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.
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
The Perfect Itinerary
4-days in the Jungfrau
Day 1: Cable car to Schilthorn
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.