Hiking in the Swiss Alps
July 11, 2002
I left Florence Italy and my friend Jason the night before. I went to the train station with ideas of taking an overnight train to Barcelona or Brussels. When those trains were full, I had to do some quick thinking and before long found myself to heading Basel, Switzerland, where I arrived at about 8am. Since I decided to come here the previous night, I hadn't told anyone that I was in Switzerland.
In the morning I quickly transfered to a train to Interlaken, Switzerland. Unlike Basel, Interlaken is in an area of Switzerland surrounded by many tall mountains.
I take a short walk from the Interlaken train station and sat on a bench next to one of many beautiful swiss mountain lakes. [See Large Photo]
At the train station I picked up a brochure for the Jungfrau region. Since I'll be in Switzerland for only two days, I have to make sure that I climb a mountain. So I make a beeline for the tallest mountains around and quickly decide to head for the town of Grindelwald. [See Large Photo]
Here is a view out the side of the train from Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald, which wasn't included in the Eurail pass. [See Large Photo]
I arrived into Grindelwald. I checked out a hostel there but decide instead to stay at a quaint bed and breakfast, which only cost $23. With a place to stay that night, I decided to climb a local mountain called Schwarzhorn. I will take a bus about halfway up.
Thsi is the crappy map from a tourist brochure that I used to navigate during the hike. [See Large Photo]
From Grosse Schneidegg, it will be a 6 mile, 3000 ft climb to Schwarzhorn. Since the buses and gondolas don't run very late, I will have to hike it all the way back from the summit of Schwarzhorn, descending 6000 ft over 12 miles.
Here, I just arrived on the the last bus to Grosse Schniedegg at 5pm. I wouldn't normally start a hike this late, or attempt a hike like this by myself, but I was determined to climb some mountain in Switzerland and tomorrow I was leaving the country.
This is the small "village" at Grosse Schniedegg. There is a small hotel, restarant, and gift shop. I arrived on that yellow bus. [See Large Photo]
Stepping out of the bus at Grosse Schniedegg, this is the view I get of Schwarzhorn. It is the taller of the two peaks. Just 3000 ft to the top. [See Large Photo]
I was traveling on the cheap in Switzerland. I purchased some honey a while back in London to carry with me. Then I'll always have a high calorie emergncy food whever I happen to be. Honey, one sandwich, and some water was all I brought, but I finished the sandwich on the bus. [See Large Photo]
Right about this place on the hike is where I stopped and helped some hikers figure out where they were. They had a detailed topographical map and I had a crappy Grindelwald brochure.
I stop to take a breather on the high altitude trail. Then for some reason I stuct out my chest like I was hardcore or something. [See Large Photo]
I have reached the top of Mount Schwarzhorn. This is a good view of the first part route that I came. The small collection of buildings at the end is Grosse Schniedegg--the place where the bus dropped me off. [See Large Photo]
Another view from the top of Schwarzhorn. This is the view of Grindelwald Valley and the path that I will take down to Grindelwald. My night's rest in Grindelwald is down in that valley [See Large Photo]
This is another view from the top of Schwarzhorn, down the range that Schwarzhorn shares with another peak called Grossenegg. [See Large Photo]
Here I am at the top of Schwarzhorn. [See Large Photo]
This is the. I decided to stop about 200 ft from the top because I didn't want to risk falling off any cliffs or sliding down a rockslide. No one knew I was in Switzerland, after all. [See Large Photo]
The view of Schwazhorn about 90 minutes after leaving the summit. The sun was quickly setting. [See Large Photo]
I ran into some mountain cows on the way down. This beast is blocking the road. [See Large Photo]
I finally reach my bed and breakfast at 11pm. [See Large Photo]
Last updated September 12, 2004.