Has a long distance mountain hike been on your bucket list? Then you have probably heard of the Via Alpina.
Wikipedia explains that the Via Alpina is a network of five long-distance hiking trails across the alpine regions of Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Italy, France, and Monaco. Apparently created in 200 by a group of public and private organisations for the purpose to “support sustainable development in remote mountain areas and to promote the Alpine cultures and cultural exchanges.”
There is an official website here http://www.via-alpina.org and you can get a special passbook and have it stamped at stages along the way.
You can walk two sections as day trips from the Lauterbrunnen Apartment. They are easily reachable with details here,
http://www.via-alpina.org/en/stage/116 and http://www.via-alpina.org/en/stage/117
116: From Grindelwald it is a reasonably easy uphill climb to Kleine Scheidegg below the towering Eiger and with the lush alpine fields all around you. The cows you meet along the way are not so curious and their jangling bells are a summer delight. Notice how the cows will take an afternoon nap around the same time each day in the Berner Oberland.
At Kleine Scheidegg rail station you can get your Via Alpina pass stamped and there are other mini side trips you can make. Such as up to Eigergeletscher station and visit the Eiger indoor tribute to its climbers along the way. Or a steep hike up to the Lauberhorn peak will take you about 2 hours to enjoy super views down into Wengen where you will walk to next. You can join the trail again from here directly down at Wengenalp and you will be following the first part of the famous World Cup ski race line.
From Wengenalp follow the trail down to Wengen and explore this very Swiss village before taking the steep trail down to Lauterbrunnen. If you walk through the main street of Wengen to the white church which is left past the chemist, you can enjoy amazing views of Lauterbrunnen Valley and the Staubbachfall.
The total distance, without the side trips is 17.8km from Grindelwald to Lauterbrunnen. At this point you can always take the train down, however three are lovely waterfalls to see on the steep trail down. Also you can get your pass stamped at the Valley Hostel in Lauterbrunnen.
117: Lauterbrunnen to Griesalp is a 20 kilometre section with some steep climbs and a gravelly descent. A tip would be to use begin your day early with the Cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschlp. The walk from here to Mürren is a spectacular quintessential alpine view and an easy hour to start your day. You will likely meet goats along the way , pass the cheese making hut and the saw mill before maybe enjoying a coffee and the view in Mürren before the steep part of your day begins.
It is around 2 and a half hours from Mürren up 400m to the Rotstockhütte where you can enjoy a panoramic lunch. The track takes you in around an hour and a half up 600m to the Sefinenfurgge pass at 2612m. From here the glorious view of the Schilthorn, the Kiental and the Blüemlisalp will stay with you forever.
Then there is the steep descent into the Kiental valley leads you down ropes and ladders and some slippery gravel, however the track is clear. The alpine meadows will herald your arrival and you will have descended around 1400m and you can get your stamp at the Hotel Griesalp while enjoying a well earned refreshment.
Be careful to note the time as the bus 220 from Griesalp Kurhaus to Reichenbach i. K. takes 45 min and runs only 6 times per day (8:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00,18:00).
gimmewald-trail-rotstock-via-alpina-lauterbrunnen-apartment-jungfrau.jpgFrom Reichenbach i. K., Bahnhof take the train to Spiez and change train to Interlaken Ost and then onto Lauterbrunnen. A long and rewarding day in the Jungfau that you can reminisce about on the balcony watching the Staubbachfall after your sauna.
Where dreams begin for outdoor adventures in the inspiring Jungfrau region