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41View W from 5040 Peak.jpeg


Contributed by David Sellars


Country: Switzerland
Location: Grindelwald
Round trip: 16 km
Start elevation: 2167 
Final Elevation: 2891 m
Maps: : Jungfrau Region Hiking Map #18 Scale 1:60,000 


From From Grindelwald ride the gondola known as First to the top station.


Saxifraga oppositifolia

Campanula cenisia

Androsace alpina

Androsace chamaejasme

Androsace helvetica

Saxifraga exarata

Rhododendron ferrugineum

Gentiana acaulis

Soldanella alpina

Pulsatilla vernalis

Draba aizoides

Primula elatior

Primula farinosa

Sax. oppositifolia.jpg
Thlaspi rotundifolium.jpg
Primula elatior.jpg

There are many good hikes in the Grindelwald area but this is one of the best and is mostly away from the crowds.  The route crosses some remote and wild country behind the Schwartzhorn and ends at Grosse Scheidegg at 1962 m where a bus can be caught back to Grindelwald.  The route is marked on the hiking map and can include the ascent of Wildgarst 2891 m, which is an easy walk up a steep stoney slope but does not involve scrambling.  Some snow slopes have to be descended on the Blau Glacier but the route is easy.


From the top station on the First Gondola at 2167 m follow the crowds northwest on a wide path to the beautiful Bachsee. The views across the Grindelwald valley to to the Shreckhorn, Eiger, and Jungfrau are spectacular.  Just before reaching the lake turn up a narrow path to the right and gain a saddle at elevation 2517 m overlooking the Hagelsee.  Look out for Androsace chamaejasme and Primula farinosa beside the trail.  The route now turns

northeast and crosses boulders and scree past some small lakes up to the saddle known as Wart at 2704 m between the summits of Wildgarst and Schwartzhorn.  The pink form of Androsace alpina grows among the boulders beside the trail and Draba aizoides and Saxifraga oppositifolia is also seen.


The route up Wildgarst is to the left passing sandstone slabs with Campanula cenisia and Androsace helvetica at about 2800 m. The summit of Wildgarst is carpeted with drifts of pink Androsace alpina.


Returning to Wart, the route descends to the east over snow slopes down the Blau Glacier with fine views of the Wetterhorn.  The trail to Grosse Scheidegg passes some boulders capped with Rhododendron ferrugineum. The alternatives back to Grindelwald are to catch a bus at Grosse Scheidegg or follow a trail back to the gondola station.

Photos taken July14, 2005

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