FAULHORN (2002)

We took the bus from Grindelwald  to Bussalp, a very narrow twisting road up to the hamlet at 1792m. The path was quite clear and climbed steadily across pasture. Here we heard and saw the first of many colonies of marmots (Murmeltiere in German) with their high-pitched warning calls. 

Grindelwald from Bussalp

From above Bussalp looking towards Simelihorn and Gassenboden

Climbing further  we passed the rock cliffs of the Simelihorn (2751m) to reach the col at Gassenboden (2553m) where the path from the First cable car joins. Turning left we climbed the short distance to the summit of the Faulhorn (2681m). The total climbing time from Bussalp was 2h 45m. The summit hotel is the oldest mountain hotel in Europe, having been opened in 1830 and originally supplied by packhorse from Bussalp. Nowadays the helicopter brings in the supplies. The hotel now has a Matrazanlager and Restaurant.  

The Faulhorn on left 

Much of the way up the weather had been cloudy with only intermittent views of the Eiger, Mnch and Jungfrau. Sadly there was absolutely no break in the clouds allowing us to see the Brienzersee or the Thunersee to the north and west. After lunch on the summit and a drink in the restaurant we headed back down to Gassenboden and on to First along a broad and well kept path which zigzags gently down to Bachsee, where there are two small lakes. We passed several small huts and shelters along this stretch. The First cable car was reached in about 1h 30m from the Faulhorn.  

The Bachsee from Gassenboden

Obere Grindelwald Gletscher and the Shreckhorn from First

By now the sun had come out and the mist cleared and we had superb views of the Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn and Finsteraarhorn as well as the Obere and Untere Grindelwald Gletscher. From First we could see the heavily eroded moraines below Grosse Scheidegg that we had had to traverse on the APR. We returned to Grindelwald (after coffee and cakes) by cable car the gondolas work the whole way down in 20 minutes over three separate stages without a change.