Grindelwald First Loop
Escape the crowds on this backcountry tour above Grindelwald
This is one of our backyard classics, and a go to run when things get busy in the Jungfrau Region. It's also fully customize-able with the use of the Firstbahn. Take it as high as you like, as low as you like, or not at all. Our route starts at the First Station and ends at the Bort Station.
From First, a long, smooth traverse lets you warm up the legs before a 1000 meter climb to the col on the north side of the Schwarzhorn. From here, at what the Swiss maps painfully call the Wart, is a quick 30 minute add on up the Wildgärst, a rounded summit with good views that requires an additional 200 meters of vertical.
Once back down to the Wart, you'll start down into the Hiendertellti, a long canyon on the backside of the peaks you see from Grindelwald, which because it's long to reach, few people enter. Savor the solitude in this secret corridor as you pass the Häxeseewli, or Witche's Lake, and make your way out to the end of the remote valley and the Bachalpsee, famous for reflection photos of the peaks towering above.
From Bachalpsee (see = lake), you can decide how much more you'd like to run. Traverse back to the First Station (short), descend to Bort (longer, see our track), or drop all the way back to Grindelwald (long!).
Overall, this run has it all, and with the exception of steep ups, is almost entirely runnable.
While in the Jungfrau Region, you have a huge amount of some of the best trail running in the Alps as options, be sure to visit our Jungfrau Region Collection for more to do.
Start: 46.660066, 8.054020
Customize the loop's difficulty. You have the option of riding, or not riding the First Gondola for the up and down.
- Maximize your mountain viewing time by getting an early start to stay ahead of the afternoon clouds that typically build here.
After passing the station at First, you'll have plenty to look at, like the Eiger's north face.
But wait, there's more to see, the impressive north wall of the Wetterhorn.
You'll start on the same trail as the Eiger Ultra Trail, which explains why the race is so popular.
The long and lonely climb to the Wildgärst, with the Wetterhorn always in view.
As you gain elevation, the classic green Swiss Alp hillsides turn rocky and more rugged.
Dropping off the west side from what is called the Wart (insert giggle for English speakers) on Swiss maps, towards the Häxeseewli, or "Witches Lake".
Here in the Hiendertellti, you've come from that col far in the distance, and probably seen very few people.
Beginning the descent to the Bort Station as the Wetterhorn and Schreckhorn get their afternoon cloud cover.
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