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Need help on Intinerary Lucerne - Jungfrau Mountain

Need help on Intinerary Lucerne - Jungfrau Mountain

Apr 26th, 2008, 03:17 PM
  #1  
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Need help on Intinerary Lucerne - Jungfrau Mountain

Is it possible to do a one-day return trip from Lucerne up to the top of the Jungfrau Mountain. It seems we have to take a train from Lucern to Interlaken and from there I'm not sure what is the most direct route. Will we be too rushed, or is it better check out of Lucerne to take one night lodging closer to the Jungfrau - if so we were thinking of Grindelwald. We will have to return Lucern to get a direct train to Lugano which is the next leg of our trip. I'm finding the Swiss train schedules very confusing - so any help will be really appreciated.
helenrk is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 03:32 PM
  #2  
 
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Hi helenrk,

Yes, I think it would be better to check out of Luzern for this trip. Overall it will take 4h27 to get from Luzern to the top of the Jungfrau, so a round-trip would mean about nine hours on the train. NOT a good idea!

Yes, Grindelwald would be a fine overnight town.

Here are some hints for using the Swiss rail scheduler (www.rail.ch).

Departure: Luzern (or Lucerne)
Destination: Jungfraujoch
Date: use the European format of day/month/year
Time: use the 24-hour clock

Your schedule should come up and be very clear.

To go to Grindelwald, just use:

Departure: Luzern
Destination: Grindelwald

and then

Departure: Grindelwald
Destination: Jungfraujoch

And finally

Departure: Grindelwald
Destination: Lugano
(all of your connections will appear; no need to do it in separate legs)

Anyway, hope this clear things up a bit.

Have fun!

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 03:58 PM
  #3  
 
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Actually I find Swiss train system quite easy. Try the railway site posted by swandav above.

9 hours of train travel, not a good idea, maybe, maybe not. I don't think it's necessarily a bad idea. Why because the scenery is good Lucern to Interlaken. And of course the trains from Interlaken - Ost to Jungfraujoch. The train ride itself is actually one of the main attraction of this excursion. If you like train ride, you can do it. Many who choose to stay in Lucerne do this day excursion. I like the idea of doing it without carrying luggage. If you choose to stay in Grindewald, you have to think about moving the luggage Lucerne to Grindelwald with you. Another advantage of staying in Lucerne is the train ride to Lugano will be direct. If you change the hotel to Grindelwald, you will have to return to Lucerne with the lugagge, then on to Lugano. Still either is possible.
kappa is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 04:06 PM
  #4  
 
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Oh, the usual is :

Lucerne - Interlaken Ost - Lauterbrunnen - Kleinescheidegg - Jungfraujoch - Kleineschiedegg - Grindelwald - Interlaken Ost- Lucerne.

Connection at each station is good so you will not have much time to wait or if you prefer you can take a longer stop e.g. at Kleinescheidegg or/and at Grindelwald. In summer, Jungfrau trains usually run every 30 minutes.
kappa is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 04:16 PM
  #5  
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swandav

Thanks so much for your help...now it all makes sense - and we have decided to stay over Grindelwald for one night. We are going to be there in June...do you know how cold it really is at the top of the mountain...do I need a ski jacket or will a light jacket and layering do it?

helenrk is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 05:41 PM
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Staying over in Grindelwald is a winner of a choice because otherwise you would be too rushed from Luzern. If you drove it, I think you could do it, but the train is slow because it makes so many stops.

From Grindelwald you go first to Kleine Scheidegg (small pass in a decent English equivalent). At Kleine Scheidegg, all passengers change trains for the Jungfraujoch.

The ascent from Kleine Scheidegg goes up steeply, but most of it is inside the north face of the Eiger. The times I went, the train stopped twice so that passengers could get out and look through one of the ventilation holes cut in the side of the mountain.

The stops also give you a chance to acclimate.

When you get to the top, don't rush too much until you adjust. Some people want to rush up the stairs, and then wish they had not.

If you are interested, one of the most scenic walks you can take is along the snow track that leads from the view point building known as the Sphinx to the hikers' shelter on the side of the adjoining mountain, the Mönch.

The Jungfrau, the Mönch and the Eiger are the 3 peaks that comprise the famous trilogy of peaks visible from Grindelwald. The broodingly dark north face of the Eiger is awesome, and the closer you get to it, the more forbidding it appears.

The hikers's shelter I mentioned above is known as the Mönchsjochhütte. The similarity to the English word "hut" is misleading because this building is 3 stories high and has sleeping accommodations for 125 guests plus the staff.

Food and beverages are available at the shelter. In fact, you can have lunch there if you wish.

Departures from Grindelwald for the Jungfraujoch start as early as 6:55.
The next departure is at 7:47 and continue at hourly intervals until 14:47.

I personally think the first departure is too early even if the price is less. If you leave at 7:47, you will reach the top at 9:22.

I suppose you have priced the trip. If you have not, get ready for sticker shock. As Yogi probably would say, "'Taint cheap."

If you decide it is too much, the gondola from Grindelwald to the station named First is an excellent trip. That trip was the first excursion I took in the Alps on my initial trip in 1998. It was an incredible view. Even on repeated viewings, I still think it is a grand, awesome, beautiful view.

Regardless of which trip you make, you will have a great series of views.

bob_brown is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 06:03 PM
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It's definitely vital to check the weather before deciding to ascend the Jungfrau. We did it from Lucerne (but by car to Interlaken) but you MUST check on the weather - since the top is often socked in - so you can see nothing. We had to wait until our third day in Lucerne to get one with no clouds surrounding the Jungfraujoch.
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 07:05 PM
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Very good point about the weather.
I forget that I usually am in the area for a week or more and that my two runs to the top came after being there a day or two and waiting for a good day.

Otherwise, you can view the same clouds from the bottom at a much lower price.

If you are in the area and decide against the Jungfraujoch, a good alternative unless rain is actually falling is the Museum of Swiss Life at Ballenberg. It can be reached easily by train and bus originating from Interlaken Ost. Train to Brienz; bus to Ballenberg West Gate.
The bus is timed to the train, usually.

I am glad that nyt made this vital point about the possibility of clouds.

bob_brown is offline  
Apr 27th, 2008, 02:16 AM
  #9  
 
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Hi again,

Oh, I'm so glad that you decided to stay overnight. While I agree that the scenery on the train trip is great . . . it's even greater from the tops of the mountains. I always maximize my mountaintop time!!

Yes, planning for a day at the Jungfraujoch is never straightforward. You can see the peaks from cameras at the top (the tv in your hotel room will show these mountain cameras every morning!), so you can better prepare. I don't think you'll need a ski jacket, especially if you only spend an hour or two up there. Exactly how much will you layer? If I were going in JUne, I would probably wear a medium-weight sweater, then a cardigan or polartek vest, and then a medium-weight coat (raincoat). You'll probably be carrying a lot of it for a lot of the day, but if you need it all, you'll be happy to have it.

Anyway, good luck!

s
swandav2000 is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 08:20 PM
  #10  
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Hi everyone who helped me...I just wanted to thank you all. We are going to stay one night at Grindelwald (with an overnight bag and then going back to stay in Lucerne for one day before we leave for Lugano) so hopefully in the two days there we will get a clear day to go up the Jungfrau - 'cause your right it aint cheap, and I now understand the train scehdules and also have ideas for side trips and what to pack as far as clothing for June - so everything has now finally come together - thnaks.
helenrk is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 09:25 PM
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Remember that you will be gaining quite a few thousand feet of elevation even going from Interlaken to Kleine Sheidegg. You can figure on a temperature loss of about 3.2 degrees per 1,000 feet. So it could be 30 degrees cooler at the Jungfraujoch than in Interlaken. Of course you do not need to go outside once you are at the Jungfraujoch.

On the other hand some of the best views are from outside the building where you don't have the distortion caused by the glass panels. It is not much of a loss, but there is some.

If you want to visit the ice caves you need to go outside as well as for the dogs and the sled.

My favorite is the walk to the shelter facility on the flank of the adjoining mountain. The Mönchsjochhütte. The similarity to the word "hut" is misleading in this case. The facility is a 3-story building bolted to the side of the mountain. It has dormitory style sleeping space for 125 people plus living quarters for the seasonal staff. You can buy food and drinks there without any trouble. The staff seems to speak about 4 or 5 different languages.
bob_brown is offline  
May 6th, 2008, 10:02 AM
  #12  
 
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It will definitely be colder outside at the top. BUT - unless you're planning on spending a lot of time out in the snow (not necessary) you will be OK with a couple of layers. We wore long pants, tee, sweater and jean jacket and were fine.

(The people sitting across from us in the train - who went up wearing t shirt, shorts and sandals did have a big surprise though. I don;t know how they couldn;t realize that it had to be below freezing for the snow to remain solid.)
nytraveler is offline  
May 6th, 2008, 11:30 AM
  #13  
 
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The sensation of hot and cold at the Jungfraujoch is very dependent on the sun, the shade, and the wind.

The last time I was there the day was bright and sunny with no wind on the lee side of the mountain. The sun was so intense I was glad I had my clip-on sunglasses to augment my prescription set, which have side shields for added protection in snow conditions.

As we walked toward the Mönchsjochhütte, I soon shed my Goretex jacket, and my outer shirt.

So there I was walking on the snow in a tee shirt and shorts.

(Beware of sunburn I might add. Intense sun light, less altitude to filter the sun's rays, and the reflection from the snow all serve to do a quick cooking job.) When we got to the shelter we walked from behind the protection of the ridge into the teeth of a strong wind blowing through the gap. About the same time a cloud passed over the sun.

The sudden drop in the wind-chill factor had me reaching quickly for my jacket.





bob_brown is offline  
May 6th, 2008, 12:50 PM
  #14  
 
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Layering is definitely the way to go on the Jungfrau. You shouldn't be up there if the weather is bad because it's not worth the expense, so assume that you will have some sunshine, which can be quite intense. We went up in early August and wore T-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, and windproof fleece jackets. For colder weather the addition of a light sweater would be advised. It was quite windy at the top of the Sphinx so you definitely want something windproof, but a ski jacket should not be necessary.

We did the hike to the Mönchsjochhütte as described by bob_brown - we were in a bit of a hurry and were quite hot by the time we reached the hut! It's a fabulous walk with spectacular views that get you away from the crowds around the Sphinx.

By the way, even if you decide against going all the way to the top, the trip up to Kleine Scheidegg is terrific and there are some fun hikes to do from there.
hausfrau is offline  
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