Time: 8.25h. Up: 1790m. Down: 760m.
Distance: 14.5km. Difficulty: medium/easy.

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Stage 31: Grindelwald (1034m) to Kleine Scheidegg (2061m)

Click and drag on map above to see area around trail. Click here for large zoomable map.

Another truly classic hike, and a long one, under the north faces of the Eiger and Mönch, reaching its high-point some distance above the pass, and then finishing with a short walk down to the tacky and tourist-overrun Kleine Scheidegg pass itself from which there are nevertheless beautiful views of the Jungfrau.

If Altdorf is the heart of Switzerland, then these three mountains – Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau – are the heart of the Swiss Alps, and they have been sirens for tourists and mountaineers for over 200 years. Famous... and deadly, especially the Eiger, whose mile-high (1650m) north face has claimed the lives of many climbers and still, despite ever better equipment and weather forecasts, continues to do so.

On any given night in the summer the chances are good that someone is spending the night in a bivouac hanging from the north face of the Eiger. Quite a contrast to your accommodations, no? And that is for me one of the great attractions of the H2H: an extreme expedition in some ways, very civilized in others.

Cross the river and climb up to the west of the gorge of the Unterer Grindelwald Gletscher where a high traverse called the Eiger Trail takes you above Alpiglen (1616m) all the way to the Eigergletscher train station (2320m). From here a trail descends a short distance to the Kleine Scheidegg.

Alternatives: if the weather is bad, then the safer and much shorter route is to avoid the high traverse and the Eiger trail and simply to walk directly via Alpiglen (1616m) and Mettla (1809m) to Kleine Scheidegg (total for the day will then be 4.5h, +1110m, -80m, 10.5km). To partially shorten the day: you can skip the first part of the high traverse by hiking directly to Alpiglen (saves 1.75h, +/-260m, 3.5km), or skip the second part by hiking from Alpiglen to the Kleine Scheidegg (saves 2h, +/-440m). In addition, there are various places to get on and off cog railway trains both going up and coming down (but tickets are very expensive).
Map: ST-254T Interlaken.

The House to House blog... stage 31.

<A couple of representative photos from this stage will be added here after the hike>
In the meantime, click here to go to all of the H2H photos on Flickr.

GPS Track
<To be added during or after hike>

Room and Board Options
Lunch: picnic. If you are taking one of the variants that go through Alpiglen, then you can have lunch there, but otherwise eating there adds +/-100m to the hike. Given the length of the day, it might be wise to plan to also have a second picnic lunch later.
Dinner and overnight: there are three places to stay at Kleine Scheidegg -- the Hotel Bellevue des Alpes (+41-(0)33855/1212, 60 rooms -- very expensive for somewhat faded glory), the Hotel Bahnhof (++41-(0)33828/7828, rooms and bunkrooms -- reasonable but tacky), and the Restaurant Grindelwaldblick (+41-(0)33855/1374. 90 beds in seven 6/4x12/16/20 person bunkrooms -- a cheap youth-hostel-type place). Alternatively, though this is probably only sensible if you take one of the shorter options described above, you can walk or take the train further down to Wengen, where there are many hotels and restaurants (for a complete list, see here, adds 2h, -800m, 5.5km to the this stage).

Getting There and Back
Grindelwald: there is a railway station here (for schedule information, see the SBB).
Kleine Scheidegg : there is a cog-railway station here from which frequent trains will take you down to Lauterbrunnen, where there is a regular train station (for schedule information for both regular and cog-railway trains, see the SBB).
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Grindelwald, centered on Kleine Scheidegg .

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

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