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10 days = 8 mountain excursions sounds too much to do?

Will be going to Switzerland next year in Feb and we pretty much planned out everything where we wanna go and I realise after doing all the countings, we are going to do 8 mountain excursions (12 excursions if you also count other non mountain related excursion activities e.g. Glaicer Express, Golden Pass, Chilon Castle, Rhinefall).

This is the following mountain excursions that we are going to do as in order from day 1:

1) Mt Rigi (Day 1)
2) Mt Titlis (Day 2)
3) Schilthorn (Day 3)
4) Rochers de Naye (Day 4)
5) Gornergrat (Day 6)
6) Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (Day 6)
7) Santis der Berg (Day 8)
8) Mountain Uetliberg (Day 9)

NB: 9) We may possibly also add Mt Pilitis excursion on the 2nd day provided we go half day starting at 8am and finishing around 1-2pm? Or otherwise we might skip it if we stay all day long, but probably this is unlikely...

I am just a bit concerned if it is too much or unless each excursion is a total different experience and that is the main highlight and the point of going to Switzerland? Do you think 10 days in 8 mountain excursions sounds too much or should exclude a couple since one may be similar to another? etc

What do you guys feel according to your experiences?

Posted by
1167 posts

My experience is that in the Alps you do the excursions the weather allows you to do. If you plan 8 excursions in 9 days you are assuming you will have 8-9 clear days in a row. While not impossible, it is much more reasonable to assume that you will have 4 clear days, and you do not even know in advance which ones.

Posted by
12040 posts

Second what the above poster wrote. The Alps make their own weather and they don't care about your travel itinerary.

A better strategy would be to pick, at the absolute, two mountain excusions and base yourself accordingly so that you can take advantage of the first opportunity the weather allows. Otherwise, you're setting yourself up for a few glorious mountain views, but also more than a few expensive journeys into impenetrable fog.

Posted by
20802 posts

I, personally, wouldn't want to spend that kind of money for daily excursions high up into the mountains even if the weather was nice every day. I don't think I'd find it tiring unless I was having to set an early alarm morning after morning, but I would find it repetitive. However, as already noted, the weather is likely to solve this problem for you.

Posted by
6447 posts

My answer to your question on the other thread about Zermatt stands. Don't pass up an opportunity to ascend a mountain on a clear weather day hoping that you can do it another day - may happen, may not. Don't plan your days too rigidly or you open yourself to disappointment. In each area I would prioritize the excursions and hope you get a nice enough day to do at least the most important one to you and maybe you'll get lucky and be able to do another. For instance, from Lucerne prioritize your options - Rigi, Titlis, Pilatus and hopefully you'll get to do at least one, maybe two, and possibly all three if you have the time and the weather. They may all be different/unique based on mode of transportation up and down the mountain but the views of the surrounding alps are not so different that three excursions are necessary. When weather is iffy at best, prioritizing is important.

Posted by
81 posts

Thanks guys for the comments

I am aware that weather can be a major factor i.e. don't go if it is a bad weather as it will be a waste of time/money as alot have been said....

I dunno if I think correctly. I mean....as I come all the way from the other side of the world and I dunno if I ever have the chance again, we have the mindset that we will go to the mountain excursions regardless of the conditon for the following reason:

1) Who knows? By the way we go up the mountain, the weather will be good as it can change every few hours? So its like a gamble.....
2) As there is a saying "10% is what happens to us while 90% is how we react to it".

Sure we hope it will be a clear day for us to enjoy, i know the chance is slim to be like that everyday.

As it is something we cannot control but we can choose how we react and how we think which in this case is to enjoy and be happy even it is snowing/no views etc! Just like on a wedding day, you HOPE to have a beautiful weather or otherwise when it is raining, it can spoil your day. HOWEVER, if you choose to be happy and enjoy the day, YOU CAN STILL CREATE A MEMORABLE WEDDING DAY if you see what i mean. Its really the attitude that matters.

I am not sure if the way I think or prepare is a little bit naive or unrealistic. But personally, generally in life...I am a positive and optimistic guy so I dunno if the bad weather can really damper our spirit or mood. Maybe i could be wrong though and not like that when we are up there, lol.

Posted by
487 posts

We were in Gimmelwald at the end of September and spent 3 days there. The first two days were so incredibly foggy that you could not see very far in front of you and could not tell you were even in the mountains except for the terrain directly under your feet. The third day it cleared and was absolutely breathtaking. We had a good attitude and still enjoyed ourselves, but would not have spent money on an excursion those days because you would not have seen anything. Literally would not be able to see. It was not that the weather was too cold or rainy to enjoy ourselves, but there was no point spending money to get to the top of the mountain when the view was the same from the valley.

Posted by
81 posts

Ah...then thats such a pity you had 2 days on foggy weathers...
I guess we will not go if it extremely foggy,
If cloudy, it is still acceptable...I guess
So that means we also need some backup to think where we should go in case the weather is extremely bad and foggy..

Posted by
244 posts

We spent 3 days in Lauterbrunnen. Two of the days were foggy, rainy, and snowy. It was the middle of September. On one rainy day we went up to Murren and hiked. It started to snow on us lightly. What a memorable hike! My favorite day of our trip. On our last day we had clear skies! So amazing. We went up the Jungfrau railroad to the top of Europe. What a sight! So absolutely plan on a plan B. It might turn out to be your favorite day!

Posted by
31435 posts

I've always had good luck with the weather in the Berner Oberland in September / October, although the evenings tend to be a bit chilly in October. Hopefully you have good weather for your entire trip!

If you're staying in Lucerne, it's easily possible to head to Mt. Pilatus and you could probably do that in half a day although stopping there for lunch is nice too. I did that trip in September, with travel one way by boat and returning via Bus. It was very easy.

Posted by
12040 posts

When fog and clouds roll in, you really can't see anything. You'd be paying a lot of money and spending valuable vacation time just to gaze upon nothing but the ground within a 10 meter radius.

I wish we could post pictures, because I could show you a perfect example. It was late in the day at Kitzbühel, and I decided that conditions were getting too dangerous to continue, so I decided to head to the exit piste. Were it not for the fact that everyone else on the mountain had the same idea, I sure I would have gotten lost or skied off a ledge. The cloud cover was so thick that I couldn't see the slope markers, or pratically nothing else for that matter. All I could see was white and the people slowly skiing about 10 feet ahead of me... who likewise could probably only see that people 10 feet ahead of them, and so on.

Seriously, plan on two good mountain excursions and enjoy the hell out of them when the weather cooperates. Don't bother otherwise.

Posted by
6447 posts

Some answers have been based on experience in Sept/Oct (especially regarding weather) but I believe the OP is going in February. Just thought I'd mention that if someone missed it.

Posted by
1167 posts

Please note an important distinction: if you are doing a trip by train or by cable car, doing it in bad weather means you are probably wasting time and money, but it is not a big deal. On the contrary, doing a mountain walk or, worse, a climb in bad weather may be outright dangerous. I remember walking a very easy descending trail in Switzerland in a day after a big rain downpour. It was very muddy and I slipped and fell five times in an hour. The mindset "I have come from the other side of the world and I will do it anyway" may get dangerous in the mountains.

As for gambling your way, you do not know if it gets clear, first ask locals. Weather patterns in the Alps are very local and they may be able to see a few hours into future weather.

Posted by
81 posts

Thanks folks for the very helpful tips
I mean you guys are right, I did have the mindset of "oh wells, we've come all the long way here, oh what the heck, go anyway even in bad weather" but after reading your experiences in the comments, I will seriously reassess only a few mountain that is a MUST go and probably have to take off a few

The following trip below was our original PLANNED itinerary and i guess we have to reassess it again given the comments above in case bad weather does come up...

Day 1 - Arrival Zurich Airport 10 AM, transfer to Lucerne, check -in at hotel and then Mt. Rigi
Day 2 - Excursion to Mt. Titlis (in morning till either half day or full day?). Mt. Pilitus (possibly afternoon IF we finish early in Mt Titlis and if there is enough time.....)
Day 3 - Transfer from Lucerne to Interlaken Ost, check-in at hotel, then Schilthorn excursion
Day 4 - Transfer from Interlaken to Montreux via Golden Pass. Roche de Naye, Chilon Castle & Lake Promenade.
Day 5 - Transfer from Montreux to Zermatt @ 12pm. If weather is good, go to Gornergrat on this day. Then head to Zermatt village walking during around sunset time.
Day 6 - Excursion to and Glacier Paradise & Gornegrat (If weather is bad on previous day)
Day 7 - Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz
Day 8 - Transfer from St. Moritz to Schwagalp (for Santis hotel). Will stop via Apenzell for a couple hours first before proceeding to hotel in late afternoom. Santis der Berg (next to hotel) & hotel relaxation activities
Day 9 - Transfer from Schwagalp to Zurich. Check in. Around 3:30pm, start heading to Mountain Uetliberg till sunset time
Day 10 -
9am - Head to Rhinefall excursion for few hours
1pm - Arrive back to Zurich to have lunch around & stroll around Old town area.
4pm - Head back to hotel to pick up luggage
4:30pm - Take Zurich train to airport for the 7pm flight