Heady heights and high flying at Grindelwald First

23 June, 2020 | Reccy Guide

Nestled within the peaks and valleys of the stunning Jungfrau region, Grindelwald First encapsulates Alpine adventure at its finest. Not only does this minor peak provide some of the best views in the Bernese Alps, but its world-famous adventure sports are daring enough to excite even the boldest of thrill seekers.

A visit to Grindelwald First mountain is also a fantastic day trip option for families and is conveniently located just 25 minutes from the charming village of Grindelwald. Kids will marvel at the unique view of surrounding peaks from the 45m First Cliff Walk, and with opportunities to race on scooter bikes, or play explorer in one of the fantastic adventure parks, you’re sure to return to your chalet with smiling little ones. 

The First mountain can be reached from Grindelwald village via the First cable car, which launches from the valley station. From here, ride three stops until you reach the First mountain station. 

As you might expect, the views from the gondola are spectacular. The Jungfrau region is famous for its scenic diversity, with glacial lakes lacing their way through lush green valleys and staggering rock faces. As you glide to the First summit, you will have a clear view of the Eiger’s formidable north face, and will be able to watch intrepid climbers inching their way to the top. 

If you are a keen hiker, you also have the option to hop off at the intermediate stations of Bort and Schreckfeld, and take the rest of the journey on foot. This is an easy hike, and you won’t need any technical expertise or equipment. 

For many, a trip to the top of Grindelwald First begins with one of the most exhilarating experiences in the Bernese Alps: The First Flyer. This 800m long steel cable zip wire hangs a nail biting 50m in the air, and propels riders at speeds of up to 84km/h.  Feel the wind whip through your hair as you whizz from the First down to the middle station of Schreckfeld, with an unrivalled view of the surrounding Alpine meadows. 

Up to four people can ride the zip wire at any given time, and safety is ensured with secured harnesses, operated by trained professionals. Although not suitable for younger children, those weighing between 35 kg and 125 kg will be allowed to ride, making it a fantastic activity for older families. 

The Grindelwald First Flyer is open year round, and offers starkly different views depending on the season. In the summer, gaze on green meadows splashed with wild flowers, which turn dazzling white with snow between November and March. 

If you’re looking for an activity with even more blood pumping action, then checkout the flyers sister attraction, the First Glider. Shaped like an eagle, this harness glider straps riders into a horizontal position, offering a bird’s eye view of the surrounding mountains. 

The glider starts at Schreckfeld, and is pulled backwards up towards Grindelwald first. When you reach the summit, prepare to fly. The 800m descent back towards Schreckfeld propels riders at speeds of up 82 km/h, again offering panoramic views. 

Four people can ride the glider at any one time, and must be aged 10+ and a minimum height of 130 cm. 

If speed isn’t your thing then fear not, there are plenty of other great attractions in Grindelwald First. 

Perhaps the most impressive is the First Cliff Walk by Tissot. This spectacular terrace walk winds its way around the rocks of Grindelwald First, offering panoramic outlooks of lush green meadows, and eye level perspectives of craggy mountain perches. The grand finale dares you to venture 45m above the void on a suspension bridge, with air above and below. This is a highlight for those with a head for heights, and a fantastic way to challenge yourself if they give you cold sweats. 

The walk takes around 30 minutes to complete, and is 100% free! The starting point is conveniently located at the First cable car stop, and is suitable for visitors of all ages. For smaller children or those with mobility concerns, there is lift access to the metal walkway. Grindelwald First station also offers toilet facilities, shelter, and food and drink options. 

Taking a picnic lunch to eat at one of the many tables around Grindelwald First is a fantastic option for the summer months, when temperatures often hover in the double figures. In the winter, check out Berggasthaus First, a Swiss style diner located on the First summit, which offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. There are also countless options in Grindelwald village, as well as lively bars where live music is played until the early hours. 

There are a number of options for those looking to save money on their Grindelwald First visit. Grindelwald is an excellent spot for adventure tour operators, and many offer tours which work out excellent value. 

One of the best options is to book directly through Jungfrau.ch. The company allows you to create custom packages with up to 4 different activities. Combining two activities will set you back around $68, and includes the First flyer, First Mountain Cart, or Trott bike hire.

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