The Jungfrau On the Cheap: Hiking to Grindelwald

Trip Start Aug 26, 2008
Trip End Aug 17, 2009

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Flag of Switzerland  , Swiss Alps,
Monday, October 27, 2008

At Klein Schidegg we were faced with another choice. The weather was still cloudy at the base, though the Jungfrau and surrounding mountaintops were embedded in stormclouds. We could make the 3.5 hour hike down to Grindelwald and arive just as darkness fell, or we could pay another 30+ CHF and ride the 40-minute cog wheel train.

So, separating ourselves from every other tourist who visited the Jungfrau that day, we set off down the alpine trail to Grindelwald. 

Despite the threatening weather and the late hour, the trip was mostly uneventful. We stopped to collect some water from an alpine stream, we ran down long even downhill stretches and picked our way down steeper rocky spots. We photographed and waved to passing trains. The walk was actually quite peaceful. We stopped to photograph ourselves and distant Grindelwald every 30-40 minutes to document our progress--and the fading light.

Walking downhill seems like it would be easier than walking uphill, and it is for the first hour or so. After that, the constant pressure of resisting gravity starts to tell on your legs and toes. Still, we pressed on and were rewarded with the same wonderful view we had been looking at for many, many, hours.

Oh, and some cows too. With bells, no less.

We arrived at the rail station in Grund about ten minutes after it became too dark to read road and trail signs, or sometime around the midpoint of Nautical Twilight.

Exhausted, we took the train back to Interlaken and ended our excursion to the Jungfrau region.
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