Trek Notes - Switzerland

Alpine Pass

The Alpine Pass Route

General Information
This walk follows the major part of a classic alpine route, which embraces much of the best mountain scenery Switzerland has to offer. It is a route which takes us 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 Grosse Scheidegg and the Hohturli, there is also the incomparable Bernese Oberland with its impressive peaks, the Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger. There are some long days but lifts and cable cars can be used to shorten some of the walks.

Grade C (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 in a day. 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 mountain railway for the first part of the route. The highest point on the Alpine pass Route is 2778m (Hohturli on Day 9 of this tour); but many walkers also visit the Blumlisalp Hut, which lies a little way above the Hohturli at 2837m.

The route is well waymarked and signposted. It is necessary to carry and be able to use a compass in case of mist.
Bad Weather / Adverse conditions
We strongly recommend that each morning you consult your hotelier and/or call the local tourist office and/or or phone ahead to mountain huts on or near the day’s route for the weather forecast. In case of anticipated bad weather or adverse snow conditions which may impede walking at high level we describe in the route notes alternative ways of reaching your destination each day by staying as far as possible in the valleys and using public transport. We provide relevant bus, train and cable car timetables. Public transport fares are not included in the tour price, but tickets can be obtained at a 50% discount with a Swiss Travel Card.

Our treks in the Alps operate during the European summer. In recent years, temperatures have ranged from 15 C - 30 C during the day, with nights from 15 C to below freezing. Although rain and snow is possible at any time in the season, there are fortunately very few prolonged periods of bad weather. Clear skies and spectacular sunsets are frequently experienced. New snowfall is possible in September.

Accommodation & Meals
Accommodation on this trek is in a mixture of hotels, ranging from 1 to 3 star, and two mountain inns. The mountain inns normally provide dormitory-style accommodation. However they also have some fairly basic twin-bedded rooms, which we will reserve for you when available. Bed and breakfast and 9 evening meals are included in the tour price. The other 4 evening meals can be obtained at each night's stop without pre-booking. Please note: there may be variations regarding where the evening meals are included; but the standard arrangement is as detailed below for each night. If there are any variations this will be made clear in your accommodation schedule, which you will receive with your route notes and maps package. Lunches are not included, but picnic materials or packed lunches cam be obtained locally. We suggest you budget £100 per person for meals not included.
Night 1: Engelberg. A comfortable hotel close to this Alpine village with its 12th century Benedictine monastery.Half board.
Night 2: Engstlenalp. Mountain inn. Basic accommodation in twin-bedded rooms. No baggage transfer to or from Engstlenalp. Evening meal available at the inn.
Night 3: Meiringen. Our 3* hotel is centrally located near shops and the station and has modern facilities and has received praise from previous customers. Half board.
Nights 4 & 5: Grindelwald. Here we stay at a cosy 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. First night half board, second night bed and breakfast only. Evening meal on the second night can be obtained either at the hotel or elsewhere in the town.
Nights 6 & 7: Lauterbrunnen. Our recently modernised 3-star hotel, only two minutes' walk from the train station, provides views of the famous Jungfrau Mountain and of the waterfalls on both sides of the valley. The en suite rooms are tastefully furnished and decorated.First night half board, second night bed and breakfast only. Evening meal on the second night can be obtained either at the hotel or elsewhere in the village.
Night 8: Griesalp/Golderli. Mountain inn. Basic accommodation in twin-bedded rooms. No baggage transfer to or from Griesalp. Half board.
Nights 9 & 10: Kandersteg. A 3-star hotelcentrally located with convenient access to the hiking trails, cable cars and lifts, shops and the railway station (5 minutes on foot). All rooms have a balcony, bath/shower, WC, hair-dryer, cable-TV, radio and direct-dial telephone. First night half board, second night bed & breakfast. Evening meal on the second night can be obtained either at the hotel or elsewhere in the village.
Night 11: Adelboden. A friendly welcome awaits you at this chalet style hotel. Pine furniture is much in evidence. Buffet style breakfast including Swiss cheeses. Sauna, gymnasium and whirlpool. Half board.

Night 12: Lenk.
Here we stay in a 3-star chalet style hotel with 22 rooms 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. Friendly and well-informed management. Half board.
Night 13: Saanen. On the site of the former town hall, this hotel was built in1907 and renovated in 1982. The comfortable guest rooms are in the traditional style of the region. Half board.

Baggage Transfers
On most days your baggage is transported from hotel to hotel, so it will not be necessary to carry more than a light pack containing items you will need during the day. For the overnight stays at Engstlenalp (night 2) and Griesalp (night 8) you will also need to carry spare clothes and washing kit.

We provide you with. . . Maps & book (Kev Reynolds), route notes.  

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