I recently climbed the 2970 metre high Schilthorn mountain in Switzerland’s Bernese Alps.
I started the hike in a small mountain village called Gimmelwald. The mountain hostel in Gimmelwald is an excellent place to base yourself out of. The host Petra is one of the nicest people you will ever come across during your travels. Not to mention the stunning views of the mountains surrounding the hostel.
Gimmelwald is at an elevation of 1363 metres above sea level. There is a path from Gimmelwald to the summit of the Schilthorn. This path is well marked and quite easy to follow. At the base of the path it recommends the hike will take 4 hours and 20 minutes to reach the summit.
The overall distance of the hike is not far at all, somewhere between 4-6km, however the 1600 metres of elevation gained is what makes this hike a killer. There are sections of the trail which are quite slippery in the wet and could result in a fall off a cliff if care is not taken. Ropes have been placed in the sections of most danger.
This hike has amazing scenery from high alpine fields with cattle grazing and the sound of the bells they wear ringing out across the mountains, to the awe inspiring snow covered peaks in the background. Near the summit of the Schilthorn the ground becomes quite rocky and rugged.
This a very difficult hike that requires a good level of fitness. The altitude could also be a problem for some people, if you are not used to high altitudes be careful and monitor yourself for signs of altitude sickness such as dizziness and nausea.
Only attempt this hike when the weather is clear. To be caught in a storm near the summit of the Schilthorn would be extremely dangerous. Exercise a high degree of caution at all times when hiking in an alpine area.
There aren’t any technically difficult sections on the trail or any rock climbing. What makes this hike hard is the altitude gained.