Photo: Looking down the Aletsch Glacier from the path.
I wouldn’t overly recommend you bother with Jungfraujoch (I did it once and have never felt the need to go back up) but if you do go then this is the thing to do rather than the gimmicks like the chocolate shop or ice walk. If you want a good view of the Aletsch Glacier for a fraction of the price then I would recommend going to Eggishorn instead.
The walk itself is rather short, but the altitude and world of glaciers and high rocky peaks around you make it rather memorable. It is also entirely within the Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO world heritage site.
Annoyingly I had dust or a speck of something on my camera that day, so my apologies for the UFOs in the photos.
Route: Jungfrauhoch (3463m) – Mönchsjochhütte (3658m) – Jungfraujoch.
Length: 3.8km, +/- 200m.
Season: Best done in high summer when the ice is a novelty. The hut is open from March to September/October and the path will only be open when the hut is open and the route is safe.
Arrival/Departure: Train to and from Jungfraujoch.
Supplies: Food at Jungfraujoch and the hut.
Alternate routes/shortcuts: If you have the money/time you can get a guide to take you over the glacier to Fiesch via the Konkordiahütte.
Exposure/Hazards: The path is wide, smooth and prepared to be as safe and easy to follow as possible, the biggest hazard would be the weather closing in. The route is well over 3000m so despite not being that far or strenuous you might find it a bit hard at first whilst you body gets used to the altitude. There is no shade, you are constantly on reflective ice, and the air is thin – so protect yourself from the sun!
Notes along the route
I went up to Jungfraujoch without any real idea of what to expect other than being an imposing location. Intially I went up to the observation platform, saw the path leading across the ice, and decided to go follow that.
There isn’t really a whole lot to say about the route. Just follow the groomed path across the glacier to the hut. The views are fantastic the whole way.
Joch is a German word for mountain pass/saddle and if it wasn’t clear already from Jungfraujoch it will become very obvious when you reach the Mönchsjoch and the view opens up to another vast icy scene.
At 3658m the Mönchsjochhütte is one of the highest huts and points in the Alps that you safetly reach without mountaineering knowledge or gear. I stopped in for a coffee and to admire the views before heading back.