I am rather proud of myself because I have discovered a , probably well-known, secret about hiking in switzerland: They will charge you and arm and a leg to take the initial gondola half-way up the mountain but if you suck it up and hike the hour or two up midway you can do soem fantastic hiking for FREE or even jsut pay half the price to take the gondola from the mid-way point to the top to see the good views. A good example of this strategy can be used in Zermatt..starting point for some truly awesome hiking and the famous Matterhorn. Suck it up, walk the two hours to Schwarzee station and you will pay 40 Swiss francs to go to the top of the matterhorn and back to Schwarzee, for an easy hour and half walk down. Otherwise, roundtrip from Zermatt you will pay 82 Swiss francs and not even get any good walking in for the day. You can do it!!