) and the heartiest vegetation exist. There is a small hut along the way , but it is lovely to have a picnic at the end. The scenery is beautiful in both directions. Since there is only one road in Gimmelwald, it is difficult to get lost. Where the road loops back on itself, by the fire-house, is a road leading into the Sefinental. From this point you can see all the way to the end of the valley and quickly realize that the end is not much higher than Gimmelwald.
After walking downhill for 7 minutes you will come to a bridge that crosses a torrential waterfall that has gouged deep holes, through the years, in the side of the mountain. It now flows deep in the rock and splashes from pool to pool, plunging some 20 feet into a huge cavity beside this bridge to continue its way down to the valley floor. This waterfall is the same as "Sprutz" higher up and is called the "Schiltbach" which is the stream created by the runoff from the Schilthorn and the Schiltalp. After walking 8 minutes further you pass a firing range where locals come to practice, usually on weekends. A minute more and you come to the end of the road and the beginning of your ascent on a rocky trail. Here a signpost says that Kilchbalm, your destination, is 1 hour away. (It is also from this point that you can stay on the main road which leads to a trail that descends to Stechelberg or back up to Gimmelwald.) As you leave the main road and continue straight ahead through the gate, the mighty snow covered ridge on your left, called the Tschingelgrat, grabs your attention. Watch this ridge for avalanches which occur frequently and at any time. Soon you're walking through a dense forest with the Sefinen Lutschine swirling and splashing on your left side, where it will be all the way to the end of the valley.
15 minutes later, after passing some old sheds and massive rock overhangs, you come upon an old storage building from 1812 raised up on rocks. Next to it is a cable attached to the cliff above used for transporting logs. Shortly the path becomes very narrow and rocky. In 7 minutes you pass through the second gate and in a few minutes more you'll cross the first bridge. At the third gate, 7 minutes later, the path splits. (Note: this area has been known to be full of snow well into the early summer months, depending on the previous winter you should exercise extreme caution and perhaps turn back here if it is too dangerous ). Assuming the way is dry, you will take the lower path, to the left (If you were to continue on the path to the right, you would pass a tiny waterfall, perfect for splashing under on a hot day, and eventually arrive at Boganggen and Rotstockhutte 600 meters higher up the mountain).
Just behind the trees, around the bend is a grassy meadow and an alp hut. Occasionally cows are brought here for summer grazing. The farmer will stay here with his herd until it's time to move to better pastures. It is beside this hut where the Sefinen river, on the left is joined by the Sefibach, on the right, which comes down from the Sefinen alp. Following the path, close to the river, soon brings you to a second bridge. Before crossing the bridge, venture up to the waterfall created by the Sefibach but be careful of falling stones and branches. Once across the bridge you come to the steepest part of the trip. Here you witness the power of the Sefinen river. In spring and during heavy rainstorms this river is so swollen that it violently tears at the hillside bringing tons of rock and debris down with it. Once at the top you can rest on the last bench before reaching the end of the valley and the Kilchbalm.
We think that Kilch is the word for goblet or cup and you will see how this valley looks like a deep cup. The towering cliffs make it a spectacular setting for a picnic without crowds and you will want to stay forever.
EasyTime one-way: 30 min Lowest point :4472 ft (1363 m)
Highest point: 5576 ft (1700 m)
This wonderful little nature hike will take you up the pasture hillside above Gimmelwald and through a densely wooded forest to arrive at the cool, sparkling mountain cascade called Sprutz.
Note: You will follow signs pointing to "Schilthorn" but only as far as the forest, where there will be a sign for "Sprutz". This hike starts from the Mittaghorn Hotel (Walter's). Walk south (left when facing Walter's hotel) on the main road until you come to a fork where a signpost tells you to take the road on the right. Continue up this road for a couple of minutes until you come to a barn on the right side, where a path winds upward and a signpost points the way. You'll pass around another barn on your left as you hike up to another paved road. Turn right on this road, walk about 15 steps, and turn onto the path next to the barn on your left. Continue up this path until you come to the forest where a signpost prompts you to turn left to get to "Sprutz" ' (Going right would take you up to Gimmeln and eventually to the Schilthorn). Passing through a metal gate, you will enter the forest and continue on this trail as it gently winds it's way higher through the woods. After about 15 min. the path forks and you will hear the thundering roar of the invisible falls. As the sign says, take the path to the left. As the path curves down and to the right, just around the hill, "Sprutz" finally comes into view.
Be very careful as you continue down to the falls on this hazardous, unstable, dirt path. As you walk underneath and behind this waterfall you'll probably wonder how such a huge, continuous volume of water could come from such a small, placid lake like the Grauseeli, between the Schilthorn and Birg. Well, Grauseeli is only one of it's sources, as the Schiltbach, the river itself, is a collection of the runoff from the Schilthorn and the Schiltalp. From Sprutz you can continue up the other side and after about 15 min. arrive at Spielbodenalp where there is a restaurant and a superb view of the Schilthorn, Birg, and the Jungfrau massif.
Or you can go with a guide from the Murren Tourism office for a 2.5 hour walk every Tuesday. You need to book by email by noon the day before. It is free. Email: email@example.com
11.06.2019 - 08.10.2019, MÜRREN
Traditional dress is called „Tracht“. Originally worn as Sunday best and for festive celebrations such as the cows returning from their summer pastures with the celebration of distributing the cheese made in the Alps over summer.
The costumes styles and designs are cared for by a number of Costume clubs to preserve the culture and traditions. Each area has its own costume style for example Lauterbrunnen is different from the Grindelwald fashion.
The Tract Commission also gives tips on how each piece of the costume needs to be appropriately worn. For example, the Lauterbrunnen ensemble includes a straw hat,
“The hat is intended as a sunscreen. He belongs on the head. In closed rooms, the hat can also be worn on the back or in the hand. The brashest we wear the hat a little bit obliquely. Turn the edge slightly forward. Little flowers are optional”.
The hero of Bern is the Bear. There is a bear park in Bern worthy of a visit and in easy walking distance from the main rail station. The Bear has long served as namesake, emblem, mascot and — at times — personification of Bern.
The founding legend has it that Duke Berthold V of Zähringen vowed to choose as namesake the first animal his hunt met in the wood that was to be chopped down for the new city. The hunt for the bear as depicted in the Tschachtlan chronicles. See the original coat of arms above the gate.
This then became an upright black bear on a white shield (which is, incidentally, the coat of arms of Berlin).
And now today’s image
While it is usually called Cross country skiing, Skating or Langlauf, it feels like gliding.
In Lauterbrunnen there is a beautiful 12 km track that is flat and for non-skiers, this is a great way to enjoy some skiing in the quietness of the snowy winter landscape. Glide by the White Lütschine river, listen to the snow crisp under your skies and finish at Stechelberg Hotel for a hot chocolate, Schnapps or hearty Rösti.
Completely stress free and it feels magic to glide and slide without the terror of speed if you don’t like sledging or tobogganing downhill at speed.
Where: The Lauterbunnen trail starts from the Sportanlage. The brown sport hall that you can see left from the dining room window.
Cost: Free with the Lauterbrunnen guest card (in your welcome basket). Usually it is 6CHF per day.
How: The equipment can be rented at the Alpia Sport in Lauterbrunnen.
Opening times: Depending on snow conditions, it trail is not always open, you can phone +41 (0)33 856 85 68 to check or ask at the Tourism office. After snowfall, bad weather, or similar It may be that the track is not immediately prepared again. You can also see yourself if there is sufficient snow. If it is closed there will be a round red border sign with white in the middle. This means closed.
Note: you cannot walk on the trail. It is only for cross country skiing. If you walk on it, you will damage the surface with your boots and cause potential injury to users as their skis will get stuck in the foot tracks.
There is also a 1 km long cross-country ski track on Grindelwald-First called “Gänsböden”,
The use of the trail is free. However, the cross-country guests need a valid ticket for the Firstbahn (gondola ticket, ski pass, etc.)
The trail is about 15 minutes on foot from First Bergstation (via Winterwander- und Schlittelweg Nr. 50) in the Gänsböden (Above Adi's Skibar) to about 2,300 meters above sea level.
See map below with green cross X.
The cash register Firstbahn can / will provide information about the current trails.
There is still plenty of winter snow fun here in Lauterbrunnen and the Jungfrau region.
Sledging means speed and power in the bends. Whizz down the mountain on fast runners and stamp through snowy landscapes.
For non-stop sledging, including at night, on the steep Eiger run below the Eiger North Wall. In the shadow of the Eiger with a dash into the valley, the Eiger Run is a spectacular sledging run by day with a gradient of up to 36 per cent. However, the 3.5 kilometre stretch from Alpiglen to Brandegg is even more exciting at night. The Wengernalp Railway chugs its way up to the start to Alpiglen at night as well, and as the journey takes just five minutes, with the sledging ticket you can ride the run as often as you like. The burned calories can be quickly regained with a fondue in the Alpiglen or Brandegg alpine chalets, where you can stay up all night – right next to the illuminated sledging run.
Eiger Evening trips (Illuminated sleigh fun)
Daily from 26 December 2018 to 5 January 2019
Thursday to Saturdays from 10 January to 9 March 2019
"Big Pintenfritz", the longest sledging track in the world is the tour over the Faulhorn, from Grindelwald-First by foot and then a 15 kilometre descent into the valley.
It takes about two and a half hours to pull your sled behind you before you can try "Big Pintenfritz", the longest sledging run in the world. The start on the Faulhorn (2680 m above sea level) is only reachable from First (by Cable car from Grindelwald) on foot. The ascent is long but the hair-raising run into the valley is fantastic: The bravest sledgers run the 15-kilometre distance in about 30 minutes. Provided you do not leave the trail, for example, for a stop at the Bergrestaurant Bussalp.
Take the nostalgic cableway from Isenfluh to Sulwald and the start of your descent through the snowy winter wonderland. And off you go – sledging along the long, gentle road through the forest, or the short, fast mountain path, back down into the idyllic village of Isenfluh. Take a moment to warm up in the Sulwaldstübli at the top station before your next ride and admire the spectacular views.
1. Sulwald–Isenfluh (forest route, 4 km)
This gentle route begins at the Sulwaldstübli and descends past the Sulsbach waterfall before arriving in Isenfluh.
2. Sulwald–Isenfluh (mountain path, 2 km)
If you like fast, adventurous descents, then this mountain path route is for you, beginning at the Sulwaldstübli and ending in Isenfluh.
3. Isenfluh–Lauterbrunnen (old road to Isenfluh, 3 km)
Providing there is sufficient snow, the toboggan run from Sulwald to Isenfluh can be extended further. The toboggan route continues along the old Isenfluh road from Isenfluh down to Lauterbrunnen. Keen tobogganers can then take the Postbus back up to Isenfluh for another run.
Post Bus (opposite the bus stop for Stechelberg at Lauterbrunnen rail station) from Lauterbrunnen to Isenfluh
You wouldn’t go skiing without insurance for accidents on the slopes would you? Be sure that you ski insurance covers off piste snow in case your friends lure you in that direction as it is becoming popular.
Also check if you insurance covers air lifting off the slopes. In the unfortunate situation that you do need to be airlifted, Air Glaciers’ rescue helicopter will fly you down to the Lauterbrunnen Doctor and the fly you on to the Interlaken hospital. Air Glaciers offer a membership for airlifting you off without charge if you are injured. While it last the whole year, for 35CHF it is really cheap insurance, especially if you ski off piste. Air Glaciers also provide Heli-skiing.
You can walk down the road to their office | Email firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel : +41 33 856.05.60
Do you know all the rules of the International Ski Federation?
You often see them on a sign board while waiting in a lift queue but then you could also be looking uphill at where you want to ski next.
1. Respect for others
A skier or snowboarder must behave in such a way that he does not endanger or prejudice others.
2. Control of speed and skiing or snowboarding
A skier or snowboarder must move in control. He must adapt his speed and manner of skiing or snowboarding to his personal ability and to the prevailing conditions of terrain, snow and weather as well as to the density of traffic.
3. Choice of route
A skier or snowboarder coming from behind must choose his route in such a way that he does not endanger skiers or snowboarders ahead.
A skier or snowboarder may overtake another skier or snowboarder above or below and to the right or to the left provided that he leaves enough space for the overtaken skier or snowboarder to make any voluntary or involuntary movement.
5. Entering, starting and moving upwards
A skier or snowboarder entering a marked run, starting again after stopping or moving upwards on the slopes must look up and down the slopes that he can do so without endangering himself or others.
6. Stopping on the piste
Unless absolutely necessary, a skier or snowboarder must avoid stopping on the piste in narrow places or where visibility is restricted. After a fall in such a place, a skier or snowboarder must move clear of the piste as soon as possible.
7. Climbing and descending on foot
A skier or snowboarder either climbing or descending on foot must keep to the side of the piste.
8. Respect for signs and markings
A skier or snowboarder must respect all signs and markings.
At accidents, every skier or snowboarder is duty bound to assist.
Every skier or snowboarder and witness, whether a responsible party or not, must exchange names and addresses following an accident.
When you have that one precious week a year to ski, it is even more important to get your body ready for it because you don’t want to be on the sofa after over doing it on your first day out and now nurse a broken something for the rest of your week. No fun, experience says.
Being ski fit will give you confidence to pick up where you finished on your last ski trip and not take you the whole week to make progress. Here are some doable exercise to get your started from the Body Works Clinic. http://www.thebodyworksclinic.com/getting-ski-fit-how-to-avoid-injuries-on-the-slopes/
Aim for 3 sets of each exercise, three times a week. Try and do a couple of cardio sessions a week too for stamina.
Heel Drops to Prepare Your Legs.
This move strengthens your calves, glutes and ankles.
Stand with your heels hanging off the the edge of a step
Lower your heels until you can feel a stretch in your calves. Hold onto something if you need to
Pull your bellybutton in.
Lift your heels up as high as you can, your heels should be higher than your toes.
Lower back down to the start position for 1.
Do 15 reps
Lateral Towel Jump for ski fitness
You do not need to go this high for this exercise to be effective!
Lateral Jumps for Faster Reactions
This helps you learn to keep your feet apart letting your legs do the work while keeping your upper body stable.
Get a rolled up towel and place it on the floor
Stand with feet hip width apart next to the towel
Jump from one side of the towel to the other as fast as you can
Keep your feet hip width apart (that’s the tricky bit!)
Make sure you land with your weight on both feet.
Do this for 1 minute
Crossover Lunge for Ski fitnessCrossover Lunge for Injury Prevention
This helps prevent falls by building stable joints.
Stand with your weight on your left leg.
Bend your left knee as deeply as you can while pushing your right leg behind and to your left.
Keep the right leg straight
Keep your chest and shoulder UP and facing forward.
Tap your right toe to the floor
Breathing out, push through your left heel as you stand up to complete.
Repeat 15 times then switch legs.
Side lunges for ski fitnessSide Lunges for Smooth Turns
Build strength in your legs for quick weight shifts on the slopes.
Stand with feet wide apart
Bend your left knee, keeping your right leg straight.
Transfer your weight over so that your right knee is bent and your left leg is straight.
Keep your back straight and your chin up
Keep your belly button in
Repeat 20 times
Squats to Avoid Thigh Burn
Stretching your thighs and stabilising your pelvis will boost your endurance and technique.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and knees slightly bent.
Squat down as far as comfortable.
Clench your buttocks to push yourself back up.
Remember to always keep your chest and eyes UP so you are using thighs and buttocks.
Toes slightly out (if you have stiff ankles) or feet straight – both are fine”
Repeat 15 times.
A 470 million Swiss franc project that will speed people to the Eiger Glacier from Grindlewald. And will be ready for skiers in December 2019. These slopes will surely have more official ski runs added to them as the area already attracts off piste enthusiasts.
Construction began in July and significant progress has been made through the summer. Although the traditional Eiger North Wall trail was re-routed, it has enabled hikers to see the reality of building in such a harsh environment.
The Grindlewald- Männlichen 4 person cable car will be retired next year with a faster 10 seat cable car so we can look forward to faster turnarounds in our ski run times. Not so fun taking 40 minutes in the cable car for a 20 minute ski run, unless you're having a picnic on the way in the cabin.
Where dreams begin for outdoor adventures in the inspiring Jungfrau region