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This is one heck of a trip! Everything was perfectly planned. We’ve wanted to do this all of our lives, and now that we’re here, I can’t believe we waited this long. - J.M. - Washington
Arrive in Grindelwald in the heart of the Jungfrau Region and set below the towering North Face of the Eiger. Our chalet-style hotel has been run by the same family for over 100 years and they have a Eiger-view room reserved for you. We'll have time for an afternoon walk in the area before an orientation and welcome dinner. D
Distance: 3 miles | Ascent: 500 feet | Descent: 500 feet
Starting in Grindelwald, we ascend the Eiger Trail through forest and above the timberline along a panoramic route directly below the North Face of the Eiger. We'll study and pinpoint the routes used by North Face climbers since the initial attempts in the 1930s. Afternoon excursion by rail on a tunnel through the Eiger to arrive at the highest Railway station in Europe and overlooking the longest glacier in the Alps. BSD
Distance: 8.0 miles | Ascent: 2500 ft. | Descent: 850 ft.
We cross the scenic Lauterbrunnen Valley from our perch in Wengen to the car-free resort of Mürren on the other side. While in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, we take a gentle riverside walk up the valley and observe many of the 72 waterfalls that cascade from the upper rim into the valley floor. We explore Trümmelbach Falls, a 10-tiered underground waterfall which drains the mighty Eiger Glacier. Dinner and evening in Mürren, where from our 4-star hotel we have spectacular views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks. BSD
Distance: 7.4 miles | Ascent: 650 ft. | Descent: 780 ft.
With the Schilthorn looming high above us we ascend to the Rotstockhütte and into the wildly dramatic terrain of the Sefinenfurgge (8,568 ft.), a pass that is the exclusive domain of alpine mountaineers and hikers. We descend into Griesalp with dazzling glacier views and deep-cut ravines. We stay the night in an elegant mountain hotel set in a working farm hamlet. BSD
Distance: 11 miles | Ascent: 3195 ft. | Descent: 3960 ft.
From Griesalp we cross the rocky Hohturli Pass with the aid of 480 stairs leading up to the pass to avoid the scree slopes. With captivating views of the Blüemlisalp Glacier on our left, we descend to the Oeschinensee, considered by many to be the most beautiful lake in Switzerland—but we'll let you be the judge. Just beyond the Oeschinensee, a gondola speeds our descent into the scenic valley setting of Kandersteg where we stay at a wonderfully historic hotel. BSD
Distance: 9 miles | Ascent: 4495 ft. | Descent: 3595 ft.
We ascend the seemingly insurmountable mountain faces that surround Kandersteg on a tram before following a gentle track used by traders, smugglers and travelers for centuries. With the shallow waters of the Daubensee on our right, we take a short and well-graded ascent leads to the saddle of the Gemmi Pass. This pass was the primary route connecting Bern with the Rhone Valley, and was a favorite of Mark Twain, Goethe, Jules Verne, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. We descend the impossibly sheer faces of the Daubenwand on a steep, but well-designed 17th-century mule track built by Tyroleans—those who had experience with explosives. The trail leads us into the spa resort of Leukerbad for the evening where you'll have complimentary entrance to the baths. BSD
Distance: 7 miles | Ascent: 1400 ft. | Descent: 2800 ft.
We cross the Rhone Valley by private shuttle to a trailhead on the high alp that puts us on the Europaweg and across the Skywalk, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world. We have spellbinding views of the Weisshorn and its glaciers to whet our appetite before entering Zermatt where we have commanding views of the Matterhorn and other 4000 meter peaks of the Pennine Alps. In Zermatt we're surrounded by charming hamlets, weathered chalets, and traditional large-timbered farm buildings. Evening at our four-star hotel in Zermatt with Matterhorn views. BSD
Distance: 5 miles | Ascent: 1550 ft. | Descent: 2150 ft.
We have a full day in Zermatt where our favorite mountain excursion takes us to the summit of the Gornergrat, both by rail and on foot. We experience the Matterhorn reflected in the lakes at Riffelsee and overlook the Gorner Glacier. At the summit, we're surrounded by more 4000 meter peaks than anywhere else in the Alps—a view that certainly inspired Edward Whymper in 1865 as he planned his momentous first ascent of the Matterhorn. BSD
Distance: 5.5 miles | Ascent: 700 ft. | Descent: 1100 ft.
We have a bonus day in Zermatt for mountain excursions including a hike to the Hornli Hut at the base of the Matterhorn where climbers start their ascent of the Hornli Ridge for the summit. BSD
Distance: 6 miles | Ascent: 2855 ft. | Descent: 2855 ft.
Depart on return flights or onward travel. B
Alpenwild trips are designed for people who are energetic, active, and filled with a spirit of adventure. We rate this trip as strenuous. You should be an experienced hiker in good physical condition. You should be capable of walking 5 to 7 hours per day on good trails with some steep ascents and descents (averaging 2,000 to 2,500 vertical feet per day) at an elevation up to 10,000 feet above sea level. On one day there is a crossing of a pass that involves a vertical ascent of over 4,200 feet.