Bernese Oberland '98


Here are some photos of the Bernese Oberland taken during our family holiday in Switzerland in July 1998
The Eiger and Mönch, Bernese Oberland

This is an extract from the web page of our Swiss holiday with our son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. We didn't do any real climbing this time, so a highlight of the holiday was a trip to the mountains, and a close view of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau from the Lauberhorn. We took the cog-railway from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen, then the cable car to the Männlichen station. From there we walked north to the top of the Männlichen, then back along a balcony path towards Kleine Scheidegg. We branched off the main path, and headed steeply up to the summit of the Lauberhorn (2,472 m) for these stunning views of the three Oberland giants

The forbidding Eiger Nordwand from the Lauberhorn
Caroline and Judy, with the Eiger behind them

Judy climbed the Eiger (3,970 m) in 1975

The cloud forming in the cusp of the face, even on such a gloriously sunny day, is typical of the dreadful localised weather that makes an ascent of the North face of the Eiger so dangerous
The Nordwand (north wall or north face) of the Eiger has been described as the "Final Examination" for mountaineers. It was first climbed in July 1938 by the remarkable Austro-German team of Heckmair, Harrer, Kasparek and Vörg, and since then a number of routes and variations have been established. However, the constant exposure to stonefall and avalanche, the sheer length of the climb, and extreme difficulty of retreat even in good weather still combine to make it a very serious undertaking
Philip and Caroline with the Jungfrau in the background
The three giants, the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau dominate the scene. A railway tunnel has been bored through these mountains to the Jungfraujoch station, the highest in Europe. Windows in the Eiger north wall give passengers a spectacular view down the face, while at the top, there is a restaurant and several tourist facilities. The railway has made day ascents of the Mönch feasible from Grindelwald, but thorough acclimatization is still advisable.

Judy and Steve had attempted to climb the Mönch (4,099 m) in winter conditions in April 1995. We reached approx 3,800 m, meeting a Swiss Army Mountain Guide abandoning his own summit attempt because of the exceptionally heavy recent snowfall, and decided to follow him down

Philip and Caroline on the Lauberhorn, with the Eiger behind

 Caroline, with the Eiger

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Steve, with the Jungfrau 

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Steve & Judy Pardoe
Cheshire,   England
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