Today on the blog, we have Sophia & Krisztian from Today Is A Goat Day. I connected with Sophia on Instagram and was so impressed with their feed and their website – the goal of their blog is straightforward but very useful – exploring the limitless amazing places in Switzerland, one hike at a time. I knew instantly, that we needed to feature this duo on our website and here they are, talking about the mighty Männlichen, reading this piece, you feel as though you’re walking with them. 🙂
“The harder the climb, the better the view”, that´s how the saying goes.
This top hike from Grindelwald is not for the faint hearted! The strenuous ascent up to Männlichen mountain, however, is rewarded with superb Eiger North Face moments along the way, as well as outstanding views of Grindelwald. In addition, once you reach the top, a breath-taking panorama of Lauterbrunnen valley awaits you!
The trail from Grindelwald Grund up to Männlichen mountain is, without a doubt, a top hike from Grindelwald. The route is 10 km and around 5 hours long and continuously ascending with almost 1400 meters of elevation. Your fitness levels will be tested, that´s for sure. At least our own were thoroughly tested!
However, what awaited us along the way and on top, of course, made up for all the sweat! The views were, to us, amongst the most beautiful we have seen so far in Switzerland. In fact, they were the most beautiful we have seen so far!
The pictures below are a testimony to this. It´s good to see what you will be rewarded with, in order to keep going, when things get difficult…
Grindelwald | The essence of alpine charm
To us, Grindelwald is the absolute essence of Swiss alpine charm. The village which has a lot to offer is snuggled into a unique mountain landscape at 1,034 metres above level.
There is an enormous range of activities available in Grindelwald: mountain biking, trail running, hiking, train and cable car excursions plus all the winter activities. You can find anything and everything! It is regarded as a very popular and well-known destination in Switzerland.
In addition, Grindelwald is also famous outside the borders of Switzerland. The James Bond movie “On Her Majesty´s Secret Service” includes a scene in Grindelwald, for instance. Similarly, the mountains of Grindelwald were used as the basis of the fictional planet “Alderaan” in a Star Wars film.
The path is the goal
Grindelwald´s motto is “The path is the goal” and this could not apply any better in these surroundings. Right from the beginning, we were blessed with a dreamlike panorama. There are adorable Swiss chalets scattered all over the village. Secondly, the mighty Bernese Alps surrounding the town and the famous Eiger North Face was towering above us.
In conclusion, a dramatically beautiful start to a hell of walk. Quite literally!
Let me give you a well-intentioned advice: Should you wish to embark on this adventure, do embark a little earlier in the day than we did. Alternatively, you can also choose a cooler day for this hike. Honestly, we were roasting, like two fried-eggs! The street resembling the pan, the air around us like scorching fire. Sweat was dripping down my neck, back and even down my sunglasses!!!
Swiss chalets charm
Nevertheless, the scenery around us continued to be charming with loads of Swiss chalets to admire on our way up.
A Swiss chalet is a characteristic house of the alpine region in Europe. Typically, it is made of wood, with a heavy roof and wide eaves, which overhang the front of the house. Often, they have richly decorated facades, balconies, exposed construction beams and carved ornaments.
It comes as no surprise that this architectural style was born in the Romantic era of the late 18th- and 19th century. We simply love them and cannot get enough of the fairy-tale aura they spread. The view of these wooden gems definitely made the “walk on fire” more bearable.
Other than thus, one thing in particular on this top hike from Grindelwald that beat all the chalets of the world! One of the most famous mountains in the world, Eiger!
The mountain truly put us under a spell. Several times I caught myself staring, stopping, turning and, yes, staring more. The whole landscape feels like a painting. Männlichen also offers a range of fun-tastic trails, such as: Chamois, Apple Fritter, Panorama, Romantic, Royal and the Liselotte Trail! Alpine attractions for every age.
Here are some of the most exciting facts about The Eiger & its North Face
- The Eiger is a 3,967-metre high mountain of the Bernese Alps
- The most notable feature of this mountain is its 1,800-metre steep north face, the biggest north face in the Alps
- For a long time, the north face was considered invincible, as one of the most challenging and dangerous ascents in the Alps.
- It was first “conquered” in 1938 by a German-Austrian expedition. The most well-known route up the “Wall of Walls”, the “Heckmair” route was named after the expedition´s leader, Anderl Heckmair.
- Since then, however, there have been many tragedies and subsequently the “Eiger-Nordwand” earned itself its nickname “Eiger-Mordwand”, literally “murder(ous)wall”.
- The fascination of the mountain, however, remained unbroken. Many mountaineers desire to conquer the wall at least once in their life.
- To get a feel for what it´s like to climb up the Eiger north face, read up on this gripping mountaineers story here .
Say “Hi” to Lieselotte
Lieselotte, a cow from a village in Germany, takes you with her on an adventurous, interactive exploration trail of the mountains. Would you like to play an alphorn or milk a cow? You can do it here between Männlichen peak and Holenstein middle station.
Since we came up the mountain, we walked the trail in the reverse direction. Nonetheless, we got to enjoy a lot of Lieselotte-fun, as well! The wonderful landscape, along with the friendly cow definitely made the challenging ascent more fun!
The final part is the hardest part | Part 1
This saying could not be more suitable in my case. I must admit, performance-wise, it wasn´t my most glorious day. Firstly, I was tired, very tired. Secondly, I was roasting, boiling actually. Thirdly my feet hurt, blisters sprouting in various places on my left heel.
I wanted to reach the peak. ASAP! Hence, slowly, but steadily we walked on, not forgetting to take in the beautiful surroundings.
Swiss hiking | It can always get better
Just as we thought it could not get any prettier, the lake appeared.
Never underestimate a truly spectacular Swiss hike and don’t forget: It can always get better!
After what felt like an eternity for my poor feet, we finally reached Männlichen peak.
The final part is the hardest part | Part 2
Now here is a funny story: Once we reached the “Top of Männlichen” we found out that this wasn’t the “Top” of Männlichen. Far from it, there is a difference between Männlichen station (cable cars arriving from both sides) and the summit. This difference equals an additional 2 km (up to the peak and back down) and 142 height meters.
At this point, I do want to be very precise and factual. After almost 5 hours hiking upwards, we still had 2 more kilometres in distance and 142 further height meters to cover!
The Royal Walk | A triumphal procession in itself
These additional and final 25 minutes of the hike were definitely the most difficult. Honestly, we could barely walk at that point in time. Thanks be to the Lord for the walking sticks on which we leaned and by which we could pull ourselves up.
It must be said that despite the pain, that this closing part, was also the most beautiful part. The “Royal Walk” is fondly described on the official website as a “triumphal procession in itself”. We agree, it cannot be described any better! Take a look yourself.
As you can imagine we ended up on that wooden bench with that one-of-a-kind view. There, we took a long breath in and a full breath out. Tough but so worth it! Mighty Männlichen, we will for sure conquer you again!
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