Chrinnenhorn: A Wild High above Grindelwald
Θ Out & Back
We wanted to see the sunrise from up high, so at 4 am, we started from the Hotel Wetterhorn parking lot. On the drive up, we passed through Grindelwald without seeing another headlight. It's a beautiful time to be awake, seeing the few hut lights shining high above town and imagining all the climbers getting ready for their own day in the Alps.
Flipping on our headlamps, we started up the steep trail, all the while dodging alpine salamanders enjoying the pre-dawn air. With no views to distract us, we moved quickly through the dark. The sun was rising as we passed by the Gleckstein Hut, and despite the gathering black clouds, the Niesen glowed pink in the distance, the ridge of Reeti caught the first light, and spotlights angled down on hillside farms making them glow in golden morning light. Then, it rained.
The rain came in on a cold wind as we stretched micro-spikes over our shoes before making our way up a nameless, steep gully near the Chrinnenhorn. With nothing to see inside rain clouds, and before we got chilled, we quickly reversed our tracks from the summit and made our way down to the Gleckstein Hut for a coffee to wait for the sun we hoped would return. Suddenly, it had become summer again. We dallied to enjoy the views of the Oberer Grindelwaldgletscher, Schreckhorn, and countless waterfalls in the canyon before and during the long descent back to the valley.
The pre-dawn darkness had been replaced by summer sun and the empty parking lot had filled with tourists eating ice cream, craning their necks up to where we'd just come from. We'd left the car in the inky black night, watched a sunrise we'll never forget, passed through alpine terrain in cold rain and thick fog, drank coffee at a hut watching clouds part and the sun dry the landscape. We ran down summer trails with smiles on our faces. This is why we do what we call The Way Ups.
Ice cream seemed like a good idea too.
And for more quality runs in the area, visit our Jungfrau Region Collection.
Start: 46.632201, 8.071120
- The patio of the Glecksteinhütte is a great coffee stop on the way back down. Don't miss visiting the happy chickens - they've got quite the view from their coop.
- Trekking poles are useful for the steep and loose upper section of the route.
An ice cold shower always helps to wake up at 3 in the morning
On the way to the Gleckstein Hut, seen above and left, with the Chrinnenhorn directly above Kim.
Above the Gleckstein Hut on the way to the Chrinnenhorn before the clouds closed and we got poured on.
Arriving to the summit of Chrinnenhorn. Another day... another storm.
Heading back down to Hotel Wetterhorn and Grindelwald alongside the gorge where the Grindelwaldgletscher once flowed from the canyon.
Like she started, Kim ends the day with an ice cold shower.
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