Under the Eiger on top of Europe

Read from start ->
Read from start of Swiss Alps ->

Some of the cloud is lifting and looks like a great day . A short run – 20 minutes up , with a pause to take a picture of the Eiger without cloud, 10 minutes down then it was down to Grund to catch a train to Alpiglen at 1600m .From there we found the Eiger trail . It is well marked but more like we would expect a mountain trail to be. It winds beneath the famous north wall of the Eiger and climbs to Eigergletscher at 2320 m . The view is spectacular all the way though the Eiger was mainly in cloud . After a little under 2 hours we reached the station at Eigergletscher and had lunch in the same restaurant as the previous day. With it looking like an OK day we took the opportunity to take the train to Jungfraujoch – the top of Europe. Our Swiss pass gave us half price tickets – which meant we paid 111 francs! I wondered how on earth a train was going to take us up a mountain from 2300m to 3500m – well it goes through the mountain . There are 2 stops on the way up and they have a tunnel going out to several windows you can look out of that are on the edge of Eiger north wall – it is a sheer drop from the windows. On reaching the top – where in the complex up there  is the “highest watch shop in the world” – we went up the elevator to the “sphinx” lookout. After that we went out on to snow and walked up to a restaurant/hut at 3620m – I presume the highest restaurant in Europe ? the world. It didn’t seem to be far away but altitude , snow and a few moderate slopes meant it took the full 45 minutes the sign says it would . There are a couple of peaks either side here which must be close to 4000m altitude and the one on the left looks doable ( with the right crew).  After a quick coffee/tea it was back down to catch the train . The weather had closed in with fog and light snow and we were walking the last part pole to pole. The carriage we boarded was full of a UK scouts summer camp group. It was interesting talking to the 11 year old well spoken lad opposite us . They had come by ferry to France then bus to Switzerland. They were staying down past Interlaken and come up from there for the day and spent many hours up the top. A couple of kids next to us were suffering – but it seemed to be more hyperventilation – one the female leaders had the good sense to grab a paper bag ,in the end there were 3 hyperventilating and one vomiting . Things seemed to settle as we got out of the tunnel. One of the scout leaders said he hoped it wasn’t contagious …. I suggested in a way it was ! Train back down to Grindenwald to the supermarket and back to Grund for tea in our room . People have told us the weather is turning bad tomorrow but all I can see sitting here typing this is blue sky and some fluffy white cloud above the snow line of the Eiger . Oh , and my new watch says the barometer is steady at 902hPA(1018 corrected to sea level) .         (I’ve done the usual with a google map and profile – looks like the gps is doing some funny things and not always recording – I’m sure we weren’t eating in the air)

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