Because the Alps don't always make sense.
Approximately early July to mid-October.
Via Grischuna season starts when the snow has melted enough and the guesthouses are open.
The end of the season is similar - it's when the overnights close or snow prevents passage. See our Via Grischuna SERVICES page for service links.
Summer weather in the Alps is mostly good, but like any mountain range, anything can happen. Be prepared for thunderstorms, which may include snow, wind, hail, and lightning. Mountain skills and common sense are the best things to take along.
Maybe. We don't know your skill level so we really can't answer this very important question. While the route is relatively easy to follow with the GPS track in FATMAP, poor weather can make things serious.
While the Via Grischuna is a relatively low elevation and straightforward route, the Fourcla d'Agnel is the crux. It's here that if the weather and visibility are poor, you may have a difficult passage through the barren landscape and highpoint (2982 meters) of the tour.
If you are interested in a guided tour, we can connect you to our network of guide services and tour operaters. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Just the right amount of not too much! You'll need to have enough warm gear if things turn ugly, but you'll also need to consider that minimal weight to allow running is the goal. Good, ultra light mountain gear is critical.
Your pack has a base line amount of gear you'll need to carry for running and overnights. You can see what we took, and use it as a packing list, at our Pack & Prepare Page.
While the Via Grischuna has no real scrambling, it does have some exposure.
On the first day, above the Jöriseen, there are cables on the Jöriflüelafurrga.
On the fifth day, the optional peak climb of Piz Lunghin has some steeper sections with exposure. Staying on the proper trail is recommended.
Phones work most of the time along the Via Grischuna (on the Swisscom network), but don't rely on them in case you are in the rare hole, or if your battery is dead. Emergency services is 1414 or 1415.
Visitors to the Alps should consider getting Rega, a Swiss emergency rescue program with an app function that immediately initiates a rescue based on your position.
In Switzerland, it is possible to send your luggage from train station to train station.
So, say a group of Americans arrive to Zurich, train to Davos/Klosters where they spend the night. The next morning they can put their bags on a train to St. Moritz, and then take the shuttle taxi to the Vereina Gueshouse start with only what will be carried on the Via Grischuna. When they arrive in St. Moritz, the bags will be at the train station, and voila, party time!
All the information about he SBB luggage service: www.sbb.ch/en/luggage.
Luggage may only be presented with a valid ticket for the whole route or a SwissPass GA/Half-Fare travelcard and annual travelcard (GA travelcard, point-to-point travelcard, Half-Fare travelcard (1, 2 or 3 years), regional travelcard, travel discount for SBB employees, Track 7, inter-regional travelcard).
You can certainly always purchase water at the huts you'll pass. But, this is very expensive (CHF15 for 1.5 liters) and puts another plastic water bottle in the mountains via helicopter. We carry a small water filter for both on-trail use and for in the huts where you can usually get non-potable water. We use either the Katadyn BeFree or MSR Trail Shot filters.
Your overnights will be full hotels with water.
The Via Grischuna does not have overnights in huts. Instead, each night is spent at either a hotel in a town, or in a mountain hotel that is accessed by a road.
Mountain hotels, also called mountain guesthouses or lodges, or in German, Berggasthaus, are road accessed backcountry overnights, typically with full amenities and private rooms. They are somewhere in between a hut and typical hotel.
Five of the stages are spent in towns; Bergün, Bivio, Sils, Pontresina and St. Moritz. These overnights all have many hotel options from the simple to the luxurious.
Vereina, Dürrboden and Spinas are all mountain hotels.
Expect to pay about CHF100-150/person in the mountain hotels. This is your overnight, including breakfast and dinner.
Hotels are typically between about CHF75 and CHF150/person, for overnight and breakfast only. Half pension is more. In the towns you will have dinner options using grocery stores (closing time about 18:30) or other restaurants.
If this seems like a lot, remember how light your pack was and that you get to run through the Swiss Alps for seven days.
Phones work almost everywhere in the Alps, but there are holes. Be sure to download our FATMAP stage routes for offline use prior to heading into the mountains!
Swisscom is the best provider in Switzerland for mountain connections.