Walk notes by DWP
The start of this suggested walk is Schynige Platte. Staying in Grindelwald meant catching the train down to Wilderswil, on the Grindelwald – Interlaken rail line and then transferring to the historic narrow-gauge cog railway that winds its way upwards to Schynige Platte (1987m). A walkers combined ticket can be arranged at the Station in Grindelwald to include the rail journey, cog- rail, and the First-Bahn back to Grindelwald.
As the period of operation of the cog-rail and First-Bahn varies depending on the time of year it is highly recommended that you check the time of the last gondola from First and allow sufficient time for your hike or you may be faced with an unwelcome long walk back to Grindelwald after a rather tiring day.
The cog railway takes around 45 minutes to haul its way up to Schynige Platte station from where one can get the first glimpse of the superb views of the Jungfrau region.
Not far from the station I located the signpost for ‘Panoramaweg’ (Route 61 on Jungfraubahnen Hiking Map) and decided to follow this route, which is a variant to and slightly longer than the normal path (Route 62). The path is well marked with the traditional white/red/white striped markers and signposted at various intervals: Oberberghorn – Laucheren – Faulhorn – First. Narrow in places the path follows the ridgeline via the rocky peaks of the Oberberghorn and Laucherhorn giving fantastic views down to Interlaken and Brienzersee.
The ‘Panoramaweg’ doubles back by a lower route to Schynige Platte at Laucheren (Map shows Lauchern) whilst the path to the Faulhorn (Route 62) meanders along the side of scree slopes, over grassy terrain and through gaps in the rocky spurs before reaching Egg. From Egg the path eventually opens up and passes into a small enclosed valley with interesting stratified rocky terrain above a small lake ‘Sägistalsee’ before it ascends the southern slopes of the Sägistal before veering south west and eventually climbing up through an interesting rock gully to reach ‘Berghaus Männdlenen Weberhütte at 2344m, offering a welcome break for a leisurely lunch if time permits.
Bearing left after leaving the ‘Berghaus’ the path continues upwards to gain the ridge of the Winteregg and eventually to the final exhilarating steep section leading to the summit of the Faulhorn at 2681m where you are rewarded with spectacular views in all directions and the opportunity to sit and enjoy the vista with refreshment readily available from the ‘Berghotel Faulhorn’.
Leaving the summit down towards the small col at Gassenboden the path to First leads downhill, in an easterly direction, to the tranquil lake of ‘Bachsee’. The path follows the left hand side of the lake and then drops steadily towards First 2168m where hopefully the First Bahn is still operating giving you a relaxing ride down to Grindelwald and a well deserved beer.
The walk was undertaken In late September 2009 in slightly misty conditions at the start but gradually improving to a warm and sunny day. Route finding under the prevailing conditions was not a problem at any stage. Leaving the station at Schynige Platte around 10.15 am I arrived at the Faulhorn summit around 13.45 and First by about 15.30 with minimal breaks. On the first stage of the route from Schynige Platte to the Faulhorn summit I met very few other walkers, no more than a dozen coming from the direction of the Faulhorn. From the Faulhorn onwards the numbers increased substantially with the most popular section, not surprisingly, being the well-worn path between First and Bachsee.
All in all a highly recommended exhilarating if somewhat tiring classic Alpine walk combining varied scenery and stunning views.
Start: Schynige Platte
Distance: Approx 15kms
Duration: 4.5 – 6 Hrs