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The magnificent glacier fed Trümmelbach Falls (Trümmelbachfälle), a series of 10 waterfalls in a cave-like environment, is hidden inside a mountain in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. It's a natural UNESCO World heritage site, and rightly so.
A tunnel elevator takes the edge off an otherwise steep climb. The lift leads up to a platform from where the uppermost waterfalls are accessed. The path leads over a small bridge, up a few flights of stairs and walkways and partly through dimly lit tunnels to the highest waterfall. Freezing spray makes path and stairs slippery and the caves damp. Spray and droplets from above won't let you get away dry.
Melt water flowing down from Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau form a powerful raging torrent that carries 20'000 liter water per second through the caves. The torrent carved its way through solid rock and debris over thousands of years and sculpted elegant and impressive shaped of rock formations. The result is spectacular and the thunder from crashing waters deafening.
Small lookouts and cutouts along the way provide viewing points to the ten chutes that fall into foaming pools and disappear into darkness. It's a spectacle of milky glacier water twisting, tumbling and pirouetting its way down over sculpted rocks and hitting the walls of the narrow slot canyon.
Once the last chute is reached one backtracks down to the lift platform from where one can take the elevator or continue to walk back down to the entrance to see the last two of the ten chutes tumble into the Trümmelbach River. It's steep and the stairs 'go straight to the knees' but the view over the Lauterbrunenn valley is gorgeous.
It's not easy to make good photos , and mine certainly don't do justice to the impressive waterfalls. What's more, a friend lent me a camera and the battery died half way into my journey. Yeah, I know :)
Instead of returning by post bus to Lauterbrunnen, one can hike back through lush and flat farm meadows along the famous Staubbach Falls (Staubbach Fälle) that cascade down from sheer rock faces. At the edge of the village, a steep gravel footpath branches off from the country road and leads up to one of the falls. A short tunnel ends at a viewing platform where one can see sheets of water crash down right in front of visitors.
The Trümmelbach Falls are worth your while any time they are open, but it's particularly an ideal excursion if the weather keeps you from going to higher elevation.
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