Sigriswilgrat: Traversing Both Walls of the Justistal
Opposite the Alps is a valley tucked away with a wild rim to rim traverse
This Run is featured in Run the Alps Switzerland: 30 Must-Do Trail Runs
Striding-out along high trails on both sides of the bucolic Justistal - you see where you’re going and where you’ve been. After a warm up following the river, forested switchbacks lead to a series of ladders bolted to the limestone cliffs up to Hohseil. It's a steep start, but you're quickly on the ridge with dramatic views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. Follow the ibex towards Gemmenalphorn (2061m), they seem to like this spot too.
At Gemmenalphorn, you’re looking at the long ridge of the Hardergrat-- a run for another day! From the far end of the loop, you see the length of the green valley, leading towards Thunersee. A quick drop down and then climb up again on the other side of the U-shaped valley. Airy single track flows along the exposed rock wall on a shelf just wide enough to speed onward. You'll meet some technical forest trail until reaching Underbärgli’s grassy pasture. Sloping downhill through fields and farms gives you a break from concentrating on your footing, but there’s a few technical switchbacks and a slight climb before joining the forest road and coasting back to Justistal.
Start: 46.71381, 7.76250
Town: Grön / Justistal
Bring a headlamp and go through the 600m Schafloch tunnel! This natural ice cave was expanded to become a tunnel by the Swiss army. Once at the other side, you can spiral upwards to tag the Sigriswiler Rothorn, (2051m), and then reconnect with the route by following signs toward Sigriswil. Adds 360 meters climb and 3.5 km to the day.
- Wait for snow to clear from the steep west-facing Bärenpfad before going.
- Our Run the Alps Switzerland guide book has lots more info!
The day starts up a seemingly impassable hillside until ladders serve as a key through rock bands.
Kim on the morning ascent of the east side of the Justistal.
The Niederhorn is famous for massive herds of ibex that come to stare at humans.
Topping out on the Sigriswil Rothorn as a dole snickers at our inefficient mode of moving.
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