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ViaBerna - stage 15 Schynige Platte - First

Short facts

  • start: Schynige Platte (1,970 m)
  • destination: First top station (Grindelwald)
  • medium
  • 16,75 km
  • 6 hours
  • 1100 m
  • 2618 m
  • 1930 m
  • 80 / 100
  • 60 / 100

best season

This unique high-altitude hike from Schynige Platte to First above Grindelwald offers breathtaking views and impressive mountain landscapes.

The Schynige Platte Panorama Ridge Trail towards the Tuba viewpoint starts at the Berghotel above the railway station. At the viewpoint you can enjoy an impressive vista of Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, as well as the Bernese Alps with the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau triumvirate. The trail continues along the secured ridge, past Alpine rose bushes and limestone to the foot of the Oberberghorn. It is possible to climb to the summit of the rock face via steep ladders. The trail then heads in the direction of Loucherhorn and skirts around it to the south. You get another great view of the high Alpine peaks. A natural gateway in the ridge, the Güwtürli, takes you into the rocky landscape of the Güw. Small spruces that fight for survival are the only splashes of colour in this karst landscape. At Egg you switch to the flank of the tors of Sägissa. The ascent to Sattel Männdlenen takes you across the rocky valley floor. The route continues to Fulegg. It then leads down through Faulhorn, where you can stop in at the Berghotel. You then descend to lake Bachalpsee. The view over the dark surface of the water to Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn and Finsteraarhorn is incomparable and even more impressive at First where it expands to include the Grindelwald Glacier and the Eiger.

Schynige Platte means “shiny slab”. The area owes its name to the slate rock wall that is visible for miles around. It reflects the light very intensively especially after rainfall and looks like a shiny slab.

Berghotel Faulhorn is the oldest mountain hotel in Switzerland and has been running since 1832. Fritz Bohren, the legendary “Pintenfritz”, ran the hotel from 1888 to 1926. His hospitality must have been as good as his wit. He is said to have considerately whispered to a guest who was carefully combing his hair on the way to dinner: “Oh strählled ach nume nid, mier strähllen ach de schoon!” [“don’t worry about combing your hair, we’ll take care of that for you!”] And when issuing an invoice, he is said to have occasionally written at the end: “Geit's so geit's – 5 francs.” [if it’s possible, then it’s possible] If one of the most prosperous guests enquired about this service, he crossed out the item and murmured: “Es geid nid, es geid nid!” [“It’s impossible, it’s impossible!”]

Crystal clear water that reflects the Schreckhorn on a still day: That’s what the picturesque little Bachalpsee lake on First is known for and why photographers love it. There are two parts to the lake, separated by a natural dam.

First is a mountain ridge on the sunny side of Grindelwaldtal. Accessible via gondola lift and boasting various tourist attractions, it is a popular destination.

General information

Directions

Schynige Platte – Tuba – Männdlenen – (Faulhorn) – Bachsee – First

Safety Guidelines

All or part of this route is on marked trails in the mountain trail category.

Attention: The stage runs far away from inhabited settlements. In very bad weather conditions, do not attempt the hike. Residual snow fields can be found until early summer. Hiking poles are an advantage!

 

Equipment

We recommend the following equipment:

Sturdy mountaineering boots, medium-sized rucksack with hip belt, sun protection, waterproof clothing, walking poles, pocket first-aid kit, picnic, sufficient fluids, mobile phone.

It is also possible to book baggage transport from stage accommodation to stage accommodation at short notice via Eurotrek. Info and conditions at Eurotrek.ch

Tip

Accommodation tip - Schynige Platte:  Berghotel Schynige Platte, 3822 Wilderswil, Tel. + 41 (0) 33 828 73 73, [email protected], www.hotelschynigeplatte.ch

Accommodation tip - Grindelwald/First:  Berggasthaus First, Postfach 138, 3818 Grindelwald, Tel. + 41 (0) 33 828 77 88, [email protected], www.berggasthausfirst.ch

Shopping: No shops en route. In Wilderswil or Grindelwald on the way there or back.

Getting there

By private car to Wilderswil. Then take the Schynige Platte train to the top station.

Return from First by gondola lift to Grindelwald and return by train to Wilderswil.

Parking

Chargeable parking spaces in Wilderswil at Schynige Platte railway.

Public transit

Getting there: by train to Interlaken Ost. Then by train to Wilderswil. From there take the Schynige Platte train to the end station.

Coming back: by gondola lift to Grindelwald. From Grindelwald railway station to Interlaken Ost.

Maps

swisstopo Wanderkarte 254T Interlaken 1:50'000

Additional Information

ViaBerna is a multi-day hike made up of 20 stages that takes you from Bellelay straight through the canton of Bern to Susten Pass. Hikers on the trail get to experience the diversity of the canton of Bern in Jura, Mittelland and in the Bernese Alps. The entire distance is signposted with route number 38.

You can find information about the ViaBerna multi-day hike at viaberna.ch

Pavings

  • Hiking Trail (30%)
  • Path (70%)

Weather

This tour is presented by: Berner Wanderwege, Author: Markus Schluep

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