Schwarzhorn ⇑

Schwarzhorn: Grindelwald's sweet spot for panorama views

Bring your Via Ferrata Kit for this Way Up   

→ 24km

↑ 2178m

Δ 2928M

Difficult

⇑ Easy

Θ Out & Back

The trails and views around Grindelwald are some of the best in the Alps. With numerous alpine peaks and the famous trio of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau towering above idyllic green hillsides, it's in an otherworldly category of beautiful. But, it’s also a mass tourism hotspot and true mountain lovers might find it difficult to find some solitude. While this route isn’t exactly going to be free of traffic, it avoids the even more crowded trails closer to the lifts, gondolas, zip-lines, go-karts, amusement park noise, and general cluster-cuss. Hang-in there through the early section because as usual, the further out you get, the further out you get from the masses. 

Starting from the Hotel Wetterhorn, a large bus stop on the east end above town, you make your way straight up to Grosse Scheidegg on the same route as the Eiger Ultra Trail. From the Grosse Scheidegg you'll head north on gravel roads until reaching a junction at point 2006. Here, you turn right (east) and join our Grindelwald First loop for what should be a very lonely section of trail and some private views of the massive north face of the Wetterhorn. 

The 750 meter climb ends at a pass called Wart, directly beneath the sheer, black north face of the Schwarzhorn. Descend west about 160 meters where the trail splits. To your left (south) is a small, steep, loose, scree slope rising just about 80 meters to the Grossi Chrinne, the rocky pass that brings you back to the Grindelwald side of the Schwarzhorn.

Here you have your choice of ascent to the summit of the Schwarzhorn. If you're Via Ferrata ready, with the appropriate gear, the pass marks the start of the Schwarzhorn-Klettersteig (Klettersteig = via ferrata) with all its many cables and ladders. This is a great line and very direct way to the summit. And, it's steep. The ladders are literally vertical and the cables protect very exposed sections of ridgeline trail.

If you choose not to do the ferrata, descend the Grossi Chrinne pass on the trail about 200 meters to the canyon below. There, you reach the junction of the main trail to the Schwarzhorn. Turn left and begin the steep 500 meter climb to the top. While not technical, the trail does have some sections of movement through rock steps.

The summit of the Schwarzhorn allows for plenty of seating for the massive views you will surely want to admire for a good long break. It's like the overview of the entire Jungfrau Region. Plan to stay for a time!

The descent route follows your ascent as far as the canyon junction at point 2421, but then continues straight to the Chrinnenboden where you turn left (east) and descend through the Inberg canyon until it reaches the main thoroughfare trail back to Grosse Scheidegg. This is a long section of superb running before you get back to the Grosse Scheidegg and then straight back down the way you came up to the Hotel Wetterhorn. 

For more Way Ups from Grindelwald, have a look at the Chrinnenhorn and Strahlegghorn. Or for not quite as many meters, try the Grindelwald-First Loop.

Learn more about the skills necessary to run Way Ups with ALPSinsight's Education pages for Mountain Running and Mountain Sport Fitness.

LOCATION
Start:  46.632100, 8.070953
Town:  Grindlwald
Canton:  Bern
Country:  Switzerland

TIPS
  • Take a Via Ferrata kit if you want to reach the summit via the Klettersteig. The ladders leading up the face are dizzyingly exposed!

  • The route can be busy, especially on summer weekends. Be prepared to wait your turn if you do want to go up the Klettersteig.

  • This route has many variations, and can be done from Grindelwald. If you prefer to go longer, or shorter, study the map for your own version.

To save routes, download GPX tracks, and navigate offline subscribe to SwitzerlandMobility Plus.

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Dan running up the down route on a recon mission to determine the best loop.

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The north face of the Eiger and distant Jungfrau.

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From the Grossi Chrinne, you have the option to drop to the alpine trail, or follow the Klettersteig along the ridge and up a series of exposed ladders, visible above.

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After the klettersteig's cables & ladders, a steep trail leads to the top.

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On the main trail to the Schwarzhorn. To the right, the notch in the ridgeline is the Grossi Chrinne, the start of the Klettersteig/Ferrata or from where you descend to join the main trail.

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