Via Alpina, Meiringen to Grindelwald

Via Alpina, Section 10
Meiringen (595m) – Grosse Scheidegg (1962m) – Grindelwald (1034m)
23km, 1530m up and 1095m down

After making sure breakfast would provide a maximum of energy for the day, I briskly went out into the fresh morning air and walked through the town of Meiringen.  It is now low season and not many tourists were on the street.  For the same reason, there was no more buses heading for Grosse Scheidegg, so I was told by the hotel personnel.   Therefore I had to abandon an idea of taking a bus and gain some altitude, and had no choice but to walk up 1500m for 5 hours using my own leg power  : (

The snow-capped pointy tip of Wetterhorn was visible above the town and I was already  all smiles!

Crossing the town and leaving a village, a hiking path next to the farmhouse started uphill. It was gradual uphill and crossed the car road many times. It was early in the morning so there was almost no traffic.

Walking on the precipice,  I arrived at Reichenbachfall, a small gorge. When I tried to look at the waterfall (no gushing water, though), I noticed a memorial for Sherlock Holmes. Apparently here he was “killed” by his enemy in the story of Arthur Conan Doyle. For a moment I  was full of reminiscences for my teen-age time as a avid Sherlock Holmes reader.

Looking back from there, I had a good view of Meiringen and yesterday’s walk from Planplatten, which was shining in the sun.

In two hours or so the pink-walled traditional-looking, beautiful Rosenlaui Hotel appeared alongside the road. Around there the road was frosted and I had to be careful not to slide and fall on my face (or back).  By this time, more cars with bikes on top started coming up the road and they were also slowing down on the slippery road.

It had an early winter feel.  Walking through  a rather dark forest, all of a sudden the tip of the snow-covered Wellhorn and Wetterhorn appeared.  It is always a mesmerising moment to see shooting mountain peaks.

Soon the mountain’s gigantic rocky face became closer and closer and the path came out to a rather large pasture. The cold wind was blowing and I hurried to put on my gloves and warm hat, which I had never used till this moment.

A view of Wellhorn (3191m) from Gschwantenmad (1304m).

I walked along the river and crossed the stream back and forth. I could see the light blue sky up in the cold air,  but this side of the mountain was completely in the shadow and it was too cold to stop for a break.

After Schwarwaldalp (1458m), the path was going on the side of spectacular rocky Wellhorn .

After 4 hours of serious uphill, finally I got out into the sun! Everything was in the sun and it was warm. I felt as if I am in a complete different world!
I estimated another hour to reach Grosse Scheidegg and sat down on the bench for a well-deserved lunch, enjoying the sunshine. Several bikers were passing by.

Feeling better,  I made the last uphill effort (later a downhill of 1000m was waiting today but I decided not to think too much) to Grosse Scheidegg.

A view of Wetterhorn from Grosse Scheidegg (1962m)

Standing at Grosse Scheidegg, I could see the other side of the pass, the town of Grindelwald and Eiger’s soaring northface.

I enjoyed the fruit of my 4-hour, 1500m ascent and basked in the sun for one hour,  with amazing 360-degree view: Schwarzhorn, Wetterhorn, Eiger, Kleine Scheidegg…
A young, friendly Swiss couple was also sitting near me and kindly offered a Swiss chocolate to a foreign-looking tourist hiker (i.e. me) and we chatted for a while about the mountains and the (wonderful) life in Switzerland.

The descent was supposed to be easier, but, as usual, it seemed never-ending!  However, the sun was shining and the view of Eiger and Schreckhorn (4078m) was absolutely gorgeous!

A view of Schreckhorn…

Going down to Grindelwald (1034m).

After 1500m up and 1000m down hike, my feet were tired but I was simply delighted, embraced by the view of breath-taking Bernese Oberland mountains.

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