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A friend of mine based in India is planning a trip to Switzerland in Feb 2012

He's worried about how severe the winter will be - will it cause the peaks like Mt Jungfrau or Titlis to be closed or inaccessible?

Is it a good time for sightseeing then? Mainly from a weather point of view - since winters in India are quite mild. Will it be really chilly in Switzerland?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I take it you have seen the pictures of Mt Jungfrau (4,158 m / 13,642 ft) and Titlis (3,238 m / 10,623 ft) on Wikipedia?

Mountains in Switzerland will not be closed, but most will require specialized gear (and matching experience) in winter.

for Titlis (the lower of the two peaks), the temperatures in February are:

Average high °C (°F)    -10.7 (12.7)
Daily mean   °C (°F)    -14.2 ( 6.4)
Average low  °C (°F)    -16.8 ( 1.8)

I'm not sure about your definition of Chilly; my definition would be 'Freezing cold'

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I've been there myself - in the summer. these average temps dont look good for us though –  JoseK Aug 1 '11 at 8:48
    
The observatory and restaurant should be open, so you can still go there. But it will be quite different from summer : ) –  Jacco Aug 1 '11 at 9:24

As you can see here, the Jungfraujochbahn is open the whole year. But as Jacco already said, it could be a little bit cold. So you have to prepare and take warm clothes with you even if it is warm in the lower valleys.

Another thing you should think about that you will move up until ~3500 meters. So be aware that you can get altitude sick.

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I went to the top of Jungfrau in January 2007 (almost the same temperature levels as February) and kind of liked the adventure, as it was snowy and stormy. Although most part of Switzerland is mountainous, they have pretty good infrastructure. This applies to Jungfrau too, where they have bore into the mountains and created Cog railway. This is one of the reasons why the trip to Jungfraujoch is expensive.

Switzerland (or any other cold country) is worth to explore in both summer and winter, as the nature and landscape look totally different. Also, the advantage of visiting Switzerland in winter is that it is less touristic/commercial when compared to summer.

If you plan on visiting Jungfraujoch in winter, start as early as possible, as the train service closes at around 4 PM, coz it gets dark after that. Also, check the weather forecast before doing that.

EDIT: As for mountains, they are not closed in winter, but most of the mountain passes (For Ex: Susten Pass, Great St. Bernardino Pass, etc) will be closed in winter.

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