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The Trek Experience

Pass near Zermatt The Ibex Treks tours offer guests the opportunity to appreciate and explore the Bernese Oberland region of the Swiss Alps. Spend your evenings relaxing in selected accommodation offering fantastic views and a cozy atmosphere. Picnic in an alpine meadow or beside a melted glacier stream. Complete a challenging hike to a mountain hut.

On your first day, you meet Andrew and Bart and the other tour participants at a local hotel. Some of your hiking companions have started days before, and plan to continue for some time. Others will be starting with you. You have a dinner of traditional Swiss cooking. As you eat and relax, you chat with your new companions, and discuss the route planned for tomorrow. Soon enough, you retire to your room, where you bury yourself under a thick down comforter to ready yourself for the challenge that lies ahead.

You rise each morning to a hearty breakfast and the prospect of the day's hike. Leaving your hotel, you follow Andrew and Bart along the famous Swiss mountain paths. You follow an icy stream that melted off a glacier just minutes before. Later on, the path climbs high above the valley, affording spectacular views. Presently, the group pauses for lunch, next to a beautiful alpine lake or the end of a spectacular glacier.

Alpine cow relaxing After sharing a meal (including some Swiss chocolate), and resting a while, the hike resumes. The group spreads out; more aggressive members push themselves forward, while more relaxed hikers stop occasionally to rest and enjoy the view. The Swiss maintain these mountain paths beautifully. Safety is paramount and the paths are clearly marked.

A particularly steep section lies ahead as the end of your day's journey nears. A switchback trail leads up a high pass where your night's lodging is found. The mountain air is thin but incredibly clean and fresh. As you come to the steps of the inn, you pause and turn to marvel at the distance you hiked that day. Looking back, you see the valley you've left behind, last night's hotel barely visible in the distance. It amazes you to think that you hiked so far and so high since this morning!


Mountain hütte Lodging varies among hotels, guest houses (also called mountain-hotels), and mountain huts. All are family run, giving our guests a more "homey" service. The hotels are usually situated in the valleys or near small villages. The guest houses are normally located amidst the high pastures or meadows, or in the forest. These wooden chalet-style buildings are characteristic of Swiss traditional architecture. Built of stone, the mountain huts are used mostly by climbers as a base for ascending the local mountains. Due to the remoteness and altitude of these mountain huts, the accommodation has simple dormitory style sleeping arrangements only, without running hot water! However, the beautiful huts offer fantastic views and a cozy atmosphere, and with luck, a fantastic sunset.

In many locations, you will stay for only a night before hiking on to the next destination. However, you will spend a second night in some areas. This allows the group to hike to scenic local areas -- perhaps a waterfall off the main paths, or a nearby mountain hut, high up the side of a peak. Of course, those who would rather use the day to relax can do so as well!


Alpine Hiking

steep ascent

Our guests should be aware that we will be in the mountains. The Swiss Alps are unlike most mountain ranges in that they are incredibly steep. This is of course what makes them so incredibly beautiful and unique. From some valleys it will be possible to look up at a mountain peak that rises vertically 2200m (7260ft) above our heads. Quite breathtaking! However, this also means that when we are on a path on the side of a mountain, we can have fantastic views looking down into the valleys. To experience the views -- to feel the magnitude -- is what makes the mountains special. Guests with a fear of open spaces or of heights should not participate.

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Updated 3 December 2009
Contact Ibex Treks at ibextreks@yahoo.co.uk