My husband and I will be on this trip and will arrive in Salzburg on the 23rd. Hoping to connect with others who may be on this adventure with us, or hearing from anyone who has been on it before? We’re still trying to figure out packing for warm or cold. Currently here in SC it’s already 100 degrees so I wouldn’t mind if it is a little cooler!
Hi Julia! We were on this beautiful tour in late September/early October of 2017. You will have a wonderful time! The scenery is absolutely spectacular. It seems the historical weather is anywhere from 51-70 degrees F in June but that doesn't mean it will be that for your tour - keep a close eye on the weather before you leave. Having taken 3 RS tours now my best advice to you for packing would be to layer, layer, layer! Several short sleeve t's, a long sleeve t, either a fleece (not my favorite) or a light weight warm wool sweater. Several scarves to make the same things less boring. A pair of jeans, a lighter pair of pants, perhaps a pair of shorts if the weather looks good. A lightweight raincoat and umbrella. I'll leave the underthings to you. The most important thing you pack (and wear) is your footwear - well broken in and can hold up to the hiking involved on this tour. I hope this helps and I hope you have an awesome tour!
"We’re still trying to figure out packing for warm or cold."
You need to pack for both. Mountain weather is both unpredictable and highly changeable, and varies with elevation, so you need to be prepared for a large range. I agree with the above poster, that layers are important, since you need to be able to add or take off layers as you go up or down in elevation. For instance, even if it's not cold in Lauterbrunnen, it will be much colder on top of the Schilthorn.
There is a laundromat in Lauterbrunnen, so you don't need tons of clothes, but do take a variety that you can layer.
We did this tour last year, about 2 weeks earlier than you. First of all, it's a great tour. You'll see lots of great sights and scenery. As far as clothes, I wore long nylon travel pants the whole time (one pair of which rolled up to capri length), and variously, short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve or long sleeved shirts. A rain jacket with a lightweight jacket underneath sufficed for the colder conditions. I did have a lightweight, pack-small vest I carried in my backpack.
In Salzburg, we did the Fraulein Maria Sound of Music Bike tour, and lighter clothes were appropriate for that.. Even in Switzerland, a few layers were fine for the Schilthorn. Unfortunately, the cable was broken for the Aiguille de Midi so we didn't do that, but we did go up Le Brevant and hiked there. (This year, we did the Eastern France tour and despite cloudy, rainy conditions for most of our 2 night stay in Chamonix, we had good conditions the morning of our departure and could go up. Again, layering is the way to go. It was about 10 degrees F, but not windy. I bought gloves but didn't use them so I could take pictures.)
Hiking on the Alpe di Suisi in Itlay you would probably just need to pack a light jacket.
Thank you , everyone, for your responses! Liz, our first RS tour but hopefully not our last (Europe My Way is looking good too) this sounds like my packing list but I think I need to weed out a few items. My other main issue is footwear, barely getting over a BAD case of plantar fasciitis so I'm still evaluating my shoes and likely overthinking it at this time. Harold, layers are key, I just hope my rain coat is big enough for all the layers underneath! I wash in the sink each night (leftover from magnificent trip to Iceland in 2015) but will always take advantage of a Laundromat if only for the dryer. You meet some of the nicest folks there, too. And VA, that sounds like a good idea with the pants, will help me reduce my load even more! I think i'll stuff my down vest in there if I can, too. We are looking also at the Aiguille de Midi cable car but being both afraid of heights.....may chicken out. (In China in 2008, I bailed on a cable car ride in the city after paying for it, but it worked out for the best, this way we were on the RIGHT side of the city when the earthquake hit! so I listen to my gut :)
Julia, I too have a fear of heights but that was one of the catalysts that made me choose the Alpine Tour. I think it's important to get out of your comfort zone and do things that you are afraid of. I made a deal with myself just as I did on our 2015 Europe My Way Tour: I'd pick one big deal height activity and do it well. On our 2015 MWE tour it was taking the gondola up to the Schilthorn Was I uncomfortable? Sure, but the rewards far outweighed my fear. At the very least try to take the gondola up to Murren and hike down to Gimmelwald and spend a bit of time at the Mountain Hostel, have a bite to eat and a beverage and watch the hang gliders - incredible! On our Alpine tour I chose the Alpe de Siusi - once you complete the larger gondola ride you can choose from various chairlifts to take you further. We did not do that. Hubby wanted to hike around a bit more after our initial hike so I sat on a rock outside the mountain hut (food and restrooms available) and took in the spectacular views. Both of these experiences are among my top travel memories. I also want to mention that I did a My Way Alpine Trip Report on 10/22/17 and a My Way Alpine Ladies Packing Report on 10/26/17 on this forum. For some reason I am having trouble cutting and pasting these links but if you click on my name and hit the bar that says "view all posts" you will be able to read them.
Julia, try these Profeet inserts. They saved me when I got a bad case of p.f. a week before my last trip to Europe! We will be in Switzerland a couple of weeks after you and I have layers ready to go. Enjoy!
Here are direct links to Liz's reports that she discussed above:
Just back, can’t imagine you will need any warm clothes over there until Sept., even at the Mt tops. Bring one long top and bottom to be safe, even your rain jacket would be sufficient for your top layer. Enjoy.