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Snow on hiking paths in Bernese Oberland in May?

Snow on hiking paths in Bernese Oberland in May?

Old Feb 18th, 2005, 03:10 PM
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Snow on hiking paths in Bernese Oberland in May?

The Lonely Planet guide to Walking in Switzerland recommends a number of hikes in the Bernese Oberland. With one exception the recommended season begins in June. We are thinking of visiting the area from mid-to late May and I wondered if there would likely be snow on the paths. I've hiked on Mt. Ranier in snow and it was slushy and slippery-not particularly fun. Please advise.
stillhouse is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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I am also going in late May/early June. My Rick Steves book says it's possible some trails could still be closed in late May, but not all. A TI office in Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen should have all the 411 when you arrive. I would expect the lower elevation trails to be open and okay by late May. But having never hiked that time of year there, I don't know for sure.

However, in another thread someone said Zurich was having above average snowfall this winter. How this will translate to the Oberland 3 months from now I don't know.
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Old Feb 18th, 2005, 05:55 PM
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We have been to switzerland in late May and you should be fine on the lower elevations. However, paths on higher elevations - and even some of the highest driving roads- are closed until June.
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Old Feb 18th, 2005, 06:13 PM
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It really depends on the weather. We stayed in a tiny town called Gimmelwald (not to be confused with Grindewald) in May a couple of years ago. the weather was unseasonably warm, in the 80's suring the day and falling to around 45 at night. Most of the trails at that elevation were open but some of the ones higher up were a challenge.

it is beautiful! Enjoy!

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Old Feb 19th, 2005, 02:53 AM
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We visited Interlaken for 10 days in February and spent every other day walking. It turned out that some of the paths we walked were closed and we hadn't realised. We had noticed that the snow was quite deep!
I realise that this is not exactly on point for you as in May you are kitted up for warmer weather and conditions and we went expecting snow. However the paths were passible and very beautiful.
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Old Feb 19th, 2005, 06:08 AM
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In between ski season and hiking season, lifts are often closed for maintenance. For example, the Mannlichen lift often doesn't open until early June.

As for the trails themselves, we were in the BO in the third week of June and anything above 7400 ft was still closed. We were able to do the pleasant walk between Mannlichen and Kleine Scheidegg, and between First and a small lake (name escapes me - Bachalpsee?) but the route beyond the lake to the Faulhorn was out. The Swiss are no sissies - when they close a trail, they mean it (avalanche risk, among other things.)

If you possibly still can, I'd delay your trip till later.
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