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Hiking is zee alps

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Hiking is zee alps
August 15, 2012 06:11PM
I just took a trip over to Europe and I made sure that Interlaken was going to be one of my stops. I happen to make it to Zurich on their Swiss Days (which was fun) but I was most excited to see the mountains Interlaken and the trains had to bring me to. The first day of hiking the weather was pretty lousy so I didn't get that many pictures. I've heard the expression that the Alps are like the Sierras but a lot greener. I guess you could say that but the two are pretty different. I didn't have the chance to do any hardcore climbs or anything but I was happy with what I got done. Here is a break down of the hiking with some pics.

Going to Interlaken from Zurich

Took the train from Wilderswil to Lauterbrunnen

Random trail view

From the town of Murren

Good view of Lauterbrunnen Valley. I was told its larger than the Yosemite Valley in terms of glacial valleys

Next day went to Grindelwald with plans to hike up to the Scharwzhorn. It would have been 6k elevation gain so I decided to take a ride up 1500 feet for the help and to say I took the ride. There is the Eiger

Amazing views that blew my mind

Route up to the top of Scharwzhorn

Only clouds up at the top. Oh well.

Let me know if you have any questions.
avatar Re: Hiking is zee alps
August 15, 2012 06:33PM
The Alps are pretty cool, thanks for the pics. I've skied in several areas in the French and Swiss Alps, and want to trek there eventually (for some reason la Vanoise has been at the top of my 'visit in summer list'). It'd be nice to see what these places look like in summer.
avatar Re: Hiking is zee alps
August 16, 2012 10:31AM
Stayed in Murren about 8 years ago. Definitely want to go back to the Swiss Alps, if I can, not go to Yosemite. Really great hiking from Engelburg to Surrenpass. It's a bit different with lots of cows on some trails and hiking several miles and finding a restaurant or mountain hut, but like the Sierra you can find isolation by hiking a little bit further.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/16/2012 10:39AM by yosemitejim.
avatar Re: Hiking is zee alps
August 18, 2012 12:50AM

Good view of Lauterbrunnen Valley. I was told its larger than the Yosemite Valley in terms of glacial valleys

Thanks for the trip report and all the photos!

I can only imagine that this is how Yosemite Valley might look today (with buildings plucked down in the middle of its meadows) if it wasn't set aside back in 1864 as a public park.

avatar Re: Hiking is zee alps
August 18, 2012 09:11AM
We hiked parts of the "Haute Route" from Chamonix to Zermatt a few years ago. The Alps are spectacular and offer sooo many trails. But unlike the Sierra's, it's not wilderness. There are small villages, ski gondolas, huts all around. It's just a different mind set. I'd go back in a heartbeat!
Re: Hiking is zee alps
August 20, 2012 12:43AM

But unlike the Sierra's, it's not wilderness. There are small villages, ski gondolas, huts all around.

Exactly! And let's not forget zillions of people, trams, regulations and whatnot. The Alps (as most parts of Europe except Scandinavia) are heavily overpopulated. Not fun at all. Unless you are a wordclass mountaineer it is very hard to find solitude. Going to the Alps would be relatively easy for me (1 hour flight + 1-2 hrs car drive) but I'd rather spent 15 hrs. in an airplane plus tons of cash to go the Sierra Nevada. It was a very smart move to protect wilderness areas like Yosemite, Yellowstone (I know...not in the Sierra Nevada winking smiley). In my humble opinion the Alps are totally ruined and I wouldn't spend a single day there unless I have too (some of the mountains do look stunning though unless you don't look around because the next manmade thing is just around the corner). But Europeans don't like to talk about all the horrible environmental mistakes they made in the past. So I have to admit that I am very jealous about all the stunning landscapes you have right at your doorsteps. smiling smiley
avatar Re: Hiking is zee alps
August 20, 2012 09:20AM
All true. You look at a place like Lauterbrunnen and think "They ruined it". America does a pretty decent job of keeping development out of places like this. There are still some things to admire about Switzerland. Spent a week and a half there and didn't even miss not having a car. Trains were always right on time. I felt that the Swiss people lived simpler and were happier. Americans seem to be obsessed with having a bigger house and a more expensive car than their neighbor, and work all the time to have it. There are some incredible day hikes in Switzerland, but you need to look in between the development. There are a lot of places without cars that are easy to get around. Imagine Yosemite Valley without cars. Still hard to beat the Sierra.
Re: Hiking is zee alps
August 20, 2012 11:30AM
Yes, they ruined it. smiling smiley Doesn't matter if you look at the German, Suisse or Italian Alps (the French Alps have some nicer areas). I never would even consider spending a single minute of my precious vacation time in my home country (which is not Suisse btw).
It's true trains are right on time (same is usually true for Germany if you are looking at short distance trains). And yes...it's true that public transportation is very well developed. But at what price?!

I'm sorry to say but it is certainly not true that Swiss people live simpler and happier. First of all I think they are probably the most disliked people in Europe (maybe challenged for the #1 spot by the Germans - mainly for the awful history that still is present in the rest of Europe). I think Swiss people are a very arrogant and selfish breed. Concerning personal wealth: according to OFFICIAL statistics more than 4% of all Suisse people are millionaires. It's one of the riches countries in the world. The difference between them and other countries: they don't like to show their bling-bling and keep low profile but if you look under the hood you'll see they love money and can't get enough of it. It's no coincidence that Suisse is the banking capital of the world. winking smiley

Anyway...I don't want to spoil or ruin any vacation plans for the Alps but let me assure you the American people can be very happy with what they have. smiling smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/20/2012 01:38PM by Half Dome Hiker.
avatar Re: Hiking is zee alps
August 20, 2012 11:44AM
Only been to Switzeralnd once, so just saw the surface of things. Spent most of the time in the alps. Mostly saw farmers in small villages. I would think that the people in these villages live much simpler than the people in the bigger cities.
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