On Saturday we had our hottest walking day ever in Wengen, possibly anywhere. We went to Scheidegg via Mettlenalp and Biglenalp. From Scheidegg we took the granny path to Mannlichen, with a steady stream of grannies coming in the opposite direction. It was about a five hour trip, door to door, and when we made it home, it felt like we had been walking on Mars.
So, in a solo trip today, I headed for the shade of the Eiger trail. Tucked under the north face, it is an hour before the sun is on the path at all. Since the work on the new cable car station began a couple of years ago, the start of the path has been much lower, going through the Punch Bowl rather than along the scree slope at the base of the mountain. It is still an awe inspiring sight though.
The path does emerge into the sun finally and drops down through a rocky landscape to Alpiglen. By the small hotel above the railway station is a meadow, which I am sure must be the place Heinrich Harrer described in The White Spider, the camping ground where Fritz Kasparek and Harrer spent the night before their climb of the north face in 1938.
From Alpiglen, I took the big path back to Arven and from there headed to Mannlichen. My lunch stop was by a trough on the path to Mannlichen, just before the trees. As I ate, a rock slide came down the north face. It sounded like a snow avalanche, but was grey and left a pall of dust on the scree slope.
We had an excellent meal at the Caprice tonight; it seemed well earned.