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Hiking in the rain

Hi we are currently in Wengen and there is rain and cold weather forecast for the next 2 days. We still want to do some hikes if we can. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Where can we hike in and around Wengen that might still be ok in the rain? If the Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg trail is open, would it be something that can be done in the rain by inexperienced hikers? We were here last summer when it was also raining and we hiked from Muerren to Gimmelwald and Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg in the rain which wasn't too bad, so hoping to at least do some easy hikes like that again. And yes, we do seem to be having terrible luck with the weather when we visit Switzerland :( Thank you very much for any ideas!

Posted by
449 posts

We were out from the 17th to 25th and had some rain, fog and mist. I thought the KS trail wasn't bad (we did have patches of snow and ice), but it should have melted by now? I would say it's an easy hike.

Posted by
10344 posts

In cold and wet conditions, try to stay dry with a water-resistant outer layer. If you get thoroughly wet, and it's cold, it takes some of the fun out of it.
Especially try to keep your head warm and dry, most body heat is lost through the head when your head is wet and cold, or uncovered.
Think of bad weather as an inherent part of the great experience of being in the mountains.
If you wanted guaranteed good weather, you wouldn't be in the Alps, right?

Posted by
12963 posts

My first choice in the rain would be Gimmelwald to Kilchbalm. This is a lovely glacial cirque that should still be impressive in the rain---perhaps more so as the waterfalls will be full. The trail starts at Gimmelwald. If you walk down from Mürren it will be a slight right turn when you reach the village. There should be a sign.

Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg is a lovely ( and easy) walk, but it is all about the views. You may not see these on a rainy day. Also, if it is seriously stormy and windy, you might feel a bit exposed on that ridge.

Posted by
10344 posts

I nominate Lola as our expert on the Swiss Alps!

Posted by
12963 posts

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Kent ( blushing). But I have to request that "emeritus" be added as I have not been back to Switzerland since 2007. My husband has declared it too expensive so we go to the Dolomites instead, or do our hiking in the US.

Edgar, I feel I must explain my credentials. Yes, local knowledge is best but the Norwegian link you posted is talking about ski mountaineering, where local weather patterns and avalanches are a real concern. Note that near the bottom there is talk of building a snow shelter, and at the end there is a link to more winter safety tips.

This is not likely to be a problem in July. Besides, the only local who posts here is Chris for Mürren, and he has not appeared on this thread yet. If he does, I am sure he will have great suggestions, if he is a hiker. As for the rest of the information in your link, that is pretty much standard for mountain travel around the world. Here in Seattle, the Mountaineers call it the "10 Essentials". Kent alluded to some but I did not deem it necessary to go into the details of requirements for safe mountaineering for someone who merely wants a gentle walk in the rain. The path to the Kilchbalm is rated easy and does not present any undue hazard like steep slopes above, or creek crossings without bridges.

I may be an American but I do have local knowledge of the area, having been there for hiking a number of times. A local once told me I have a " Swiss heart." And some mountain knowledge is universal. I have years of experience with the Mountaineers in hiking, rock scrambling, wilderness navigation, and ski mountaineering. All of that may be useful in the Swiss Alps. But none of it is relevant to someone who asks a simple question about where to hike in the rain.
I would have mentioned the Lauterbrunnen valley path and Trummelbach falls (where one always gets wet anyway) but it appears they have done that. The walk from Grutschalp back to Mürren is easy and nice in the rain too ( done that) but only worthwhile if one is returning from Lauterbrunnen. I would avoid the steep slopes and exposed areas above Mürren in bad weather. And the "goat path" ( Gemseweg) straight up from Wengen would be crazy. But the easier walk that parallels the train tracks, going to Wengernalp and up to Kleine Schiedegg might be nice too, if you mainly want some exercise. You pass through forest and past some farms and cow meadows, but it is nothing spectacular. But you may get lucky and hit a clearing when you reach Kleine Scheidegg---one never knows about weather in the Alps, regardless what the forecast says.

Posted by
4372 posts

We're hoping that the weather turns, and you have at least one of gorgeous views & hiking! Amazing area!