Google+ The Norris Files: Swiss Alpine Route; Schynige Platte - Faulhorn - First - Grindelwald.


Swiss Alpine Route; Schynige Platte - Faulhorn - First - Grindelwald.

I have had these photos from when I visited this part of Switzerland lying around for a few years now, but I had never gotten around to posting them. They were taken with an old cheap camera and I was never overly happy with their quality, nevertheless I decided to tidy them up a little, run them through a slideshow program and compress them into a video. I prefer Vimeo for this process but the compression program did such a poor job that I elected to try YouTube for the first time. The results are definitively better through YouTube and considering the cheap camera used I’m relatively happy with the results.

(Best quality achieved in fullscreen and 1080 HD)

This day walk ranks as one of the most spectacular and scenic hikes in the Bernese Oberland/Jungfrau area, and offers jaw-dropping views in all directions.  It leaves from Schynige Platte at 1969m, ascends to Faulhorn at 2680m and ends at First which is 2180m above sea level. I extended the route to Grindelwald where I was staying which took me back down to an elevation of 1034m. It’s a big day out with at least a kilometre of vertical altitude gained and a similar amount to descent, plus another 1100m if you chose to walk from First down to Grindelwald. The main trail from Schynige Platte to First is 16km but as I continued on to Grindelwald, which I guess added about another ~6-8km or 2-3hrs walking if you take that option (a gondola from First is available, but if you miss the last gondola you have no option but to walk down to Grindelwald).

The start of the walk is reached with a 50 minute trundle on the old and slow cog wheel rack railway which leaves from Wilderswil (586m) and climbs to Schynige Platte, (1967m) home to beautiful green meadows and at the right time of year, masses of alpine flowers. The steep cog railway offers spectacular views of the Brienzersee and the Jungfrau and is a pleasant prelude to the days walk. 


The walk itself is simply stunning, and, has it all! Far below, I was able to peer down on the turquoise waters of the Brienzersee, and the alpine lake of the Thunersee while above, the skyline was dominated by the peaks of the Niesen and the Niederhorn. Below, lay the endless green valleys of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen which are surrounded by the majestic towering range of the Wetterhorn, Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. Passing wild scree slopes and many beautiful small alpine lakes I descended into a valley in which nestled the not so small but postcard perfect Bachalpsee Lake. From this valley I could see the Rötihorn away to my right while across the lake, the skyline was dominated by the peaks of the Wetterhorn and Schreckhorn.

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