Catch of the Day - Bernese Oberland
September 17, 2004
If incredible alpine scenery trumps all else on your personal criteria for a dream ski vacation, then the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland just might be your ticket. The area around the highest peaks is known as the Jungfrau Region and was one of the very first ski destinations favored by the British, who by 1911 were using local trains as early ski lifts. This fringe-season shot of the Mannlichen Gondola was taken above the village of Wengen where the panorama of glaciers, sheer rock faces, and numerous 4000m/13,000ft mountains (including the world famous Eiger) is among the most dramatic on the planet.http://community.webshots.com/photo/53009650/53014001oCcwQb
For a more detailed pictorial exploration, check out this website suggested by John Sherwood: http://firstname.lastname@example.org/Jungfrau_Pages.html
Nice to see that someone else likes my site
If anyone would like to ask me any questions about the area, please feel free to ask, I've been going there for 30 odd years so I know it quite well
DG_Orf: Your website does a fine job conveying the beauty of the area. One question I have - the Jungfrau area occasionally gets a knock for a less than stellar ski lift infrastructure. I've never skied there, but I did visit while traveling through Interlaken one summer long ago. My wife and I rode a ski lift in the First area out of Grindelwald to embark on a hike. What I've heard is that it is very time consuming to get from one section of the ski terrain to another; too much reliance on the old trains and not enough high speed chairs or gondolas. For example, it might take an hour or two to move from First to Wengen or to other ski areas like Murren or the Schilthorn, etc. Is this an issue or is it inappropriate to expect to want to ski more than one of those sections in a day? I'm trying to draw an analogy with US skiing. If I were in Aspen I'd be sticking to just one of the four ski areas near Aspen in a typical ski day. I wouldn't expect to ski 5 runs at Snowmass, then ride a bus to Aspen Highlands and ski 5 runs, then go on to Ajax for 5 more runs. Each of these areas is big enough that I would stay and ski the trails of just one of them for an entire day. Is the same true of the Jungfrau ski areas?
Also, there are some relatively inexpensive package ski trips offered from the US to Interlaken, Switzerland utilizing it as a lodging base to ski the Jungfrau region. I've been tempted to try that option, but it sounds like Wengen is your favorite place to stay.
JimK: The area comprises of 3 main ridges, one above Murren, the next between Grindelwald and Wengen and the last above Grindelwald, if the snow is really good then it is possible to get quite good links between the 3 areas, however if staying in Wengen it would make more sense to take a daytrip to Murren (down on the train to Lauterbrunnen 15mins then up the other side say another 25 mins to Murren on the train and a further half hour up to Piz Gloria on the Cable car, going the other way to First is a little easier catch the cablecar from Wengen to the top of the Mannlichen (8 mins) ski down to Grund (9 km ) catch one of the busses up to the First Gondola 10 - 15 mins then go all the way to the top say another 30 mins, the trains are slow but they carry a lot of people up the mountain typiclly allow 20 to 25mins to go from Wengen up to Kline Schidegg 5 mins longer to go from Grund up bear in mind thoug that this gives you another 9km ski run down.
Longest ski run in the area is from Piz Gloria to Lauterbrunnen 13.5km, verticle drop about 8,000ft
Lifts are being replaced, last year the ancient Lager lift on the Manlichen was replaced this year it's the turn of the innerwengen one.