Summer Weather on top of Jungfrau


Mar 21st, 2007, 10:39 AM
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Summer Weather on top of Jungfrau

Trying to figure out what kind of cloting we need to pack for our trip up the Jungfrau and visit there. Will a sweatshirt and long pants be enough or should we bring a jacket. I plan to bring gloves and hat. We will have our 2 kids ( 5 & 6) with us and wondering whether to bring their jackets on the trip with us. What activities are there for the kids to do up there? This might help me figure it out? AS for shoes, hiking boots and sneakers suffice? Thanks all. We'll be spending a week in Switzerland after 2 weeks in Greece, so trying to minimize the extra clothes needed!
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Mar 21st, 2007, 10:44 AM
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Hi mish42,

Your footgear will depend, of course, on what you do on the top. If you walk around on the snow, your sneakers may get wet. But if you only stay on the terrace or the balcony, your sneakers should be fine.

I have the same reservations about your clothing -- I think you need some protection against the wet, maybe a raincoat or rainjacket.

What part of summer is this? June will be different from August --

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Mar 21st, 2007, 10:49 AM
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avg high they told me at the summit station is 32 degrees F or 0 degrees C - freezing plus could be windy.
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Mar 21st, 2007, 10:57 AM
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The Jungfrau has a ski school the entire summer - and outdoor temps will be cold. BUT - unless you're planning on camping up there you won;t need winter clothing. Just make sure you have layers (tee, sweater and light jacket) and good waterproof shoes. For kids mittens are good if they want to make snow or ice balls.

We went up with 2 people in shorts, tank tops and sandals - since it was 80 in Interlaken - and they were shivering even indoors and went right back down again. But you probably won;t want to spend more than 3/4 hours anyway.
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Mar 21st, 2007, 11:18 AM
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Thanks everyone for such quick answers already! We will be there the 1st week of July. Don't plan t attend the ski school up there, but thought there were other things to do besides look at the view from the balcony. I'm sure the kids will want to play in the snow, so, it's probably best if I bring them sme kind of water resistant or water proof jacket for over their sweatshirt. I've read something about an "ice palace" and also about Husky drawn sled rides and snow disk rides up there. Anyone know anything?? Should we pack our own food for the day trip up there?
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Mar 21st, 2007, 11:27 AM
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With the children, you must always have snacks and water, you know it by now

There is a cafeteria, the type when you push your tray along, putting dishes of your choice on it. Also a coffee stand with snacks, a gift shop. (There is also a restaurant - I didn't go there)
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Mar 21st, 2007, 12:07 PM
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It should be around freezing...but not always. I was there during the heat wave a few years back and the temp at the Jungfrau station was 30 degree C or 86 degrees F - way up there. Bout 100 down in Interlaken.

But that of course is rare but it could be warmer than usual. The whole BOB area has weather reports posted around towns and on tv with stations like Jungfrau reporting conditions and forecasts.
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Mar 21st, 2007, 12:25 PM
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We plan on going to the Jungfrau also during the first week of July. We are staying in Wengen. How about you?

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Mar 21st, 2007, 12:57 PM
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There is a snowplay area with platters---free, as I recall. The kids can just line up with the others, and the platters get passed to the next in line.

We love the ice palace. It is tunnels carved inside the glacier, with small rooms and sculptures, and at least one "secret" (narrow) passsageway. It is lit and the photographs we took in there are great! It is fairly cold in there, but not frigid.

Here is a webpage with information about the Greenland huskies that pull the sleds:

They make it sound like you just line up to get a ride. but the actual Jungfraubahn site says you need a reservation (they give the phone number):

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Mar 21st, 2007, 01:52 PM
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We had the same dilemma last year. We took mostly summer clothes and 2 pairs of jeans for going up mountains into the snow (second pair in case one got wet). We only used sneakers (shoes take up so much space to pack!), and that was fine - we hiked out to the hut on Jungfrau (and teh kids did some tobogganing) and sneakers were fine. We each packed a warm fleecy jumper and a spray jacket (Aussie term for a jacket length rain coat - comes to just under your bottom) - great to break the wind. That, along with a pair of gloves and a "beanie" (warm hat) and we were fine!
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Mar 21st, 2007, 05:33 PM
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I am assuming you mean the Jungfraujoch. I doubt very much if you and your children will be going to the summit of the Jungfrau. That is a steep, arduous climb requiring mountaineering skills.

I am not convinced that the people writing above have actually been there and done much. Perhaps I am wrong on that, but unconvinced.

The comfort level at the Jungfraujoch depends on many variables. Two major factors are the sun and the wind.

If the sun is shining brightly, and the wind is low, you could easily walk the groomed snow trail to the Mönchsjochhütte in shorts and short sleeves. (With plenty of sunscreen applied on exposed skin.)

I have done just that and must admit that it is a strange sensation to be dressed for August in southern Arizona while walking on snow.

If the sun ducks behind the clouds and the breeze picks up, you can chill rapidly. If you are outside and sleet and/or rain start pelting down, conditions can get ugly very quickly.

Even on a sunny day if you walk from behind the high ridge to the south that protects you from the prevailing wind, you will suddenly feel like you stepped into a deep freeze. (The wind is not always blowing. Last year on the Klein Matterhorn we had a beautiful day with little wind. The temperature, however, was below freezing. Down in the tunnels, I saw a thermometer that read -7 C. Even in boots with wool socks and sock liners, my feet were feeling the effects of that ice block floor.)

If you plan to go outside of the Sphinx observation building, and walk on the snow surfaces, sneakers will get wet very quickly. Whether or not feet get icy cold depends on the other factors and how long you stay out.

My standard gear for the trek to the Mönchsjoch shelter consists of the following: Goretex jacket and pants, long hiking trousers with zip-off legs, lug soled hiking boots (wool socks), Polarfleece pullover, hiking poles with snow baskets, and light weight gloves.

The last time I was there, most of this gear stayed in my pack, until I walked out to a view point that was fully exposed to the wind. The pullover and jacket came out of my pack very quickly.

I really think that "sneakers" are inadequate for traction if you do very much on the snow surfaces. They soak through very quickly and provide very little insulation. If you walk uphill, I think the wearer would do considerable slipping and sliding.

The youngsters may not need hiking poles, but I find them very valuable for traction and balance on uphill/downhill snow surfaces.

If you go to the ice palace, nothing much will help there except crampons and an ice ax. You will need to trust your balance!!

You will not be venturing far off the prepared surfaces as a general rule. Straying off the trail can take you into soft snow where you bog up to your knees very quickly.

As for activities, there are indoor video games. Outside there are at times sleds to slide on, a cable that you can ride downhill wearing a harness, and a dog sled with Alaskan Huskies pulling it.

If the weather is cloudy, which it often is, I see little reason to go. You can enjoy the clouds at a lower altitude much less expensively. (I am assuming you have priced that trip. Undiscounted the roundtrip adult fare from Interlaken Ost is 176.60 chf, which converts to about $145.00)
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Mar 21st, 2007, 05:43 PM
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You don;t need to bring food - there's a sizeable casuale restaurant at the top. And there are several activities (ice sculptures, sled dog ride, weather station and watching the skiers fall down) - so you can spend a couple of hours at the top.

Just be aware that any time of year you may not be able to go on a particular day due to weather at the top. It can be beautiful in Interlaken - but socked in at the top so you can;t see your hand in front of your face. You have the call the train station in the am and they'll tell you if it makes sense to spend the money to make the trip. We had to wait until the third day before we got a good one.
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Mar 21st, 2007, 06:19 PM
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I was there in summer 2004 and it was a sunny day but near freezing at the summit. Be sure to check the weather forecast and go on a clear day.

bob brown, I hope you saw my note to you on the "Insbrook" thread, my comment was not directed at you.
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Mar 21st, 2007, 07:19 PM
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the most important item of clothing is SUNGLASSES!! It is really bright! I packed a whole bunch of extra clothes and we didn't use any of them. Just bring a sweatshirt and gloves to be safe. I guess the weather can be unpredictable, but I wouldn't worry about it. If it's freezing, you don't have to be outside for that long. We only had sneakers and hiking shoes.

I don 't know what Bob Brown is talking about when he says to bring crampons for the ice palace?? It is indoors; the floor is slippery, but there are railings. The ice palace was the best part of the whole excursion, IMO. It was very cool (ha ha)

Be sure to bring something for your kids to do on the train. It is long and no scenery for most of it. I made the mistake of not bringing books for my kids. Boring ride.

Don't bring food. the cafeteria is fine.
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Mar 21st, 2007, 08:00 PM
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How long does the train take from Kleine Scheidigg to the Jungfraujoch station?
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Mar 21st, 2007, 08:49 PM
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45 to 50 minutes, almost all of which is in a tunnel through the Eiger. The train stops once so you can get out and look out the "windows" carved in the North Face.
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Mar 21st, 2007, 09:53 PM
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Thanks to everyone for such detailed information. I have a much better idea of what it's like and this will help me pack accordingly. Luckily we will have 4 full days in the BO, so hopefully one of them will be a clear day to make the trip up. Has anyone actually done the Husky drawn sled rides? Was it fun? Sound like somehting the kids would enjoy and that we certainly can't do here in Los Angeles!
To Sebinha: We'll be staying in Murren from July 5th thru 10th....
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Mar 22nd, 2007, 12:56 AM
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I was at the Jungfrau with my 12 and 13 year olds the last week of July last year. We took the winter jackets (old ones that we tossed after this part of our vacation) and my son insisted on taking his off once we were up there in the sun. He was glad to have it in the ice palace though. I was glad to have a medium weight jacket. Absolutely take the sunglasses!!!

The ride up isn't so boring anymore (I've done the ride a few times with various kids). They now have a video running while in the tunnel explaing how the tunnel was made, showing the route through the mountain, giving a bit of history. My kids' favorite part was the footage of how a small hut was moved by helicopter. There was no video on the way back down however, but my kids fell asleep after spending a few hours up top. The advice to start out early is something to take to heart. We didn't take the first train, but one soon after and it wasn't too crowded at all. It was, however, noticeably more crowded when we left the top. The views on the way up weren't as good as the ones from up top, but considering they were the first views during that trip, they were impressive. You go into the tunnel below the tree line and and at the first quick stop, you look out through the side of the mountain and see a glacier. The kids were wowed. The quick stops for the views through the large windows are just that - quick stops. You get off the train, look out and get right back on. (There are rest rooms at the two stops, but nothing else except the views).

Yes, it's quite easy to walk around in the ice palace without special equipment - no one had any in there - just don't try to run! We were in sneakers and had no problem.

The husky rides were canceled for the day we were there. The snow was too soft with all the sun, but the dogs were all out lounging and posing for pictures. The cutest part was that they had their own umbrellas so they could be out of the sun.

The zip lines were great! Have one or two go up at a time so someone else can stay on the ground to get pictures.

One the way down you should plan to have lunch in Kleine Sheidigg. Just watch out for the goats who wander around freely and visit you at your outdoor table! It was set up like an outdoor food court - bratwursts, strudel, etc. The best part there was the ice cream at the little outdoor stand. There was an alphorn player in traditional garb, and we got to try it out. (People put a bit of change in the bell of the alphorn after trying.) Save some time to walk a bit of the path through the cow pasture there and listen to the cowbells.

The trip up the Schilthorn was also fun. We did that on the same trip (on a different day though) to give the kids the different experience of ascending a mountain by cable car. The clouds rolled in while we were up there and all of a sudden we couldn't see anything. Good excuse to visit the revolving restaurant - which thrilled the kids. (And yes, it was expensive, but they had the most amazing ice cream sundaes I've ever seen!) My kids enjoyed seeing what items were placed on the window sills and passing by. My son's experiment was to place a mint by a window to see how long it would take to come around (48 minutes I believe!). Ever seen a cable car just appear through the clouds? Very ghostly! We also went to the small theater which showed clips from the James Bond movie filmed up there before going down.

Have a good trip!
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