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Birg to Gimmelwald via Bryndli

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.

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Some of the walks and hikes in the area are very simple and easy, such as the walk on the paved lane from Mürren to Gimmelwald or from Grütschalp to Mürren, others are moderately challenging, and yet others like the one you have found are quite a lot more difficult.

I don't do difficult hikes so have never been on that one but I have no difficulty expecting the facts as suggested for that route. You are coming from way high on a pointy mountain down to a hamlet on a cliff. If it says hang on to the cable and hug the cliff, it means it.

If Rick (or whoever is writing the Swiss book these days (Steve???) does it in 4 hours it probably takes mere mortals at least another hour, or the Swiss grandmas for whom the yellow finger signs are written probably do it three......

barrier? What's that? In Switzerland?

I'm a bit concerned about your description of Gimmelwald as a "townsite". I don't know what that means to you but Gimmelwald is a highly advertised (by Rick) quite scenic crossroads of mountain trails with a few farmhouses around and an old phone booth doubling as a (now not used much) shower. And a cable car station. A town it ain't. Think more hamlet.