A wonderful winter walk in the Bernese Oberland

January 31, 2022, No comments

Blue skies, crunchy snow, bright sunshine and fresh air. It sounds perfect, especially as it doesn’t involve hurtling downhill or getting too cold. Yes, winter walks are the ideal activity for those of us who are allergic to most winter sports.

And Switzerland does winter walks so well. Not just the fabulous landscape, which is a given, but the infrastructure of paths. They are prepared (no snow shoes needed) and signposted, so that you can enjoy the scenery without any hassle.

One favourite is the snowy version of a summer hike, from Mürren to Grütschalp in the Bernese Oberland. It’s short, easy and spectacular. I usually arrive in Mürren in time for an early lunch in the sun, always a bowl of my favourite comfort food, Älplermagronen with apple purée.

Duly fortified, I set off along the path beside the BLM railway line (that’s the Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen-Mürren and not the Black Lives Matter railway). Going in this direction, it’s gently downhill all the way, with grandstand views from beginning to end.

Two tips: there are patches in deep shade, so wear layers as it can be warm in the sun but chilly out of it. And some shady spots can be very slippery underfoot. I wear normal hiking boots but often bring my summer hiking sticks with me for extra stability.

Roughly halfway along is Winteregg, a train stop with a great restaurant. It’s always packed with skiers sunning themselves on the huge terrace but it’s a good pitstop for a hot chocolate. This whole section of the walk has picture-perfect views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.

The second part of the walk is usually quieter, often with only the occasional rescue helicopter interrupting the peace. Looking across the Lauterbrunnen Valley to Wengen gives you an idea of the sheer scale of the landscape here.

At Grütschalp there’s a cable car to take you down to Lauterbrunnen station and the train home. The whole walk is about 4.5km and takes around 90 minutes (not including stops for photos or hot chocolate). It’s worth every single minute.

Leave a Comment