My friends and I rented sleds in Grindelwald as we were not sure if there were sleds rental on First (Now we know that we can rent on First), and we carried the sleds up the gondola to First, visited Tissot First Cliff Walk, hiked to Bachalpsee and Faulhorn.
It was quite a tough hike for me as I am not a fit person nor do I exercise much, so I would recommend doing this hike only if you are kind of fit and if you are mentally determined to complete this hike. I love cold places and hate warm humid places, and I have a few friends hiking with me which helps to motivate me a lot more to complete this hike to Faulhorn.
We took about 3 hours + to 4 hours to reach Faulhorn. And on the way to Faulhorn, a few other hikers went by us and some of them seems to hike this quite easily and maybe took about 2 to 3 hours to reach Faulhorn and were walking back the same way when we were just reaching. There were also a few sledders who were hiking up the same way as us. Do try to keep moving no matter how slow you are, as it helps to keep your body warm, and take some rest at certain point of the way to continue further. As we hiked higher, the temperature feels much colder and some parts were very cold due to the wind, and the sun being blocked while we were resting. Bring some small food bar if possible, and a small bag to keep the leftover packaging to carry back home to dispose of. The hiking trail is very clear and at intersections, there will be sign boards to let you know which way to go. You can check out the map at the gondola station or bring one small map before starting the hike to know which route you are going on. There is a mid-way to sled back down before going to Bachalpsee if the hike is too tough.
It was January, and the Bachalpsee is frozen. There are 2 benches around the lake to let you rest on. The hiking trail will go around about half the perimeter of the lake and towards Faulhorn. The trail after Bachalpsee is much steeper and harder but it will be rewarding when you reach Faulhorn. The view is beautiful, and there was a restaurant on Faulhorn that is closed. (not sure is it's closed permanently.)
After resting a while, we sled down the 15km route to Grindelwald. As it was all our first time sledding, we only watched videos on how to sled before this. And didn't really know how to brake fully so we only used out heels to brake but it did not help to brake fully, so there was a very steep and icy part where we went down very fast and flew up from a snow bank. (Remember to move away from the accident area immediately as it will be the same area where everyone else also fly and fall and might cause a collision which would be much worse than just flying into snow.) All of us flew off our sleds but luckily we were fine, and we continued down, after one of our friend realised and taught us how to brake fully with our feet fully down. (do not lean back when it is increasing in speed as it will make it go faster.) After the first crash, I learned how to brake and was afraid to go too fast, so 3 of us were slower as 2 of my friends waited for me and went sledding down at a slower pace with me while the others went down fast. It was sunset and when we reach the end of the sledding road, it was almost dark. There will be a bus from here to Grindelwald which is about 30 mins - 1 hour away on foot. (Do not miss the last bus! Try to start the hike earlier if possible and time your hike well for photo taking and other resting time.)
We were lucky that a local couple from a shop offered to fetch us to Grindelwald as they were going to drop off their recycling bags there. (We are very thankful for their help.)
We dropped off our sleds at the shop we rented the sleds at, as they gave us a time to return the sleds that day, or the next morning. This was a fun and eventful day for us.
If you are going in Dec - Feb, prepare some hand warmers for your feet and hands, as it will get very cold, and bring a few extra in case of emergency, and warm them 15 mins before as it will not get warm that fast if you are already freezing.
Make sure to wear your ski jackets and ski pants as they are waterproof, your ski goggles and helmet too! Sledding down long and steep distances are quite dangerous. There are also areas where you might fly off the edge into deep snow, so sled carefully.
Bring some small food bars to make sure you have food to make it through the day, but do not dispose it on the mountains! Bring a small bag to keep the wrappers until you make it home to dispose it.
Move away from accident sites or keep to the sides of the route to avoid colliding with other sledders and make way for others. Slow down the sled with your feet fully down while sitting upright. Use your feet's heel to change the sled direction. Watch some tutorial sled videos a day before to be prepared.
There are no sled rentals on Faulhorn.
You have to rent from First, and carry it up to Faulhorn, or rent from Bussalp and carry it up to Faulhorn for the 15km sled ride.
There are other sledding routes in Bussalp.
There is nothing in Bachalpsee except a frozen lake with a hut and some benches. Faulhorn is inbetween Bussalp and First.
Bussalp is a town/village.
Bachalpsee is a lake in betweem First and Faulhorn.
There are bus services in Bussalp.
Hope all these info help! It was hard for me to find these information before going there, so I want to list everything here to help others. Please also follow their cultures as you are in their country. That is the beauty of travelling. They also have designated recycling bags and separate things to recycle. Ask the tourism staffs or the supermarket staffs there if you are not sure what to do. Switzerland is a very beautiful place, and I hope you enjoy your travels!