Switzerland: First to Schynige Platte

9 July 2009

After using the 0835 from Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald again, we now take the Grindelwald-First gondola. I'd not used one of these before - it is something between a cable-car and a chairlift. As it was relatively quiet we got a car to ourselves, which was great. Looking down on the Grindelwald station, behind is the Eiger.

Mountains from the gondola.

About to go round a corner

The upper Grindelwald glacier - I think the high summit is the Schreckhorn

Approaching the second intermediate station at Schreckfeld, where the line turns sharp left

Heading for the top station at First, at 2166 metres

The figure on the right is me, fetching Dad's trekking pole which he'd put down and forgotten to pick up

Approaching the Bachsee after a relatively gentle climb to 2265 metres. Ahead the climb to the col at 2553 metres is rather steeper.

In better weather, the view back over Bachsee to the high mountains and glaciers is a classic one, but today is impressive but not quite so photogenic.

Gaining height

Getting close to the col

Soon after the col, we must decide whether to turn left and descend to Bussalp, or continue for another 10km but still largely downhill route to Schynige Platte. If going to Bussalp we might divert to the hotel on top of the Faulhorn at 2680 metres.

In the end, we decided to go on to Schynige Platte - Dad takes the direct route, below, while I make the diversion to the top of the Faulhorn.

The view of cloud and rooftops at 2680 metres.

Descending the steep ridge to the main path. Our way will lie over that first rounded summit, towards the higher summit beyond but then eventually descending to the col which has the long line of snow pointing at it, then slanting down across the side of the next ridge to then travel along the valley on the right of the photo.

Looking across the Brienzersee

Reunited, from our lunch spot looking back to the Faulhorn - Dad's route slanting across the flank, mine just visible zigzagging down the steep slope from the top.

A long zoom into the valley we walked along two days ago: the path can be seen in places on the steep slope on the left, with the Bäregg guesthouse just visible just to the left of the centre of the picture.

Me below the steep cliffs of Winteregg

Dad crossing some snow

And me

The Berghaus Männdlenen restaurant and guesthouse is just visible beyond the crag in the middle distance. From there the path slants down to the right

Crossing more snow

Berghaus Männdlenen - at least two hours' walk from the nearest road

A fairly steep descent on snow

More steep cliffs with their eroded detritus below them

Sägistalsee, without an apparent outflow - presumably the water must seep out through the limestone.

Me making my way along Sägistal

A grand view down into the valley

Limestone everywhere

Shattered rock, but with our path still easy to follow - we're heading for that tiny col

More grand views on this varied walk

Schynige Platte in view at last - but a fair walk still to get there. The Oberberghorn that we visited yesterday is on the right.

Cows grazing on the flowers

Half of an Alpine marmot as it disappears.

A grand walk: total 17.6 km and about 985 metres of ascent in about 6 hours 40 minutes.



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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson