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Weather up in the mountains

Doing the Berner Oberland in June. While June is summer, I'm also cautious of the weather as we will be going up the mountain to the likes of First and Männlichen. What would the weather be up there and how much winter gear do i need? I intend to dress in layers, but still need to work out how much gear i need to carry.

Are gloves, down jacket, beanie going overboard?

I'm also mindful of the weight of my luggage so don't want to be bringing more than i need.

Posted by
7921 posts

It is not cold in June to someone from Midwest USA or college kid types; you don't need a down jacket. You definitely need a hat with a bill, more to protect exposed skin (e.g. the tips of your nose and ears ) from the sun rays more harmful to humans at higher altitudes than the cold. Sunburn will sneak up on you even when it is cloudy . Also there are some steep parts to walk to get the views so walking warms you up. Dress in layers. Everyone has a different thermometer but watch out for sunburn. I got a beautiful tan hiking at high altitudes in Switzerland without feeling hot or cold.

Posted by
173 posts

It is not cold in June to someone from Midwest USA or college kid types; you don't need a down jacket.

Even up in the mountains? I thought there could be snow?

Posted by
1817 posts

For snow you have to go rather high, like 3000m +. But even if there is snow on the ground, when the sun is out it is not really cold.
You don't need winter gear. You need all weather gear...

Posted by
173 posts

Great that would save me a bit of weight in the luggage then. How many degrees difference are we talking about compared to on the ground?

Posted by
2724 posts

It is not cold in June to someone from Midwest USA

I guess it depends on who that person is. :) I did not take my puffer coat for my June 2022 trip and I regretted it. It is cold at the higher elevations and can be cool in the morning at the lower elevations. I would have loved to have had my puffer for my early morning walks around Wengen.

Lesson learned. I am taking my puffer coat for my upcoming return trip this June.

Posted by
1054 posts

We went in June, but to the other side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley (Murren). In town, the weather was fantastic. At the top of the Schilthorn, it was about 5-10C, so you'd want a jacket. There was still too much snow to hike from the summit, so we went down to Birg and hiked down from there. Very pleasant.

Posted by
11386 posts

It depends on what you mean by “winter gear.” We go there every year in mid-Sept to mid-Oct and I take a packable puffer (women’s version also available) like this one https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/119860?page=mens-primaloft-packaway-jacket-mens-regular&bc=&feat=packable%20jacket-SR0&csp=a&attrValue_0=48613&searchTerm=packable%20jacket&pos=14. Over a wool tee (which I wear anytime below 70 degrees) and a lightweight mid layer, it is plenty and I often take it off later in the day. A rain hat with wide brim is handy, water resistant hiking shoes. Hubby likes to take a knit hat for ears and we take gloves for use in early AM.

Posted by
8533 posts

Better to have that cold weather stuff and not need it, than not have it at all. Mountain weather anywhere in the world is very unpredictable and changes so quickly. Even if it is sunny and warm at some point during the day, when the shadows fall or it gets cloudy and windy, the daily high temperature doesn't matter.

Posted by
16459 posts

`I take a lightweight, non-bulky down jacket on every trip to Switzerland, regardless of the month. Folded and pressed flat in a ziploc bag, it compresses to a package 1/2 inch thick until I need it.

If you don’t have such a jacket already, Patagonia has some good ones on sale for $139, in a variety of colors and sizes:

https://www.patagonia.com/product/mens-down-sweater-jacket/84675.html?dwvar_84675_color=CRMD

This one is a pullover, not down, but should also pack small:

https://www.patagonia.com/product/mens-box-quilted-windproof-pullover/20835.html?dwvar_20835_color=TIDB&cgid=web-specials-mens-jackets-vests

And if you wear S or XL, this hoody is only $89:

https://www.patagonia.com/product/mens-box-quilted-windproof-pullover/20835.html?dwvar_20835_color=TIDB&cgid=web-specials-mens-jackets-vests

Womens’ option, not down, in lots of colors and sizes for $99:

https://www.patagonia.com/product/womens-lost-canyon-insulated-jacket/26865.html?dwvar_26865_color=BURD

This is the one I have, only available in small sizes at the sale price of $119:

https://www.patagonia.com/product/womens-nano-puff-insulated-jacket/84217.html?dwvar_84217_color=FEA&cgid=web-specials-womens-jackets-vests

The women’s down sweater for $138 would be a bit warmer, but again is only available in small sizes:

https://www.patagonia.com/product/womens-down-sweater-jacket/84684.html?dwvar_84684_color=BURD

Posted by
173 posts

thank you for all those replies and suggestions of clothing. Much appreciated. I think i will bring a packable uniqlo down jacket just in case. Its lightweight.

Does anyone know where I can find historically the temperature up in the mountains listed? Are we talking about 40-80 deg F (5-10 degrees celcius) difference between ground level and top of the mountain?

Posted by
173 posts

thanks

wow thats still pretty cold. under 10 degress celcius. (50 F). Not used to that weather. Sounds like my winter gear is going back into my suitcase lol

Is murren at a higher elevation and thats why its so cold? I looked at Grindelwald and its not too bad under 18 deg C (60 F).

Posted by
1817 posts

Don't just look at temperatures. If the sun shines you can often walk outside in shorts and t-shirt even if it is freezing.

In June on the Männlichen I would wear shorts, t-shirt, and pack a windbreaker in my backpack. It can actually get quite hot in he sun. The perceived temperature is often a lot higher than the air temperature.

Hence layers. So you can dress up/down according to need.

Posted by
20289 posts

Another factor is that the air is thinner at higher elevation. Short lecture on physics is that there is lower convective heat transfer rate because there are fewer molecules of cold air for your body to loose heat to. This thinner air also means, as Wengen K points out, there is less filtering atmosphere over head to lower the radiant heat transfer from the sun to your body. Wear sunscreen, you can get fried. Maennlichen is 2300 m (7600 ft) above sea level.

That is why I could ski with only a vest in Wengen in January when I lost my ski jacket. Remember the lost ski jacket?

Posted by
173 posts

Great thanks, that’s good to know. WengenK mentioned windbreaker, is it likely to be windy at the top?

Also I was planning to do the panaramic trail down from Maennlichen, if the trail is open, can I assume the path is ok and I won’t get stuck half way down because the ground is still slippery?

Posted by
7921 posts

A windbreaker is synonymous with jacket, slicker, anorak, top coat etc.
I happened to be in Lauterbrunnen vallley when it was windy and on top of the Jungfrau and the Schilthorn when it was not.

The panaramic trail https://www.maennlichen.ch/en/summer/experiences/panorama-trail.html
I found is pretty much flat, that's why it is so great for everyone.

Just like at home here in Chicago, decisions to go for hike or bike ride and what to wear are made the day before or the day of based on how the weather is or has been. The hotels all have live cams that you can see on the TV in your room of what weather conditions are like at higher elevations or just ask the people at the desk.

Posted by
2724 posts

Also I was planning to do the panaramic trail down from Maennlichen,
if the trail is open, can I assume the path is ok and I won’t get
stuck half way down because the ground is still slippery?

When in June are you going? The Panorama trail Männlichen - Kleine Scheidegg typically opens mid-June. Last year it opened on June 10th and the previous year it opened June 13th.. They won’t open it if it’s not safe. So, no worries there.

This is the website you want to check to see when it opens:

https://www.maennlichen.ch/en/summer/experiences/panorama-trail.html

I’ll be there in June myself and will be checking for the opening. I’ll post on the forum if I happen to notice it is open before someone else does.

Posted by
173 posts

Männlichen - Kleine Scheidegg typically opens mid-June. Last year it opened on June 10th and the previous year it opened June 13th.. They won’t open it if it’s not safe. So, no worries there.

Have they announced when the Panaromic trail and the royal crown hike is going to be open yet? I looked on the website but I can’t see anything.

Posted by
2724 posts

We won’t know when the Panaromic trail is open until it is open. There is no scheduled date because it depends on the weather. It will not open until the trail is clear of snow and ice. I was just checking the web cameras up at Männlichen and there is still a bit of snow up there. But a lot can happen in a couple of weeks.

https://www.maennlichen.ch/en/live.html

The royal walk I believe you can get to once the cable car starts running on May 25th. It is definitely worth going up even if the Panaromic trail is not open yet.