Sep 29th, 2006, 12:54 AM
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Hi, everyone

Does anyone know whether it's physically fiasable to cover in one day the route Grindelwald - Grutchalp - Winteregg - Muerren - Gimmelwald - Schilthorn
- Stechelberg considering the hiking from Grutschalp via Winteregg to Muerren on the way to Schilthorn or not?. Upon return to Muerren from Schilthorn I plan to take a stroll around Muerren. From Muerren I'll hike down to Gimmelwald with a halt there. Then a cable car ride down to Schtechelberg. From there coming back to Grindelwald with stopping by the Truemmelbachfalls. If YES, how long this all might take up? Thanks for the help.
dmitrch is offline  
Sep 29th, 2006, 01:35 AM
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I could do that. Perhaps without Trummelbach so I can take time hiking. With Trummelbach, I will leave Grindelwald very early 6 or 7 am.
kappa is offline  
Sep 29th, 2006, 01:37 AM
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You are taling about next summer right?
kappa is offline  
Sep 29th, 2006, 02:12 AM
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That's right. I would like to be there next summer and already drew up an itinerary. Of all the 4* hotels (I found in the net)in Grindelwald the Sunstar one seems to me the best option - spa packages, view with almost nothing between your balcony and the Eiger.
dmitrch is offline  
Sep 29th, 2006, 09:15 AM
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yes it is possible. Would be a fun day.

Here is how I would to it.
Leave Grindelwald for Lauterbrunnen on the train at 7:35 or 8:35. (Assuming no car.)
At Lauterbrunnen take the new cable car up to Grutschalp. It is supposed to open for business in December of this year. Even if delayed, I am sure it will be in full sevice by next June.

After reaching Grutschalp, walk the scenic trail via Winteregg to Mürren. It is beautiful because the main ridge of the Berner Oberland is in front of you, with the peak of the Jungfrau just off to your left.

The trail is wide, relatively flat, and easy to walk.

In Mürren take the Schilthornbahn to the top. There is a trail to the top, but it is steep. People do it, but they are in good shape.

From the Schilthorn, descend to Gimmelwald on the cable car. You can walk downhill from Mürren if you like, but the trail is steep.

After you get to Gimmelwald, get off the cable car, look around for 15 minutes (which is about all it takes) and catch the next cable car to Stechelberg.

There, you can take the postbus back to Lauterbrunnen. The bus stops at Trommelbach Falls if you have enough energy left to have a look.

The falls are well hidden in a deep cleft in the rock. The falls are lighted and there is an elevator to take you up to the view points. You can descend the stairs for more views, or take the elevator back.

As an important point, the train connection back to Grindelwald is critical late in the day.
The last timely connection (34 minutes) leaves at 18:20. (true this summer) After that, the connections are poor. After 18:20 you would have a long wait at Zweilütschinen which delays your for nearly an hour. There is nothing much to do in Zweilütschinen except wait. I don't think I have even found a decent place to have a drink there. There may be one, I just don't know where it is. (Not for lack of looking either.)

How long? I could take all day! In fact, starting from Lauterbrunnen, I have used up about 9 hours to do just what you describe, except for walking down the steep hill to Gimmelwald. Hard on the knees for not much reward. You have seen it all from the top of the Schilthorn and there is nothing in Gimmelwald to hold my interest other than a watering trough where I could fill my canteen for a drink of cold spring water.

There is not much in Stechelberg either. The valley station of the Schilthornbahn is a little isolated from the hotel in Stechelberg. The Post Bus is timed to run in conjunction with the descending cable car from Gimmelwald.

I think a better option than stressing your knee joints would be to take the walk to the Kilchbalm from Gimmelwald.
Of course that is dependent on how long you tarry at the summit of the Schilthorn because you probably don't want to miss the last timely train connection back to Grindelwald.

Standing around Zweilütschinen is not very thrilling at the end of a long day.

There is a viewing platform up there which encircles the restaurant. One can spend a long time up there drinking in the view, or a short time depending on what you like and what you can see.

I would not recommend this trip on a cloudy day at all because clouds on top of the Schilthorn look like clouds just about anywhere else.

I don't think a stroll around Muerren will take long either. It is mostly hotels with a few shops. We went shopping in Muerren one day, and that lasted about 45 minutes. Opportunities in Grindelwald are much more extensive.
bob_brown is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 02:07 AM
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Bob Brown, thank you very much for your comprehensive and interesting reply. As a follow-up to your post I have some more questions.
I never heard of Kilchbalm found just couple of pictures in the Internet. Is the trail from Gimmel. to Kilchbalm scenic? Is Gimmelwald-Kilchbalm trail more worth going than Muerren-Gimmelwald one? And how long will it take to get to Kilchbalm? Is there any transportation from Kilchbalm? As I can judge from the Internet, people suggest taking the Muerren-Gemmelwald descend.
Regarding Stechelberg: the view of Lauterbrunnen valley from there is stunning(again from the Internet). Since a cable car operation is timed to post buses, will I then h
dmitrch is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 02:19 AM
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Continued to Bob Brown (sorry...glitches)
...will I then be able at least taking some pictures prior to bus departure?
Zweilütschinen hanging around...
Isn't it better to return to Grindelwald via Muerren and Mannlichen, may be for a Staubachfalls' view and, as it turned out, for not being very much dependent on trains as there is an operation of cable cars and trains trough those locations, or it's the same story like Zweilütschinen's?
Thank you in advance.
dmitrch is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 02:21 AM
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To Bob Brown
Not via Muerren and Mannlichen but Wengen and Mannlichen...
dmitrch is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 04:49 PM
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Hoping Bob gets to see this...
TuckH is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 06:22 PM
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First, let me comment on the various aspects of going up and down the valley sides.

I love the view from the Männlichen. To get there from Lauterbrunnen, take the train up to Wengen and walk a short distance along the main street of Wengen to the cable car to the top of the ridge. You can see it ascending to your right as you walk along the street.

From the crest of the ridge, there are two ways to reach Grindelwald that are reasonable to pursue in terms of times and effort. One, is to take the long gondola ride down to Grindelwald Grund, which is at the bottom of the hill with respect to the main street of Grindelwald. The ride is a long one on the gondola, something like 5 or 6 miles.

The other way is to walk down the trail to Kleine Scheidegg and take the train back to Grindelwald. Unfortunately, those are expensive rides price wise even with a discount. None the less, i do them and don't think about the money!!

The trail to Kilchbalm is not one of those eye popping trails. This is a trip to the inner mountain world, deep into a deadend valley that in prior years housed a glacier. The trail is slightly undulating and follows along a deep canyon on one side and a deep forest on the other.

In all likelihood you will go through various gates, often slats as opposed to a swinging gate. Cows graze in the open areas at times.

Once you reach the Kilchbalm itself, you are surrounded by towering mountain walls with water streaming down on all sides. There is a large stream rushing along the bottom of the flat valley floor at that point.

In years past I have had to step over cows lying in the trail contentedly chewing away. The cows will not bother you if you don't bother them; they are docile animals as a general rule as long as nothing riles them up. Just watch where you step!!

I find this area to be exceedingly peaceful and tranquil. We usually take our lunch and enjoy a view of the mountain walls and the water streaming down from the softest rock we can find.

If you look down valley toward the east, you will see the Jungfrau towering above you like a white castle in the distance.

As you return to Gimmelwald, the trail is relatively easy, downhill generally speaking. After you reach the cable lift station, just wait for the next car to come up from Stechelberg as it rises to meet the descending car from Mürren.

I think the descent from Mürren is relatively steep and it reveals no new territory to you that is not visible from Mürren.

I think I would save my energy for walking out to the Kilchbalm because it is a different view of the inner mountain world. I find it interesting because it gives you a good chance to see what lies under some of the peaks.

As you ride the post bus, you have the option of stopping at Trommelbach Falls for a view there.

Staubbach Falls are nice enough, a very high but feathery drop of water from the west side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. I like the view at night because it is lighted until around midnight. I have viewed it many a night from my apartment window.

The walkway up to the falls, and under the falls, is now open. It consists of some steel steps and a few rocky places. It is not a good place to view the falls because you are on a ledge under the falls, and all you see is the last few feet of the downward plunge of the water. People go up there, but I am not sure it is worth the effort; the view of the falls is much better from several hundred other vantage points along the road.

Also, let me suggest that you not only take a good look at the falls, but also look at the cemetary. It is a beautiful flower garden as well as a cemetary.

From Staubbach Falls, the walk to the train station in Lauterbrunnen is fairly short. There is only one main street to Lauterbrunnen and it leads directly past the train station, which is obvious off to your right as you walk north along the street.

The Kilchbalm is a dead end glacial valley. You get out the same way you go in.

I really have seen no socially redeeming advantage in sliding down the trail from Mürren to Gimmelwald. It is hard on the knees.

Now the walk from Grutschalp to Mürren is a different trail all together. It is priceless, and without a doubt it is best walked from Grutschalp toward Mürren because other wise you end up with a sore neck from twisting it so much to look back at the main range of the Berner Oberland west of the Jungfrau, which really dominates the view off to the southeast.

Coming back to the walk down from the Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg, it is an easy trail to walk. It descends slightly all the way to the train station where the Jungfraubahn, the Wengner Alpbahn and the Grindelwald - Kleine Scheidegg bahn all converge.

The three lines require different equipment so they don't interchange tracks.

If you go up to the crest of the Männlichen I encourage you to walk to the top of the hill at the end of the ridge and get a good view all around.
The Eiger of course dominates the view to the south, along with the Mönch.

On a clear day you can easily see the Sphinx obervation building nestled in the Jungfraujoch.

You can also see the impressive snow barricades set up on the fiendishly steep slope. Even that elaborate network is not enough some years to suppress the avalanches. The whole Wengen- Männlichen lift got taken out one year when an avalanche severely damaged one of the cable towers.

It is beautiful country, and you really cannot go wrong with anything you do. I just think there are certain routes that maximize your time there. I have been there often enough that I have done several variations, and the ones I describe are the ones I suggest for people who may not be as interested as I in returning, yet they want to see as much as they can in one visit.

The price I pay for returning there is that I place a limit on seeing new places. What I gain is a repeat of something I love. I tend to be that way.
bob_brown is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 10:56 PM
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Thank you very much again,

Your trails description is really inspiring. I have also found couple of more pictures for Kilchbalm. Very stunning views. I think Gimmelwald-Kilchbalm (is Chilchbalm the same?)hike should be scheduled for another day so I have tagged one more day to my itinerary. This hike can be combined with a one to Sefinental valley.
Money is not a problem when paying for the cable-car and bahn trips. More over, to my preliminary estimations, the Regional Pass Berner Oberland will save me around 411 CHF.
dmitrch is offline  
Oct 5th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Yes, the two spellings are the same.
Swiss German at times has many variants I am told. I have a very difficult time trying to understand some of those local dialects. Unless the people speak high German, am clueless. Even with high German, I personally struggle a little, but I can make my needs known.

The ch in German is made at the back of the tongue. I was taught to put my tongue against the roof of my mouth when I say the word for I, ich.

If I say Kilchbalm with an American K, many of the locals don't know for sure what I mean. I cannot really make the sound like they do!! I just try to approximate it.

The Kilchbalm is a very interesting hike for what I like to think of as a trip to the inner recesses of the mountains.
You can explore deep into the circular end of the valley, even climb up a little ways if you have the skill.

Early in the summer, water gushes down the sides of the cliffs as the snow melts. The stream is deep enough and swift enough that you don't want to try to cross it until you are deep into the valley and the various branches of the main flow are small enough to step across or pick your way across on stepping stones.

Besides, that water is ice cold! It was snow not many hours ago!!

If you have time while you are there, visit Griesalp in the Kiental. It takes a little planning to get there, but the falls of the creek on the way up that 28% road are pretty, and the road is steep. We took the Post Bus up.

I preferred to let the professionals handle that narrow, twisting and very steep road.
bob_brown is offline  
Oct 5th, 2006, 12:07 PM
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Just to give a different perspective, while I loved all my walks through the Lauterbrunnen Valley and hikes around Gimmelwalf, Muerren and my trip to Schilthorn, the Trummelbach Falls did nothing for me. I wouldn't hurry through anything to get there.

Others may disagree, but it would be at the bottom of my list of things to do.
nessundorma is offline  
Oct 5th, 2006, 08:09 PM
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Not low on my list. The gush of water through that labyrinth of eroded limestone is one of awesome power.

But, not everybody likes Swiss chocolate. I brought some back to give to my friends and one non appreciator gave away a big bar of Lindt's best. I should have snatched back and eaten it myself!!

I thought it was very rare chocolate. First it flew with me in my carryon bag across the Atlantic, then it survived in my kitchen for 5 days, and then I kept two grandsons from eating it all.

I had forgotten how much teenagers can eat. We went to dinner with the 16 year old the other night. He ate all of his dinner, including desert, part of another persons dinner, all the bread that was available, and then when we got back to my house he ate a huge piece of carrot cake. Betweem the 16 year old and the 12 year old, half the whole cake disappeared in about 4 gulps.

Those two must consume 4,500 to 5,000 calories per person per day I guess I ate like that when I was 16 and growing, but that was 56 years ago. Hard to remember that far back into the previous century!!

bob_brown is offline  
Oct 5th, 2006, 08:37 PM
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Found this in my files:

HIKE NO. 1 Gimmelwald - Sefinental - Kilchbalm
Rating: easy
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)

One of the best hikes on an any kind of weather day is down into the Sefinental Valley. The gradient is not very steep, and you can walk to the very end of the valley, where only freezing-cold streams flowing from the snow and ice and the heartiest vegetation exist. You don't even have to go all the way. Just go as far as your legs will take you, then turn around and walk back. 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. Glancing back the way you came you see Gimmelwald gripping the hillside. Like a child it clutches the hem of its' mother, the Jungfrau, who is protecting it from the sinister Eiger who peers down over her shoulder.

The trees are not as tall now and there seems to be more deciduous than coniferous trees. It becomes vary apparent in the fall when this forested area seems to be on fire with color. Amongst the trees and bushes now are grasses and mosses that cover the roots and rocks making them very slick. Take extra care here, it's easy to slip and twist an ankle. In less than 5 minutes the trees and bushes disappear to be replaced by gigantic boulders in a scene not unlike a moonscape.

Straight ahead lies a huge bowl filled with snow, ice, sand. rock and too many waterfalls to count and rising behind them, almost vertical, like a sentinel, is the Gspaltenhorn at 3436 meters.

The silence here can be almost deafening. You hear no cars, no motors, no machinery. no noise! How long has it been since you experienced this?! What you do hear is the bubbling laughter of the waterfalls and brooks as they slide down rock faces and hurl themselves over high precipices only to hide underneath the huge dome of ice itself until they pop out where you're standing now. You hear the wind rustling through the trees behind you, You hear the trill of a bird, the chirp of a cricket. You can hear the beating of your own heart. This is the valley of elves, pixies and Gnomes. if you listen hard enough you can hear them giggling as they play in the underbrush, The caves you see on the north side of the valley, once part of their underground dwellings, have since been exposed be multiple avalanches.
No one has ever caught a Gnome but they have been spotted as far away as Gimmelwald, sneaking around some of the barns. It seems they like animals.

The snow and ice is covered by dirt and although it looks safe to walk on it could be very dangerous. It is basically a dome which is hollow underneath where the water rushes through. The covering might not be strong enough to support someone walking on top. I would advise you to keep a safe distance.

Although there is plenty of water here some of it is hard to get at. The hike will make you both hungry and thirsty so bring something to drink and pack yourself a small lunch. You couldn't find a better place to enjoy it. (Remember to bring trash back with you and dispose of it properly
eurogals is offline  
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