Top of the Alps

Hiking Adventures to the Jungfrau Massif and North Face of the Eiger

Trip Level

This trip is rated a Level 5+ (Strenuous) according to our trip grading system. You will need to be comfortable hiking 11 miles a day for several days in a row, being on your feet for up to 9 hours a day, and hiking on narrow, uneven, and exposed surfaces. While no climbing or mountaineering experience is necessary, all trip members should have ample hiking experience and be able to keep up with the group as there are no alternative hiking options available. Trail conditions, weather, and the group’s level of fitness can affect hiking times and pacing.

Average Hiking Day
• 9 miles
• 7 hours
• 2,500-3,500 feet gain/loss
• Altitudes range from 7,000-11,500 feet
 
Challenge Days
• Day 8: 14 miles, 8-9 hours, 4,500 feet gain, and 4,250 feet loss

Terrain

At lower elevations, the trails are usually packed dirt, but at higher elevations they are often much rockier, with occasional sections of glacial snow, loose scree, and large boulders. On some days, you will encounter sections of narrow, exposed trails with steep descents and chain handrails. Your experienced mountain guides are there to assist you if needed.

Weather

Temperatures are likely to reach the 60s°F and 70s°F during the day, with cool breezes and occasional rain. At night the temperature will drop quite a bit, depending on the altitude. The months we run these trips have the optimal weather conditions, but still can be fickle. It can range from blue skies to cloudy, wet, and cold conditions, making rain gear and warm garments necessary items to carry with you on every hike.

Accommodations

We spend our nights in alpine inns and hotels. Some are more traditional hotels and some have very small rooms, but they all have their own private bathroom with a shower or bathtub. Please note that the rooms are not always of uniform or international size. Our leaders do their best to assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trip as a whole. Many hotels also do not have an elevator or porter service, so be prepared to carry your luggage up the stairs. Single rooms can be requested but are not always available, due to the limited space in the hotels. If you prefer a single room, please make your request as early as possible.

Cuisine

Lunch will be in a mountain lodge, at a local restaurant, or in a picnic spot amidst the beauty of the surrounding mountains. Most evenings we will have dinner at our hotel. Some of the items you may see on the menu include hearty soups, a variety of cheeses and dry meats from the region, cheese fondue, raclette (melted cheese served with jacket potatoes), cocktail gherkins and onions, pickled fruit, älplermagronen (a kind of gratin with potatoes, macaroni, cheese, cream and onions), rösti (a flat, hot cake made of grated, cooked potatoes and fried in hot butter), zürcher geschnetzelte (a veal dish, sometimes also containing veal liver and mushrooms, served with a cream sauce), and bratwurst served with onion sauce. Please note that in Europe, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the US. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 pm.

Transportation

Our support vehicle will transport the group's luggage, so you only need to carry a daypack (rain gear, sweater, camera, water bottle, etc.). Trip members are always free to skip a day's hike and travel to the next destination in the support vehicle (or remain at the hotel if we are not transfering that day). We will experience the efficient Swiss network of public transport from cable cars and chair lifts to cogwheel trains, funiculars, and the Post Bus which travels along marvelous, scenic roads to tiny mountain hamlets while delivering bread, salad, the newspaper, and letters to the locals.

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.