/ Swiss skitouring - getting there without a hirecar

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SteveM - on 22:20 Thu
Destination: Bernese Oberland. Best flights for us are out of Leeds to Geneva. What's people's experience of getting from the airport to the mountains with a big pack and ski-touring kit for the week? Preferably avoiding the additional costs of a hire car. Is Interlaken the best access point into the hills?
cb294 - on 22:33 Thu
In reply to SteveM:

Take any train towards the east, and get up at any convenient stop in the upper Valais, e.g. Fiesch. Once you reach Furka you have gone too far... It will be no problem at all, many Swiss will go skiing by train.

HeMa on 05:17 Fri
In reply to cb294:

The Swiss public transport (rail+busses) is rather efficient. So gettin' to a starting point isn't that hard. Sure, you'd prolly save a few hours with a hire car, but then again you'd also be locked to returning to the starting point.

With public transport, you could easily select a different starting and return point.

BTW. I'd look into gettin' a combination ticket from Swiss rail. Basically it's a 24h public transport ticket for the arrival and departure date.

Can't help with the starting point though.

SteveM - on 06:56 Fri
In reply to HeMa and cb294:

Thanks both. Trains look cheap on the SBB website. Do you need to book advance tickets like in the uk or do fares stay at the same price?

I looked at the combination ticket and I think it's more expensive than the regular ticket. Will check more tho and report back.

HeMa on 07:24 Fri
In reply to SteveM:

The skiers combo ticket should work out cheaper... unless it's only one train per direction.

I remember it was cheaper to get the combo-ticket when coming from GVA to Verbier (2 trains and a bus).

I beleive it's now called Swiss Transfer Ticket (141 CHF). But from my memory it conditions were a bit different a few years back.
MG - on 08:06 Fri
In reply to SteveM:

It works. I went to Geneva-Lauterbrunnen by train with all my clobber. The hostel was happy to have me leave a bag for a few days while touring, as I think most hotels are, if you ask in advance. I *think* Swiss trains will even deliver bags for you if you pay enough.
MG - on 08:08 Fri
In reply to SteveM:

If you plan to use the Jungfrau railway, one of the special tickets gets you 50℅ off, which is almost worth it by itself.
Peter Leeming - on 08:30 Fri
In reply to SteveM:

Hi Steve

I have done this kind of thing a few times and it is absolutely no problem, and a great way to see Switzerland. The last trip we did was the Tour de Soleil out of Andermatt. We flew to Geneva then 5 hours by train to Andermatt. It may be worth investigating the Swiss Travel Pass as this saves us quite a bit of money.

Doug on 08:48 Fri
In reply to SteveM:

I've done this several times, and its probably easier in Switzerland than any where else I've skied - the network of trains & postbuses will get you almost anywhere accessible by road. Last time was train to Kandersteg from where we skied westwards for 4 or 5 days till we bailed out to the north when the weather turned bad. Can't remember where we ended up but there was a postbus to the nearest station
Cellinski - on 12:34 Fri
In reply to SteveM:

> Do you need to book advance tickets like in the uk or do fares stay at the same price?

No, fares stay at the same price. Train tickets need to be bought before you board, bus tickets can usually be bought from the driver. There is also a good app (from SBB) with which you can buy/have the tickets on your mobile phone.
Neil Williams - on 13:44 Fri
In reply to Cellinski:
> No, fares stay at the same price.

This was the case but it has changed in about the last year. You can save a *lot* (up to 50% in some cases) with the new advance fares booked online and printed at home (note you MUST print it or it is not valid, showing it on a mobile device is not acceptable and there is a CHF100 = about £75 fine for not having a valid ticket, you MUST carry your Passport or EU/EEA/EFTA ID card when travelling, no other identification is accepted, and the tickets are train specific, are not changeable/refundable and have no validity if you miss your train for whatever reason), though they have a mobile app on which you can also buy and show on your phone (but again note you MUST be able to show it, "battery run out" is not accepted as an excuse).

I would therefore recommend advance booking and printing at home if you can commit to specified trains.
Post edited at 13:47

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