Hike: Eiger Trail, Brynli, and Mountain View Trailhiking
I had some Endgame-level convergence of family the last week, and decided to take the group to one of the most stereotypically pictureque parts of Switzerland: the Bernese Oberland/Lauterbrunnen valley. Our original plan was to hike the Eiger trail, then the Mountain View Trail from Lauterbrunnen to Murren and spend the first night there, then hike to the Gspalthornhuette the second day, then the Blueemlisalphuette the third, and finally down to Oeschinensee on the last.
We got to the Eigergletscher and discovered what felt like a half foot of snow covering the trail and surrounding hills. We figured that, if there’s already snow at 2300m, then 2800m is faring quite a bit worse, and sure enough, a quick webcam check at the Gspalthornhuette revealed a not insignificant amount of snow on and around the hut; I managed to rip a hole in my hiking boots without realizing when on Saentis and had only brought runners, as had a couple other family members, so we decided to scrap our plan and stick around the valley. We ended up visited Trummelbachfaelle that afternoon and called it a night in Gimmelwald at the Mountain Hostel Gimmelwald (which was very cute, if not a little rowdy).
Day two, we hiked up to Bryndli, then to the Rotstockhuette, and finally back down through the valley to Gimmelwald. Near the hut, we encountered two hikers who had attempted to visit the Gspalthornhuette and turned around due to copious amounts of ice on the trail; I had previously been a little on the fence about our decision to cancel our original plans, since the snow near the Eigergletscher had melted by mid-day, but their anecdote help squash the regret I was nurturing. On the way back down, we ended up stuck behind a small army of cows which had migrated to lower pastures for the winter; the trail was a churned mess of mud. Minus the hour spent navigating this and some packs of very stubbern trail-hogging bovine, it was a really fun hike, with some great views, including a from-below view of Piz Gloria.
Day three, we took the cable car up to the Schilthorn, then came back down and hiked along the Mountain View Trail back to Lauterbrunnen. There were sadly no cows in their usual pastures there, but a helicopter coming and going to resupply something hidden by a cliff and some brush provided alternative entertainment.
I haven’t visited the Bernese Oberland since a two-day visit in 2018, and the mixture of nastolgia, extra exploration, and perfect weather made for a very enjoyable and slow-paced few days. I’ll definitely have to go back and explore some of the less traversed sections with proper equipment.