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Helicopters & Crevasses - A Swiss Birthday Treat  
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 33
Posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 6586 times:

Disclaimer: This TR is NOT about a scheduled heli flight, but a sightseeing trip in the Swiss Alps.

Dear readers,

Welcome to this rather unconventional trip report. Let me give you some background details :

Earlier this year, my husband celebrated a special birthday & obviously I wanted to give him an equally special present. I’d thought about a hot air balloon flight, but still wasn’t entirely convinced. Quite by chance, I discovered a report on a Swiss aviation forum about a helicopter flight in the Alps, with lunch at a mountain hut. The photographs were just stunning, so I got in touch with the heli company and purchased a voucher.

The Swiss Alps are full of mountain huts; there are over 300 of them and the majority are run by the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC).Hiking is our hobby and over the years it has become our aim to visit as many of these huts as possible. In the same way that you log new airlines/airports/planes, we log these mountain refuges. However, as much as we like hiking, we have little experience on glaciers and would only cross them with a guide. So as you can imagine, there are quite a few huts that we will probably never visit. The flight included lunch at the Mutthorn hut, perched on the glacier’s edge. With an average approach of 6hrs on foot over glacier, this was one out of our reach and all the more reason to book the flight.

A Saturday in August looked like being the perfect day – sunny, too hot for walking and after a couple of phonecalls with the heli company, it was confirmed the flight would go ahead.

Just a note – we both had a camera with us so the photos are a mix of both.

Saturday 20th August

The arranged meeting time was 1015 and with the traffic situation on the Bern motorway being a lottery, we set off at 0715. Not a bad idea, a mysterious diversion had appeared overnight in the neighbouring village which cost us 10 minutes. Apart from that we had a good run, despite the huge volume of traffic already on the road, and arrived at the heli base at 0915. The heliport is at Gsteigwiler, a hamlet between Interlaken & Lauterbrunnen, in the heart of the Bernese Oberland. When we got there, things were still very quiet, but gradually more & more people arrived. It looked like it was going to be a busy day.

The heliport is run by BOHAG, or Bernese Oberland Helicopter Ltd. They have a fleet of 4, although one heli was undergoing a maintenance check. Until a couple of years ago, they used to operate rescue flights, now it’s mainly sightseeing & transport flights.

Arriving at the heliport
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF168.jpg

Details
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF167.jpg

Action :
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn007.jpg
.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn008.jpg

There were helicopters coming and going, lots of tourists about and the poor chap in the booking office was having anything but an easy day: a constant stream of passengers to deal with, the phone ringing and radio messages to listen to. We were eventually called forward along with another couple who were to fly with us. They apparently phoned up the day before and said they’d like to fly somewhere but didn’t care where, they were just told how much they had to pay!!.

Then everything happened very quickly. We were told our heli was ready and boarded almost immediately. It holds 5 passengers; the other gentleman took the front seat and his wife sat in the back with us. We even had our very own member of cabin crew, who helped us getting on & off!

HB-ZKT AS 350 B3 Ecureuil
STD 1015 / ATD 1030
ATA 1040



This heli had its first flight in 1998, max speed 287kmh & can fly up to 7000m above sea level.

Boarding pass, sorry for poor quality
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF001.jpg

Ready for boarding
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF002.jpg

We were helped with the seatbelts and headphones, funnily enough I was asked did I speak English which was a bit random as I’d been speaking in German all morning. I obviously don’t look Swiss then!!

Before we knew it, we lifted off the ground after a brief welcome from our pilot, Mr Simon, who is the head pilot with Bohag. He kept us well informed as to what villages & mountains could be seen, although we whizzed past everything so fast it was difficult keeping up photographing everything.

Shortly after lift off
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF004.jpg

Cockpit
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF006.jpg

Wengen
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF009.jpg

Getting close to the snowy peaks
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF010.jpg

Top station of the Lauterbrunnen-Grütschalp cable car. From here you take a train to the village of Mürren
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF011.jpg

Eiger & Mönch
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF014.jpg

Cable car stations of Birg & Schilthorn, the latter was used for filming of 007 ''On Her Majesty’s Secret Service''
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF015.jpg
.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn010.jpg

The rock faces of the Gspaltenhörner


Suddenly we reached the Tschingelfirn glacier and a real arctic looking landscape opened up before our eyes. This is how I imagine Greenland to be.

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF023.jpg
.

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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn012.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF026.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn013.jpg

Mr Simon announced the hut was now in sight and we both had tears in our eyes at the breathtaking sight. We flew in a steep circle so as to land on the glacier, just a short walk from the Mutthorn hut. We had to disembark pretty quickly, as the heli had to fly straight back to Gsteigwiler to collect the next group of people (a party of 15 were also doing the excursion, meaning 4 runs for the heli) .

First glimspe
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF027.jpg
.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn015.jpg

Glacier getting closer!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF032.jpg

Landing
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF033.jpg

Bye bye!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF037.jpg

There was a short walk along the glacier (well marked with poles & rope), then a little climb up the moraine with fixed ropes in place.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn029.jpg

The path (of sorts)

.


En Detail
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF041.jpg
.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF045.jpg
.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF052.jpg

Showing the altitude
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF053.jpg

Views:

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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF046.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF049.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF050.jpg

We watched an Air Glaciers heli land on the terrace, this was a transport flight. They brought supplies and took the rubbish away.

Bohag just leaving in the background


Delivery of bottled water…..
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF058.jpg

…and securing the rubbish
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF061.jpg

Tschüss!

.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF064.jpg

Someone else arriving
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF066.jpg

Path from the glacier
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF068.jpg

Although it was still quite early, we were to have lunch in the hut. I had ordered a vegetarian option and the delicious smell of rösti was wafting through the dining area.

Our table
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF055.jpg

Busy in the kitchen!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF071.jpg

We took our seats and soon enough were served a fresh salad, rösti with onions & cheese for me, with bacon for the others. In true trip report style, a photo of the food:


The warden serving us asked the other couple what they wanted to drink and should she put it on the tab or did they want to pay immediately. A rather heated discussion ensued, as the man was firmly of the belief he shouldn’t have to pay anything. He said the deal included lunch, so he wasn’t paying for drinks. I found it quite embarrassing, let‘s face it, we’re in the middle of the mountains, everything is flown in by helicopter, so you really shouldn’t object to paying 5chf for a drink. The girl handled the situation very well, she stayed calm and said that if you book a 5 course dinner in a restaurant, the drinks are not usually included, which seemed to keep him quiet. I suppose with so many day guests being flown in, a lot of them aren’t used to how things work up at this altitude.

The group of 15 were also celebrating something special, one of their guests was an elderly man who played some music for us, what a perfect atmosphere!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF075.jpg

After the rösti, I found room for some fresh apple tart & cream:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF076.jpg

We were informed that because of the busy day Bohag were having, we wouldn’t be flying out until 1.30 at the earliest. This was great for us, as I’d imagined it would all be very rushed. As it happened, we had nearly 4 hours up there, so plenty of time to explore & admire the views.

More activity on the glacier
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF079.jpg
.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF084.jpg

The first hikers arrived over the glacier. It was now clear why this route is only suitable for the experienced, the glacier was full of crevasses and the leader had a job finding the best route. See for yourself:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF093.jpg
.

.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF095.jpg

Some company
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF092.jpg

Lonely crampons….


….and boots
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF099.jpg

It is common practice to greet fellow hikers with ‘Grüezi‘ here, which we did. But we noticed that a lot of them didn’t respond, probably thinking ‘bloody tourists being flown in and ruining our peace & quiet ‘. Let’s face it, I can’t blame them. I’d be pretty miffed if I’d just done a 6 hour hike only to find people getting in and out of helis !

All day there were helis coming and going, including a few from a rival firm called Heli Gotthard. A private German registered heli landed on the glacier where two passengers alighted, only for to fly up to the hut and land on a precipice, where an elderly man with a stick emerged. Not the best place to take someone who has walking difficulties.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF108.jpg
.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF117.jpg

At one point we heard a loud rumble. It could only mean an avalanche. By the time I got the camera out, most of the action had passed, but I managed to get this shot. Thankfully, it was much further down the glacier & not at a point where climbers were likely to be.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF121.jpg

More guests
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF101.jpg
.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF109.jpg

Reflections
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn036.jpg

Crevasses
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn056.jpg

Our heli arriving
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF110.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF129.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF130.jpg


We were the last group to be flown out and passed the time sitting in the sun in a T-shirt, all at nearly 3000m. Finally our time came to leave this stunning landscape.

HB-ZKT
ATD 1450 / ATA 1505



As it was my husband’s present, I very nobely let him sit in the front on the return flight. I would have loved to have taken the front seat myself, but it was only fair  

Leaving the glacier
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF131.jpg

Bye!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF132.jpg

Arctic landscape again

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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF134.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn061.jpg

As on the first flight, the pilot was keen to point out as many points of interest as possible


More snow & glaciers

.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn068.jpg

Mürren, with Wengen in the background. Look how the villages cling to the edge
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF138.jpg

Lauterbrunnen valley
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn064.jpg

The formidable North face of the Eiger approaching
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn071.jpg

The Silberhorn hut, another difficult 6hr hike
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF144.jpg

Wengen, Lauterbrunnen in the valley & Interlaken in the distance
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF146.jpg

Station of Kleine Scheidegg. This is where you change onto the train to take you up to Jungfraujoch at over 3500m
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF147.jpg

Mönch. The three most famous mountains of this region are the Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau. According to a mythical tale the monk (Mönch) protects the virgin (Jungfrau) from the ogre (Eiger).
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn070.jpg

This time with the sphinx on the right, you reach it with the lift from the station at Jungfraujoch
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn069.jpg

Station of Eigergletscher – at this point the train to the Jungfraujoch enters the tunnel into the mountain
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF151.jpg

And again, this time with Grindelwald & the Wetterhorn


Wengen up close
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn074.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF154.jpg

Restaurants at the Männlichen cable car station
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF155.jpg

Schynige Platte station, a cogwheel trains brings you up here
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF156.jpg

Traffic in front


"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 33
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 6584 times:

Traffic in front
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn077.jpg

The beautiful Jungfrau
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn079.jpg

Controls
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn081.jpg

On approach into Gsteigwiler
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF159.jpg

Gsteigwiler & Wilderswil
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF162.jpg


On the steep descent into Gsteigwiler I developed a really painful earache. I don’t usually have trouble with this, but it was so bad that I ended up biting my finger to stop crying out in pain. The others didn’t seem to have any problems though.

Landing
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn084.jpg
.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn085.jpg

We had to disembark pretty quickly, no time to linger and take photos sadly. I concentrated on trying to pop my ears which eventually worked and I felt much better.

Thanks Bohag!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF165.jpg

Hangar
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/MutthornF166.jpg

A last glimpse of the peaks
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn087.jpg

Nice example of a Bernese chalet
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Mutthorn/Mutthorn089.jpg

As it was such a glorious day, we stopped off at Oberhofen on lake Thun and went swimming, followed by a nice big ice cream coupe. It was quite a shock to be surrounded by people & screaming kids after the relative solitude of the glacier !

My verdict :

This was certainly a one off treat, not the sort of experience you’re likely to repeat but it was worth every penny (or should I say Rappen  ). Of course it’s a matter of luck with the weather and we were incredibly happy to have so much time at the hut, that was a real bonus. However, I can highly recommend such a trip if you’re looking for a combination of aviation & beautiful Swiss scenery.

Hope you enjoyed this somewhat unusual report. Comments welcome as always.

Happy flying
Infodesk



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 6512 times:

Fantastic trip report with great photos.

It is hard to beat the views from a helicopter and they can reach places that fixed-wings can't. It becomes possible to truly appreciate the scale of nature and the forces at work when passing over it. The scenery that your photos have captured is amazing and a lot greener than the country that I saw on another flight. I am impressed with how busy the Mutthornhütte gets with a constant stream of hikers and helicopters.

Thanks for sharing.


User currently offlineryan h From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 1558 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 6506 times:

A very well written report and excellent photos.

I think those hikers have rocks in their heads, when there is an easier way to get there.



South Australian Spotter
User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1744 posts, RR: 30
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 6340 times:
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Hello Hannah,

What an amazing report with stunning mountain pics. I bet your husband was very happy with his birthday gift. Good for you you got 2 go as well   I like mountain,hikes as well, but I have to drive a day only to get to the bottom of one. You, you live right in the middle of these marvels of nature!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
In the same way that you log new airlines/airports/planes, we log these mountain refuges.

So 2 interesting hobbies of your  

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
the latter was used for filming of 007 ''On Her Majesty’s Secret Service''

Interesting, I did not know that, but I'm not into '007' either.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
and the delicious smell of rösti

Mmm, rösti!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
More activity on the glacier

Do these heli's actually land on the glacier and not on a heli pad?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
It could only mean an avalanche.

Probably triggered by the helicopter noise?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
According to a mythical tale the monk (Mönch) protects the virgin (Jungfrau) from the ogre (Eiger).

Now that's a tale I know of!

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 6331 times:

Hi Hannah!

Thanks for this more unusual trip report, sure standing out from the crowd.

I can't think of a more wonderful birthday present - creative, beautiful - and - it involves flying. Some really beautiful landscapes, makes me want to plan in some helicopter flying too. And do I need to point out that the apple tart (as well as the rösti) looks delicious?

Already waiting for your next story.  
717Flyer


User currently offlineROGERBCN From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 6298 times:

Hola Hannah!

Great idea for a birthday present.

It is always a pleasure to be up on the mountains walking on lone landscapes... I did so on Argentinean glaciers and it was an incredible experience; I always value it very much.

Adding a flight on helicopter in Switzerland makes it much more interesting and a real treat for you as well.

I love spending a night on theses huts. I used to do it when hiking on the Pyrenees or 'Picos de Europa' (Northern Spain). At night the atmosphere is super and if you find someone like that man playing music it becomes a real treat.

Thanks, something out of the ordinary TRs we see here.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1219 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 6183 times:

How much do they charge for this trip? I am going to guess 200 CHF per person?
I was in Murren for 3 days and really enjoyed it. I always wanted to go to Wengen.

Was it chilly up there? I would have thought that 4 hours up there would be boring.

Now I know why when I go to Switzerland, nearly every week or 2 I read that some mountaineers or walkers die falling down cravasses. I could never really understand.

Thank you for posting. Really enjoyed it.


User currently offlineCARST From Germany, joined Jul 2006, 822 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 6150 times:

What a great TR!!! I love the pictures. And that is really something i like to do, too. I am interested, too, like lychemsa, what do they charge for such a trip? Or is that a secret, because it was a birthday present?  

Carst


User currently offlineRussianGirl From Russia, joined Jan 2011, 107 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6066 times:

Hi Hannah!
What a great unusual TR! The pics is really wonderful I like them all! You had made an excellent birthday present to your husband
P.S Nice to meet the female here!  

Thanks for sharing
Anastasia


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6596 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6013 times:

Hi Hannah!

Thanks for a very nice and intersting report! Wonderful pictures !

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinegpbcroppers63 From Ireland, joined Jan 2008, 520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5914 times:

Great report Hannah! Really nice to see something more unusual and off the beaten track. It looks like an amazing day out. I find Switzerland very picturesque anyway but some of the views you had were breathtaking. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Gareth



According to one of my colleagues, my problem is that I'm addicted to travel!
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5173 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5897 times:

Hoi, Hannah,

really well done. Superb pictures.
Unbelievable how close you go to the mountains during that heli ride.
And more unbelievable how much heli action was around you´re trip, never expected something like this.
That´s for sure a big hurdle to top this for next years birthday present, a real good idea.
Never experienced something like you´re earache myself and good to see that it worked to pop you´re ears.
Everything ok with the fingers?.

Best wishes,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6824 posts, RR: 77
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5644 times:

Hi Hannah,

outstanding report with fantastic pictures, what a pleasure to read! I wouldn't mind about such a tour either.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Quite by chance, I discovered a report on a Swiss aviation forum about a helicopter flight in the Alps, with lunch at a mountain hut. The photographs were just stunning, so I got in touch with the heli company and purchased a voucher.

Very good decision.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
In the same way that you log new airlines/airports/planes, we log these mountain refuges.

Interesting!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
In true trip report style, a photo of the food:

Well done. The food looks delicious.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
A rather heated discussion ensued, as the man was firmly of the belief he shouldn’t have to pay anything. He said the deal included lunch, so he wasn’t paying for drinks. I found it quite embarrassing, let‘s face it, we’re in the middle of the mountains, everything is flown in by helicopter, so you really shouldn’t object to paying 5chf for a drink. The girl handled the situation very well, she stayed calm and said that if you book a 5 course dinner in a restaurant, the drinks are not usually included, which seemed to keep him quiet.

Ah, I guess you find those guys everywhere. They should just stay at home.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5633 times:

Wow! Very cool trip report! Thank you for sharing!

User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 33
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 month 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5552 times:

Hello guys,

It’s great to read so much positive feedback! Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments.

Quokka,

Quoting Quokka (Reply 2):
It is hard to beat the views from a helicopter and they can reach places that fixed-wings can't. It becomes possible to truly appreciate the scale of nature and the forces at work when passing over it. I am impressed with how busy the Mutthornhütte gets with a constant stream of hikers and helicopters

Very well said. I’ll be sure to have a look at your link. For the hut it’s a welcome source of extra income, but they have to be pretty open-minded as they are dealing with a different sort of clientele. You only had to look at the footwear some of the other passengers were wearing to see that!

Ryan

Quoting ryan h (Reply 3):
I think those hikers have rocks in their heads, when there is an easier way to get there.

Well, each to their own I guess. I know why they do it, but a one way hike of 6hrs is too much for me!

Nils,

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 4):
I bet your husband was very happy with his birthday gift. Good for you you got 2 go as well

Yes, I’m going to have a hard time topping that!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 4):
Interesting, I did not know that, but I'm not into '007' either.

Switzerland has been used as a filming location in quite a few Bond films, but this is the most famous example. They even made a mini model of the mountain & restaurant on top which was then blown up!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 4):
Do these heli's actually land on the glacier and not on a heli pad?

Right on the glacier. There is a list on the internet of all such landing spots, of which there are quite a few. Ours was the Kanderfirn, btw.
http://www.bazl.admin.ch/themen/infrastruktur/01569/index.html?lang=de

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 4):
Probably triggered by the helicopter noise?

I guess it could have been, although it was in the opposite direction to the way most of them were starting/landing. The warm temperatures might have been to blame too.

R,

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 5):
Some really beautiful landscapes, makes me want to plan in some helicopter flying too. And do I need to point out that the apple tart (as well as the rösti) looks delicious?

I’m sure there’d be some pretty scenic flights over Northern Finland to be had. And as for the apple tart, welll I think we’ll be starting a cake appreciation society befoe long  

Roger,

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 6):
It is always a pleasure to be up on the mountains walking on lone landscapes... I did so on Argentinean glaciers and it was an incredible experience; I always value it very much.

I can imagine the glaciers in Argentina must also be breathtaking and of course on a vastly different scale to the ones in the Alps.

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 6):
love spending a night on theses huts. I used to do it when hiking on the Pyrenees or 'Picos de Europa' (Northern Spain). At night the atmosphere is super and if you find someone like that man playing music it becomes a real treat

Yes, the atmosphere is certainly special. I love the nighttime solitude up at such an altitude, you get to know new people (and usually not much sleep in those crowded dorms!).

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 7):
How much do they charge for this trip? I am going to guess 200 CHF per person?
I was in Murren for 3 days and really enjoyed it. I always wanted to go to Wengen.
Quoting CARST (Reply 8):
I am interested, too, like lychemsa, what do they charge for such a trip? Or is that a secret, because it was a birthday present?

A bit dearer unfortunately, let’s say a few hundred.
Lychemsa – I think you made the right choice with Mürren. Wengen is also nice, but just that bit more touristy.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 7):
Was it chilly up there? I would have thought that 4 hours up there would be boring.

Surprisingly no. We sat out in our T-shirts it was that warm. I guess some might find it boring, but usually your time is limited as you have to get down to the valley again, so for us it was great to soak up the atmosphere.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 7):
Now I know why when I go to Switzerland, nearly every week or 2 I read that some mountaineers or walkers die falling down cravasses. I could never really understand.

Sadly there will always be accidents. Sometimes people are just careless and underestimate the power of the mountains, sometimes there are simply tragic incidents – like when two climbers reached the summit of a peak and the piece of rock they were standing on simply broke away, sending them plummeting to their deaths.

Quoting CARST (Reply 8):
What a great TR!!! I love the pictures. And that is really something i like to do, too

Hi Carst,
Thanks for your kind feedback & good to know you enjoy the same hobby.

Anastastia,

Quoting RussianGirl (Reply 9):
What a great unusual TR! The pics is really wonderful I like them all! You had made an excellent birthday present to your husband
P.S Nice to meet the female here!

Nice to read your feedback and well, you know, we have to keep the husband happy  
PS .Yes, we are certainly in the minority, aren’t we?!


Hi The777Man,

Quoting The777Man (Reply 10):
Thanks for a very nice and intersting report! Wonderful pictures !

Glad to know you liked it.

Gareth,

Quoting gpbcroppers63 (Reply 11):
Really nice to see something more unusual and off the beaten track. It looks like an amazing day out. I find Switzerland very picturesque anyway but some of the views you had were breathtaking. Thanks for sharing them with us.Gareth

It’s good to know my decision to post this was welcomed. Switzerland sure is an outstandingly beautiful country, there is so much in such a small area and yet I still have the feeling I’ll never see everything……..

Markus,

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 12):
really well done. Superb pictures.
Unbelievable how close you go to the mountains during that heli ride

Yes, it was like you could reach out and touch them. Reminds you just how well trained those pilots are.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 12):
And more unbelievable how much heli action was around you´re trip, never expected something like this.

I know! Although I had an idea what to expect from the other report I read, I still never thought we’d be sharing the experience with quite so many others!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 12):
That´s for sure a big hurdle to top this for next years birthday present, a real good idea

Still, as it was a round birthday I have 9 years to think of something else ……..

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 12):
Never experienced something like you´re earache myself and good to see that it worked to pop you´re ears.
Everything ok with the fingers?.

Fingers ok, mainly thanks to those bits of plastic, you know  

PH,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
outstanding report with fantastic pictures, what a pleasure to read! I wouldn't mind about such a tour either.

I can highly recommend such an outing. There are lots of heli flights available, but it’s quite unusual to find one when you land and have some free time, which is what made it so speical.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
Ah, I guess you find those guys everywhere. They should just stay at home.

Couldn't agree more  

Burj,

Quoting Burj (Reply 14):
Wow! Very cool trip report! Thank you for sharing!

My pleasure!

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1836 posts, RR: 20
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 month 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5530 times:

Hi Hannah

What can I say, you have truly outdone yourself this time. Thanks for a really interesting report and the absolutely lovely pictures you took. The stunning beauty of the Alps comes across so well in the photos.

In any case I think it was a really very cool present to get your husband for his birthday. I'm guessing he must have been rather speechless, makes a change from getting somebody a pair of socks!

So where's your next trip going to be to?

Best wishes,
William


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 month 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5339 times:

Looks like a brilliant day out. I can't believe how many helicopteers there were around the hut - so busy, like LHR in rush Hour!! Hope your husband enjoyed his lunch (which looked great btw)!


http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1294 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 month 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5325 times:
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Wow a different kind of report, and very nicely detailed. Reading this report makes me want to go , though not here, but truly to the North of Pakistan, and experience first hand what you have experienced here. Unfortunately, it is safer to do it in Switzerland I guess, than it is to over there. Nevertheless both are mountain splendour landscapes and thank you for sharing.

User currently offlineLONGisland89 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 738 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 month 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 5292 times:

I would kill for some rösti right now! Great report and great pics! It's nice to see close up pictures of Switzerland's butt cracks and crevASSes   

User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5231 times:

Gruezi, Hannah!

Two words: Absolutely stunning!

PS. I dare not to ask how much such an outing costs, must be an arm and leg and probably half a torso as well!


User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 33
Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 month 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5231 times:

Nice to see some more replies!

William,

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 16):
What can I say, you have truly outdone yourself this time. Thanks for a really interesting report and the absolutely lovely pictures you took. The stunning beauty of the Alps comes across so well in the photos.

Thanks for your nice comment!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 16):
In any case I think it was a really very cool present to get your husband for his birthday. I'm guessing he must have been rather speechless, makes a change from getting somebody a pair of socks!

Yeah, he was pretty stunned, don't think he took it all in at first. He even got a little model helicopter to go with it  
Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 16):
So where's your next trip going to be to?

East to Austria with another a.net member

Gabriel,

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 17):
Looks like a brilliant day out. I can't believe how many helicopteers there were around the hut - so busy, like LHR in rush Hour!! Hope your husband enjoyed his lunch (which looked great btw)!

I like that comparison! I should have counted all the helis, there certainly were a lot of them. And as for lunch, I often find that the food up at the huts is better than what you get down in the valley, and often cheaper too.

Hi flightsimboy,

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 18):
Wow a different kind of report, and very nicely detailed. Reading this report makes me want to go , though not here, but truly to the North of Pakistan, and experience first hand what you have experienced here. Unfortunately, it is safer to do it in Switzerland I guess, than it is to over there. Nevertheless both are mountain splendour landscapes and thank you for sharing.

I can imagine they'd be some pretty spectactular scenery to be enjoyed in Pakistan but as you say, I think I'd rather stick to a Swiss registered heli!

LONGisland89,

Quoting LONGisland89 (Reply 19):
I would kill for some rösti right now! Great report and great pics! It's nice to see close up pictures of Switzerland's butt cracks and crevASSes

That's a pretty cool pun  

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 33
Reply 22, posted (3 years 1 month 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5229 times:

Hi P,

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 20):
Two words: Absolutely stunning!

PS. I dare not to ask how much such an outing costs, must be an arm and leg and probably half a torso as well!

Kiitos!

Let's put it this way, the in-laws are good for something  

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineJL418 From Italy, joined Jun 2009, 493 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (3 years 1 month 23 hours ago) and read 4881 times:

Hi there Hannah!

this has been a very entertaining read as it always is with your TRs - I just wish they were more frequent! However, this TR strikes a familiar cord as I grew up next to the Alps and my brother is a keen alpinist (I'm more like a trekker but I did a small bit of glacier climbing). Stepping on a glacier isn't so hard, you know, and it's not really expensive even if it's not cheap either...something inbetween. I climbed Mount Castor in the Monte Rosa massif, the one you folks on the other side of the border call Zwillinge. I was with my brother and friends and, temperature and wind aside, it felt like a normal long hike on the Alps. You'd do it once in your life, it's such a great experience!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
It is common practice to greet fellow hikers with ‘Grüezi‘ here, which we did. But we noticed that a lot of them didn’t respond, probably thinking ‘bloody tourists being flown in and ruining our peace & quiet ‘. Let’s face it, I can’t blame them. I’d be pretty miffed if I’d just done a 6 hour hike only to find people getting in and out of helis !

Well I can understand! Some people on my side of the Alps are even more extreme as they don't greet trekkers that are seen dismounting a jeep to do a part of a very long journey (like the one to get at huts like Capanna Sella or Guide d'Ayas in the Monte Rosa massif) because, as one of them said, "they're bloody cheaters!". Or perhaps the hikers were envious at you because you managed to have a tour on the helicopter and saw some great panoramas... I'd have been so!

Keep them coming!

Fabrizio


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 24, posted (3 years 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4616 times:

Hi Hannah

Nice and stunning trip report, I'm amazed of the scenery pics. I'm glad you where able to make such an unique trip.


Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
25 GVAJFKflyer : Hi Infodesk ! Thank you very much for the great report. It almost brought me to tears with nostalgia. As a matter of fact, although I am now a residen
26 Post contains images infodesk : Hi Fabrizio! Well, well, it’s a small world. Just 3 weeks ago we were up the Breithorn and our guide said Castor & Pollux would be the next step
27 Post contains images airbuseric : Hannah, much to late for me to reply on this fabulous report! You know, Bernese Oberland is -for me also- most beautiful region in Europe and Switzerl
28 Post contains images infodesk : Hi Eric, I know you have a lot to catch up on after your holidays, thanks for leaving your comments. Well, Jungfraujoch was very special I'm sure. Alt
29 Post contains images akhmad : Hannah, W-O-W! WOW! Just WOW! I kept gazing in amazement. Just look at the pictures, how the breathtaking beauty of the nature surrounded you. It must
30 Post contains images infodesk : Hi Suryo, Thank you for your kind reply. Correct, so he wasn't as well informed about the trip as we were. But I still found it a bit petty to start s
31 Post contains images SloAir : Hi Hannah, a welcome change from the usual trip reports, I'm a big fan of Alpine scenery and Switzerland is just beautiful in that way. I looked at th
32 Post contains images infodesk : Hi Blaz, Thanks for taking the time to leave your feedback & comments, I appreciate it. That's a coincidence, the only other heli trip my husband
33 Post contains images OA260 : Great report and amazing scenery. I need to see more of Switzerland than just Zurich lol... Ive always wanted to take the railway journeys . Maybe nex
34 Post contains images infodesk : Hi Philip, Nice to read your feedback. I do indeed feel very honoured to live here, which probably explains why I'm always galavanting off doing thing
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