Early morning view of the Wetterhorn

Since Grindelwald is also a ski area in Winter, trains, buses, gondolas and funiculars make access to the most remote areas possible and with delightful Swiss efficiency. Trails are immaculate and well-marked, with benches in the middle of nowhere just when you might want one, and little chalets or restaurants just when you feel like a snack or a meal.

View of the valley and the mountains

Doris enjoying a chocolate break

Today was a moderate warm-up hike from Unter Lauchbuhl to Bort with my Swiss-born guide, Doris, who I met last year and adored. Doris is not only a major outdoorswoman, having hiked in Nepal earlier this year, she is steeped in the history of the area. Today she recounted the evolution of the Grindelwald glaciers, the technologically advanced pollution detectors located at the top of the Jungfrau and the effects of global warming on weather patterns in Switzerland. She reminisced about the ways farming and cheese production have changed, how the mountain huts are maintained by farmers and how the owls and other damaged birds are brought back to health in a nearby mountain clinic.

View of the Grindelwald glacier

We ambled along the trail as clouds danced around the peaks and each view was more spectacular than the next. Cows grazed the hillsides with their bells tinkling in the breeze. A wild goat nibbled on the wet, green grasses and the crack of the glaciers fractured the silence of the meadows.

View from the restaurant at Bort

We stopped at Bort for a late lunch. By this time the sun was out and the rushing water coming off the high peaks suddenly increased with the snow melt.  Our soup and salad were delicious and sustained us for the trip down the mountain.

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