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Switzerland - Jungfraujoch

 

Catching a cloud free day at Jungfraujoch ("Top of Europe")  It would be a shame to pay over $100 for the Jungfrau train [**, $$$] ride to the top of Europe only to look out into fog.   Unfortunately clouds tend to hang on mountain tops.  You can improve your chance to be there on a clear day by doing one the following.  

 

  • Spend several days in the area and wait for the best day to climb to the top.  (Hike on the Wnaderwegs while you wait for the perfect day.) 

  • Ask a local  person about the next day's weather. There are all sorts of cues that local folks have that may not be obvious to visitors.  Our waitress at one restaurant knew the following day was bad because her husband, a chef at one of the mountain-top restaurants, was getting the day off- meaning bad conditions on top and no business.   

  • Call on the phone for a  recorded mountain top forecast or watch the real time video cams of the mountaintop on a local TV station.

Early-riser get a discount on the Jungfrau  railway ride.  The savings are not such as a big a deal as they make it sound.  The better reason for taking the early bird train is that there is a greater chance of clear skies in the early morning, and experience the mountain before the hordes that come in midday.

 

 

The Perfect Itinerary

4-days in the Jungfrau Region

 

Day 1:  Cable car to Schilthorn

Day 2:  Go-take-a-hike  (Muerren to Rotstockhutte)

Day 3:  Take train/cable car to First.  Hike either towards Grosse-Scheidegg or Waldspitz.  Late lunch at the mountain restaurant at either destination.

Day 4:  Train to Jungfrau (take the 7 AM early risers train - return about 2 pm).  Optional short afternoon hike at the Eigergletscher (the base of the Eiger).

 

It is important to be flexible.  Schilthorn and Jungfrau trips should be coordinated with best mountain top weather conditions. 

 

    

 

  

Marlene on the snow-packed hiking trail in Jungfrau, elevation 12000 ft. This was in early August.  See- there is not a cloud in the sky!  That's because we waited for the perfect day to go up.

 

There is a nice display of ice carvings.  There are some hiking trails on packed snow, but walking is difficult in the thin air at this altitude.   The main reason for going there is the view -- so make sure it's a cloudless day on top.