I'm heading for the Berner Oberland region this summer and I am planning on doing a few hikes. On page 187 of Rick Steves' newest Switzerland guidebook, he illustrates a hike titled Birg to Gimmelwald via Bryndli. His description is rather unsettling. In one instance it says, "This trail drops 4,500 feet, is quite steep and slippery in places, and can take four hours." I'm wondering if anyone has personal experience with how steep it is and if it actually takes four hours to get back to the Gimmelwald townsite. My second question is where it says, "From the lake, a gravelly trail leads down rough switchbacks (including a stretch where the path narrows and you can hang onto a guide cable against the cliff face) until it levels out." This is the most concerning part of the description. Are you literally hanging off a cliff's edge? Or is it not that bad where you're simply following a well worn path with a barrier near the cliff's edge? Please reassure me.
Any personal experience along this trail is helpful. Simply looking for a safe hike in the middle of the Swiss Alps during my travels. Thanks.
Birg to Gimmelwald via Bryndli