Oberbauenstock : Pre-Alps Primer

Spicy ridge traversing and loads of early season quality running 

→ 18km   

↑ 1500m

Δ 2117M 

♦ Medium


The pre-Alps around the Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne) offer abundant shoulder season trail running. For an early ridge line traverse with a Hardergrat-esque feel, the section of ridge connecting the Jochlistock with the Oberbauenstock is sure to satisfy the craving of what summer delivers.

After the lift up to Niederbauen, the run starts off with an easy 4km downhill. The climb kicks off soon enough to bring you up to the ridge to tag the Jochlistock and Gandispitz on the way to Oberbauenstock. From the summit, double back just 100 meters of elevation and split off the north side of the ridge. The start of the descent is very steep and rocky, and fitted with cables and rungs. It'll be slow going for a few steps but leaves you at a buffed-out sloping trail, first through rock, and then a very long traverse cut into a flower covered hillside. From there you'll coast back to Niederbauen with more opportunities to enjoy the view of Vierwaldstättersee, and the lift back to nearly lake level where swimming awaits.

Detailed GPX Track

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GPX Track
Start:  46.955878, 8.518727
Town:  Emmetten Niederbauen 
Canton:  Nidwalden
Country:  Switzerland

  • Go in June or even May if snow melt allows, but the steep north facing sections are clear.
  • Carry enough water. There isn't any along the route
  • Ridge traverses can be slow, allow for extra time out.
  • Only go with a stable weather forecast to not be caught on the slippery ridge in the rain.

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Cruising the forest trails on the approach


The ridge trail is always good, but often narrow and occasionally with some exposure


Approaching the Oberbauenstock


The out and back trail to the summit of the Oberbauenstock


Descending off the Oberbauenstock includes some very steep trail, but mostly good running


The Oberbauenstock descent


A long, fast descent trail leads off the Oberbauenstock

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