We woke up in Rotstockhuette in the 2300 metres altitude – a true Swiss Alps feeling. The breakfast was delicious – home made bread and honey, Swiss cheese and Bircher Muesli…I managed to watch the sun rise above the mountain range where some glaciers are reflecting the bright light.
The sky is completely blue, it turned out that we were really lucky with the weather. We can see the fog down in the valley that moved up and down the mountain. We left in direction of Schilthorn mountain, the famous peak from a James Bond movie. Even though we can see the summit above us, it is still far away.
The climb started easy in the green valley, but it suddenly became steeper and steeper. The trail zig zag all the way up and the view kept changing as we go up. Once on the ridge, a new scenary opened up to us and it also got colder and windy.
This is where the real challenge began for Tina who is afraid of heights. The ridge is narrow, on each side cliffs of thousands of meters. I told her to focus on the trail and not to watch down right or left. Luckily, there was a staircase fixed above the cliff so that we could safely climb up one of the steepest parts. And since the trail remained pretty technical and challenging with some snow on top of it, there were ropes along the most difficult section. Tina was very thankful! We finally arrived at the Schilthorn station and were surrounded by tourists who took the gondala to get to the submit.
After a quick lunch, we checked the prices to take the gondola to go down…Almost $CAD 70 per person, so I decided to hike down to Muerren while Tina was taking the gondola. Tina took some rest and had a tea in the rotating restaurant with an amazing view on all the mountains. An Indian couple asked here if her hiking poles were actually a selfie-stick or skiing poles…- haha! For the way down, I chose a totally different route; it started under the gondola, on the alpine ski trail, went around a small pond and then the steep down zig zag portion started. There was a waterfall nearby. It was a nice view and I met a nice American couple and we pretty much followed each other ll the way down. Once down in the valley, there were farmer trails and cows and we could easily walk until Muerren.
I met Tina at Hotel Regina in Muerren, a small village located at the top of a 700 meters high cliff that can only be accessed by gondola or train – no cars!
Needless to say, the view is amazing!
We started our day earlier than planned due to the hospital emergency (see previous post) and we managed to leave Basel on time. No wonder that Switzerland has a speed limit of 120 km/h with all these mountains and tunnels..:) We passed by Bern, Thun, Spiez and then headed up the valley until the end of the road after Lauterbrunnen. It was raining and we were not expecting much improvement based on the latest weather forecast.
We decided not get discouraged by rain, put on rain jacket, gaiters and get on the trail. You could tell we were in the Alps, it started pretty steep…There were impressive cliffs on each side, waterfalls and nice views appearing through some hole in the mix of fog and clouds. For the next 2 hours we followed a river; it was relatively easy, and the trail was large enough for a car.
Then the REAL hike started. The fog disappeared, the clouds were clearing up giving view to an amazingly blue sky and some small huts nestled within a breathtaking scenery. No noise whatsoever except of the cowbells who were eating non-stop. We passed through a series of doors that are supposed to prevent the cows from escaping. As you can imagine you need to be careful where you step…
There are fewer and fewer trees and a vast green area is opening in front of us. Far away at the bottom of the Schilthorn mountain, we can see a hut that seems to be our final destination for this day. Even though we can see it, it is still a long way to get there. We stopped a few times to take pictures, enjoy the incredible scenery and to have some snacks, the trail remains pretty steep.
We finally got to the Rotstockhutte around 4 pm. This is where we will have dinner and sleep tonight. With an unexpected blue sky, a pleasantly warm temperature and impressive mountains around it, you could potentially call it a little paradise.