Wednesday, 31 August 2011



Murren to Schilthorn.

The previous day I travelled from Scotland to Interlaken in Switzerland for a week’s hiking in the Bernese Oberland.
With a reasonable forecast I took the train to Lauterbrunnen, the cable car to Grutschalp and the link railway to Murren. Here I located the local Coop to purchase my lunch and liquids. I then returned towards the railway station where I had seen the signed route I wanted to use to ascend the Schilthorn. This route took me passed a few Swiss style houses and up the side of the stream, Agertenback. Beyond a ski tow, I followed the path that climbed to the west of Allmendhubel, a small hill and viewpoint. Here I found a bench seat to use while taking on some food and liquid. Cows, calves and a bull were close by and were very inquisitive, even putting their head into a chaps rucksack.
After an extended break being entertained by the cattle annoying some of the hikers I continued west along a track and soon came to penned sheep with some tethered to the outside. They were getting their feet trimmed and injected, presumable to prevent infection. However my progress was delayed for a few minutes as a ram was tethered to the gate I needed to pass through and was getting one of its feet bandaged with what appeared to be duck tape or something similar.
Once beyond the gate, the path wound its way up the gully to the north of Muttlerenhoren. Here a mountain biker passed me but I later spotted him carrying his bike. As I approached the Schilthornhutte, a hut and restaurant owned by the Murren Ski Club, I decided to stop for lunch as the route ahead was a rocky gully and at this point I had good views into the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
It had been mainly sunny although at times high cloud floated around the high tops. Navigation wasn’t a problem as the route was well signposted and included times. On the higher sections the red and white paint markings found on Alpine routes kept me on the correct path. In addition, from above Allmendhubel, there were kilometre markers for the Schilthorn Half Marathon with the finish at the summit. Some endurance race!
With lunch over I entered the barren valley of Engital where there were warning signs in respect of rock falls with plenty evidence of such and some appeared fairly recent. Beyond a wide track was reached and wound its way above Lake Grauseeli towards the final climb. A marked path was followed south as it headed over rock and loose stones before turning west and narrowing considerably to become quite exposed. However this section was made easier with fixed wire cables.
The path then widened and as I made my summit approach the mountain biker I saw earlier was preparing to head off downhill. Better him than me especially on the top section. Finally a steel ladder led to the Piz Gloria and its revolving restaurant. Although cloud was floating around the top I remained on the summit until I think I got views in all directions. I later returned to Murren on the Schilthornbhan cable car.

Time taken - 4.5 hours.
Distance - 7 kilometres.
Ascent - 1340 metres.

Photos taken on ascent.