Hike the mountains of Switzerland in the summer months

Edited by Maria, Nate Pepperell, Lynn, Eng

Zermatt is one of the most historic, interesting and beautiful mountain resorts in the world. This was where English and Swiss climbers introduced mountaineering to the world with their conquest of Zermatt's legendary and perfectly shaped Matterhorn. Below you will find a comprehensive guide on how to hike the mountains of Switzerland during the summer months.

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Summer Months In Switzerland

The summer months in Switzerland are between June 21 and Sept. 20. The average temperature for this time period is around 45 degrees and the average high temperature is about 82 degrees.

Getting Prepared For Your Hike

  1. 1
    Assess Yourself First.
    Before venturing out onto any hiking trail, it is important that you assess your own abilities first.
    1. Are you fit enough? Hiking involves a lot of walking, and sometimes at high altitude. So you need to know if you are physically fit enough to successfully complete the hike.
    2. Can you cope with severe weather conditions? The weather can change very quickly when hiking in the Swiss mountains, so you need to be able to adapt to these extreme conditions. Even during the summer months in Switzerland, it can still get very cold when hiking in the mountains.
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  2. 2
    Plan Where You Are Going.
    Make sure that you do your research on the area that you plan on hiking. Study the weather patterns and conditions so you know exactly what you need to take with you. You will be carrying your survival pack for long periods while you hike through rough terrain, so you don't want to pack too much stuff in there that you won't need. On the other hand, you don't want to leave anything behind at your base camp that you may need to survive while you are hiking. Also, know exactly where you are going and how long it will take you to get there before you set off on your journey.
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  3. 3
    Tell Someone Where You Will Be.
    In case of an emergency, always make sure that someone else knows where you are. Let them know where you are departing from, where you are heading to, and what time you plan on arriving at your destination. Be sure to tell a reliable person who can notify the correct authorities if you get lost and do not reach your destination.
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  4. 4
    Pack the Right Equipment.
    Make sure you have reliable equipment to best suit the conditions in which you are hiking. For example, if you plan on mountaineering along the higher peaks, make sure you have ice picks, cords, safety equipment, etc.
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Things You Need To Pack When Hiking In The Mountains

Your own personal survival pack is essential for anyone planning to go hiking in the mountains of Switzerland. Below is a list of things that you MUST take with you:

  1. 1
    Suitable Clothing.
    When hiking, it's always a good idea to dress in layers. For example, you may want to wear a short-sleeved shirt, under a long-sleeved shirt, under a jacket -- clothing that you can easily remove when you are feeling hot or put back on when you are cold. The weather conditions can change very quickly in the mountains, so you need to dress for both hot and cold temperatures.
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  2. 2
    Wet Weather Gear.
    Always take wet weather gear so that can keep you dry, even if it doesn't look like it will rain. You don't want to get caught out in the mountains when it rains without anything to protect your body from the elements.
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  3. 3
    Comfortable Hiking Boots or Shoes.
    You will be spending a lot of time walking through rugged terrain, so it is very important that you wear suitable and comfortable footwear. A great tip is to make sure that you "break in" your hiking boots at home before you set off on your hike. Wear your new hiking boots enough times before you go hiking so that your feet become comfortable in your new shoes. This will help prevent you from getting blisters on your feet while you are out hiking in the mountains.
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  4. 4
    Navigational Tools.
    Make sure you have a map, compass and GPS system to help guide you through your journey.
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  5. 5
    Distress Signals.
    Take something with you which can alert other people in the area that you are in distress. At the very least you should have a whistle, flashlight and personal locator beacon. You can also take with you flares and brightly colored flags to help people locate you. PLEASE NOTE: Mobile phones and internet devices will most likely be out of range when hiking to receive any type of signal. You definitely do not want to rely on these devices as your method for sending out a distress call.
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  6. 6
    Binoculars will help you see safely from a distance, what you will have to encounter on your journey. Binoculars are also a great tool to help you spot rescuers and landmarks if you do find yourself in some trouble.
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  7. 7
    Even if you are planning a short hike, always take a reliable flashlight in case you become lost overnight.
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  8. 8
    A Suitable Rucksack or Bag.
    You will need a decent quality rucksack or bag to carry all of your survival equipment. This bag will contain everything you need to survive and you could be carrying it for long periods at a time, so it needs to be reliable and comfortable. Backpacks usually work best, as they are easier to carry than other bags, especially since it will be heavy.
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  9. 9
    First Aid Kit.
    Your first aid kit should contain bandages, antibiotic ointment, pain relievers, and anti-histamines, among other things. Make sure that your first aid kit also contains a rescue blanket and a pocket knife. These items will keep you warm and help you gather food if you do happen to get lost.
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  10. 10
    Water Container.
    When hiking in the mountains of Switzerland, there are plenty rivers, springs and fountains where you can fill up your water container. Drinking lots of water is a must when you are hiking.
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  11. 11
    Emergency Food Supply.
    Even if you only plan on hiking a short distance, it's a good idea to pack some extra food that you can have, just in case of an emergency. You should try and pack food that is not very heavy and also food that will not perish quickly. Good items to take include nuts, dried fruit, candy, chocolate, etc.
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  12. 12
    Sleeping Equipment.
    Hiking trails in the Swiss mountains contain a number of huts that you can sleep in along your journey. However, you will need to bring your own sleeping bag.
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Hiking From Furi To Flulap

A gentle hike from the base of the Furi gondola takes the visitor through Alpine meadows to the hamlet of Furi. The more fit and energetic should consider taking the funicular up to Sunegga and hiking the lunar landscape for an hour or so to Fluhalp where they can earn their reward with a pancake at the Fluhalp restaurant.

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Hiking From Furi To Hörnli Hut

An even more spectacular hike takes truly bold and brave hikers up to the Hörnli hut where today's climbers spend the night before following in the footsteps of those early pioneers up the Matterhorn. This hike starts with a ride on the gondola to Furi, and on to the connecting cable car to Schwarzsee. Then the adventure begins. This one is not for the faint-hearted. There are metal staircases, sheer drops and a series of vertiginous switchbacks that last for about 40 minutes before arriving at the hut. The views up there are amazing and snacks and drinks are available. But you have to have a head for heights.

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Back in town an excellent little museum has displays that tell the tragic tale of that first conquest of the Matterhorn.

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Categories : Switzerland

Recent edits by: Lynn, Nate Pepperell, Maria

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