Highlights of The Alpine Pass Route

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Highlights of The Alpine Pass Route

Trip Highlights

  • Swiss Alpine walking encompassing a wonderful range of landscapes
  • Spectacular views everyday
  • Variety of passes to cross, from easy to challenging
  • Comfortable accommodation

Trip Summary

This walk follows perhaps the most impressive section of a classic alpine walk – the ‘Via Alpina 2’ also known as ‘The Alpine Pass Route’, which embraces much of the most dramatic mountain scenery Switzerland has to offer. It is a route which takes you over many alpine passes, some a leisurely stroll, others a tougher proposition, but all offering their own spectacular visual rewards. A marvellous complement to the high land of peaks and passes are the park-like valleys with their thickly wooded hillsides the unspoilt farming villages, deep-blue lakes and picturesque flower-decked chalets.

As well as crossing the Grosse Scheidegg and the Hohturli there is also the incomparable Bernese Oberland region with its impressive peaks, the Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger. There are some long days but lifts and cablecars can be used to shorten some of the walks and overnight locations can all be reached by public transport in case of bad weather. This is a mountain journey full of attractions and easily ranks in quality with the Tour de Mont Blanc!

Suitability

Challenging. This is a trek, which involves much daily uphill and downhill walking. It is only suitable for fit walkers who can readily manage days with more than 1000m ascent and descent. Those in good physical condition who take regular exercise and who have recent hill-walking experience, will find this a trip whose exciting challenges are equally matched by its rewards. The longest day (Lauterbrunnen to Griesalp) can be shortened by using a cable car and mountain railway for the first part of the route. The highest point on the Alpine Pass Route is 2778m (Hohturli on Day 4 of this tour); but many walkers also visit the Blumlisalp Hut, which lies a little way above the Hohturli at 2837m.

Itinerary

This pleasant little town is an ideal starting point for walking in the Bernese region. The town is functional and utilitarian, rather than historical due to a disastrous fire in 1875 and there remains little except for the old church with archaeological remains lying underneath and a mediaeval watchtower in the 'upper' part of the town. Meiringen is known for the spectacular Reichenbach Falls into which Sherlock Holmes and his foe Moriarty, the master criminal, fell locked in each other’s arms. A funicular railway may be used to take you to the top of the falls; otherwise, it is 30 minutes’ walk out of town. You can visit the 'Sherlock Holmes Museum’, which is housed in the old Anglican Church in the 'open area' by the Park Hotel, which is itself, a national monument. Settle into hotel and explore the resort town in the evening. Accommodation: Hotel Meiringen - is a small hotel offering ensuite rooms, it is approx. a 10 min walk from the centre. It is possible to upgrade to the 4* Hotel Alpbach for an additional cost.

Meals:  Nil

A long hard ascent which can be eased by taking the bus for part of the way up to Schwarzwaldalp (1454m). Towering above on your left is the massive peak of the Wetterhorn (3704m). You descend to Grindelwald (1034m), the “village of Glaciers” nestling below an amphitheatre of peaks, the Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn, Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. Accommodation: Hotel Lauberhorn - This cosy 2 star chalet-hotel with a spectacular view of the Eiger and the surrounding peaks. All rooms facing south have balcony, shower and WC. The hotel is a short walk from train stations and the Firstbahn gondola station. It is possible to upgrade to the 3 star Hotel Hirschen for an additional cost.

Meals:  B

A short descent to Grund (943m) and then a steady ascent along a steep forest track to the day's high point at the famous pass of Kleine Scheidegg (2061m), and then down via the beautifully located village of Wengen to Lauterbrunnen (797m) deep down in the Loetschinen Valley. Accommodation: Hotel Silberhorn - This 3 star hotel is centrally located. The rooms are tastefully furnished and decorated. The hotel has various rooms so you can upgrade (subject to availability).

Meals:  B

It is a very long climb up from Lauterbrunnen to the Sefinenfurke Pass (2612m) your highest point for today. It is possible to shorten this by taking the cable car and railway up to Murren (1665m). 15 km/9.3 miles, 7 h. The climb from Murren via Brunli (2127m) is straightforward. Your exertions are rewarded by stunning views of the Eiger (3970m), Monch (4099m) and Jungfrau (4158m). From the Sefinenfurke Pass it is a steep and impressive descent into the Durenberg valley and down to Griesalp/Goldreli (1408m), for your overnight accommodation. Accommodation: Berggasthaus Golderli - basic Mountain Inn accommodation in twin-bedded rooms or possibly the dormitory. We will inform you if this is the case.

Meals:  B,D

Today is probably the hardest day with you reaching the highest point on the tour, Hohturli Pass (2778m). You are however rewarded with some of the finest scenery of the trip. The last section of the ascent from Griesalp to Hohturli is steep and aided by some staircases with wire handrail. The hut near the Hohturli, Blumlisalphutte (2837m), is just a few minutes’ climb away and offers welcome refreshments. Then a beautiful descent past the large Oeschinensee alpine lake to Kandersteg (1180m). Accommodation: Hotel Bernerhof - A 3 star hotel centrally located with convenient access to the hiking trails, cablecars and lifts, shops and the railway station. All rooms have a balcony, bath/shower, WC, hair-dryer, cable-TV, radio and direct-dial telephone.

Meals:  B,D

A long ascent with beautiful views back to the Blumlisalp Massif and the Oeschinensee. After traversing the high point of the day, Bundechrinde Pass (2380m) with some scree slopes, take the long descent to Adelboden (1356m). Accommodation: Adler Adelboden - A friendly welcome awaits you at this chalet style 3 star hotel. Excellent small pool, whirlpool baths and sauna available.

Meals:  B,D

Overall a fairly gentle day. From Adelboden you climb through a mixture of woods and meadows to the Hahnenmoospass (1956m). After a level section there is a final steep descent to the village of Lenk (1068m) which lies below the Simmenfalle (waterfalls). Accommodation: Hotel Krone - We stay in a 3 star chalet style hotel close to the centre of the village. All rooms have bath/shower and WC and many have own balcony. The hotel has a lawn and sun terrace with alpine views. There is a nearby sulphur spa and public pool.

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast, make your way to the train station for your onward journey.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 7 breakfasts, 5 dinners
  • 6 nights accommodation in 2-3 stars hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities & 1 night in mountain hut (dormitory style if private rooms are full when you book)
  • Luggage transfer (1 bag per person not weighing more than 20kg).
  • Information pack including route notes & maps (1 pack per room booked)
  • Emergency hotline

What's Not Included

  • 2 dinners, all lunches & beverages
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the trip
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip

Upcoming Travel Dates

AT A GLANCE

Duration:8 Days
Countries:Switzerland
Starting Point:Meiringen
Finishing Point:Saanen
Activities:Self-Guided Walking
Grade:challenging  Click for more information
Trip Code:JRP
Prices From:GBP£1150 Per Person
single supplement:GBP£160  Click for more information
Please do not book any flights or extra arrangements until such time that your booking is confirmed by Sherpa Expeditions by phone or email.