Saturday, 3 September 2011


Eiger Trail

It was a wet morning in Interlaken but with a forecasted improvement for later in the day I travelled to Lauterbrunnen where I changed trains for Wengen with the intention of walking back downhill to Lauterbrunnen. However while wandering around Wengen the clouds began to break up so I decided to walk the Eiger Trail instead and boarded the train for Kleine Scheidegg. I had walked this route on a previous visit but low cloud gave restricted views so I was looking for better conditions on this occasion.
On arrival at Kleinn Scheidegg I set off for Station Eigergletscher, the last stop before the train entered the tunnel through the Eiger and Monch heading for the Jungfraujoch. The path had been improved since my last visit with new wooden signage and a manmade lake. Here metal seats were positioned in a shallower part of the water, presumably to allow you to cool your feet.
Despite some rain the path was quite busy with tourists walking back towards Kleine Scheidegg. The cloud again appeared to be breaking up as I reached Station Eigergletscher where I crossed the railway line and located the start of the Eiger Trail. I made a slight diversion onto the Eiger’s west ridge and walked up a narrowing rocky path. With the pinnacles ahead looking rather imposing I returned to the start of this path, which overlooked the Eigergletscher, and had lunch.
I lingered here for a while as at that time it was dry and the cloud had lifted. As well as the Eigergletscher, I had views of Kleinn Scheidegg and the Lauberhorn, which I had climbed the previous day. Eventually I set off on the descent of the Eiger Trail but the cloud quickly reformed and I didn’t get the hoped for views of the Eiger’s North Wall, which was rather disappointing. In fact it rained at times.
The track was easy to follow and there were a few alpine flowers to look at as well as a small bird, similar to a sparrow, which came quite close. A number of streams were crossed and there were several impressive waterfalls to photograph. Spray from one floated across the path so it was fortunate that I was wearing my rain gear.
I emerged from the cloud with views of Grindelwald still some distance away. After Alpiglen there was a bit of road walking and here I encountered more rain. On passing below the rail line at Brandegg, signposted paths bounded by fields, led me to Grindelwald and the end of the walk.
It was early evening and the trains to Interlaken now ran every hour instead of half hourly which they did through the day. I had just missed one so I found a restaurant where I was able to sit outside, under cover, looking at the cloud floating around the North Face of the Eiger.  There was more rain and a fine rainbow, double for a while, developed. This brought customers eating indoors outside with their cameras so I thought I better take a few shots myself.

Time taken – 5.5 hours.
Distance – 10.5 kilometres.
Ascent – 460 metres.

Photos taken on walk.