Today I did one of my most intense hikes ever. I started right in front of my hotel and climbed up through Wegen and continued on to the top of Mannlichen almost straight in front (east) of Lauterbrunnen. I don't know exactly how many kilometers I covered, because the track log in my GPS device filled up, twice, due the huge number of switch backs, but it wasn't the distance that mattered so much as the elevation. I climbed just over 5000 feet, that's almost 1 mile vertical! That by itself probably wouldn't have been too bad but I missed a turn and wasted a little over an hour going the wrong way. Fortunately the wasted time was done on relatively flat land and there was some good scenery that way too.
At first I was wondering if I was heading off to no man's land, but I ended up meeting and passing a lot of people, so if you were to get in trouble on this trail it wouldn't be long before someone came along.
Here's the map that shows my hike to the peak on Mannlichen. As mentioned above, the track log in my GPS device filled up twice and it was a while in both case before I noticed it was full. However, because there was some overlap in the trail going up and that coming down the entire path was fully covered.
This photo shows the cliff I hiked along 2 days ago to Murren. My hotel is located below that red arrow.
On the way up to Wegen the trail followed or crossed the train tracks several times.
This shot is looking up the valley towards Stechelberg and Gimmelwald.
Some of the scenery along the other valley that heads towards Grindelwald. That was the direction I was heading when I missed my turn.
That peak is Schynige Platte. There is a restaurant up there and on the other side of that peak is Interlaken. This shot was taken almost looking straight north. That reminds me. I remember a few years ago I asked my sister and law Lynn the direction to something (can't remember what) near Kootenay Lake. I asked it in the context of compass headings. She replied saying she didn't know because growing up in the mountains they always thought of directions in terms of valleys or mountains. Well, now I understand what she was talking about. After being here in the Alps for 4 days compass directions are kind of useless. Every time you talk with anybody around here about directions it always relative to some prominent land mark like a valley, village, or mountain peak. Compass heading are kind of useless because nothing is aligned to that.
Here's a shot of the trail near the top of Mannlichen, however the trail goes a long ways over to the right before arriving at the top.
Those barricades are to stop snow avalanches in the winter from reaching Wegen below. The trail passes through them.
That is the much easier ways to get up and down this mountain. I contemplated taking it down. But after talking with a couple German hikers and getting a rest at the top, I decided to go back down on foot. I'm glad I did because some of the nicer scenery was found on the way down.
From this angle Wegen and Lauterbrunnen almost look like one town with a park and trees running up the middle. However, as we've seen in other shots that is clearly not the cause. There is a 1500 foot cliff that separates those two villages.
It rained quite heavily again last night and it was extremely humid again today. This photo was taken as I passed through those barricades.
If you look carefully along the slope you will see the zig zag path that the trail makes.
The building in the foreground is the upper station for the tram. The peak off in the distance is the top of Mannlichen, which is around 8500 feet high (Lauterbrunnen is about 2500 feet high). Note the zip zag path of the trail again in the lower half of the photo.
The three peaks in the middle are Eiger (left), Monch, and Jungfrau (right). The Sphinx that I visited yesterday is just barely visible between Monch and Jungfrau.
Just barely visible way over on the top right of this picture is Schilthorn that I visited two days ago.
This photo is taken from the far side of Mannlichen peak. The Sphinx is a little more visible here. It's almost on top of that dark peak (Tschuggen).
It was quite a bit cooler once I got to the top.
There are probably millions of flowers on these mountains. The couple I met two days ago from England said this is why they come this time of the year.
That train way down there is the one I took to Jungfraujoch yesterday.
On the way down I could not believe the number of switch backs. They just kept coming one right after the other. No wonder the track log in my GPS device filled up. It would have had to record over turn it made, assuming it was quick enough to detect them all!
I can't leave Switzerland without showing you a good selection of Swiss Army Knifes.
That ridge behind the flag pole is Mannlichen. This was my view during dinner where I contemplated the incredible scenery and terrain I experienced today. Wow!
All good things must come to and end, so tomorrow I leave Switzerland and start heading north. I will be heading through France along the German border towards Luxembourg and then will head east through Germany. Once I get back in Germany I may head as far south as Munich before going up towards Berlin. You'll get more details on all this in the days to come.