We had a quick start. The wether wasn't great and we were a little cold; all great reasons to get moving. The fog continued most of of the day, with few breaks that made us wondered where what was surrounding us.
Around Bundalp we found a farmer's house advertising Alpakase... but no one was around. We had lunch a little after, the sun peaked for a bit, which is always nice during lunch break. Then, up, up we go. In a way, the fog made us keep a great pace, giving us no time to realize how much we had left. The path got steep, narrow, lots of loose rock. Then about a million steps, but though swiss trails always have some wire to hold on to and off course some benches to enjoy the look out. The sky was clearing up, promising a great view at the top.
Hohturli pass was beautiful, surrounded with glacier. There is a very cut hut at the top, that promised ICE CREAM!!! Michael and I raised to the top... officially he won but he cheated, I was definitely faster ;).
We then descended a little, looked for a place to set camp and enjoyed a dry, sunny afternoon!
From the valley we took a cable car to Gimmerwald to start the day. Dave had to be back at work, so it would be Michael and I for the next few days.
It was a pretty foggy day. All I could really see was Michael, and only if he was nearby :). I think we were supposed to have great views of Jungfrau... oh well, we'll have to do it again!
We had a drizzle most of the day .... lunch was quick, a bit chilly and I cut way too much salami! As the inclined got harder so did the rain. Since we couldn't really judge what was ahead of us, we just kept a strong pace up, until ... wait a minute ... we are at the pass ... but we were planning on setting camp just before the pass by a lake that is no where to be seen. Now what? Are we really going back? The other side of the pass looked a little bit unknown and there are some threatening thunders... Then out of nowhere, we got three minutes of clear sky and a view of the valley below. No need to go back, the other side looked better!
We rushed down the hill, found a spot and the rain came back. There were some nice big sheltering rocks, Michael made sweet spice rooibos. We set camp, got a bit too cold, jumped into our sleeping bags and had one of those instant dry meals for dinner. It poured all night long
Day 1: At the base of the north face
We caught up with Michael on Friday night in Grinderwalt, we enjoy some dark chocolate by a river next to the campground and hoped that the new day would make the threatening clouds go away.
Saturday morning was a little slow... we had few errands to run. We cheated a little a took a mountain train from Grinderwalt up to Alpiglen. We hiked pretty much all day under the Eiger's northface. Most of the hike was pretty comfortable: A sunny day, friends and a great nap after lunch. The last part of the day got harder as the downhill to the Lautterbrunner valley was steep and pretty long. The valley was too civilized for wild camping so we had to settle for another $50 campground.
Switzerland doesn't stop surprising us. Planning alpine hikes couldn't be any easier as all hiking, biking, skying or whatever path you may be looking for is marked on the map. So if your looking for a hike around just visit http://www.wanderland.ch/en.
A rough description of our plans is explained by REI here
While camping in "the wild" (this word may not exist in the Swiss dictionary), our backpacks where carrying all the necessities to do so and our souls all the desires to find sweet spots.