OverviewThe Diechterhorn is the mountain sits at the head of the valley basin, in which also the Gelmerhörner lie. Considered to be a mountain more often climbed with skis, it is a pleasant glacier excursion with beautiful views both of the valleys that lie either side of it. The glacier and permanent snowfields ascend to within a few meters of the summit. There is little crevasse danger. Diechterhorn was first climbed 1864 by A. Schwarzenbach and J von Weissenfluh.
The Gelmerhütte is the closest hut but the Trifthütte can also serve as a base for this climb.
Getting ThereThe most common bases from which to climb Diechterhorn are the Gelmerhut and the Trift Hut.
The most common access to the Trift hut is from Käppeli on the Sustenroad. (See Steinhaushorn) From Käppeli use the Trift cable car and the wonderful Trift bridge. One can also reach the Trift hut from Guttanen, but it is a long approach with 2500 meters vertical climb.
Diechterhorn seems to be more often climbed from the Gelmerhütte from Grimsel Pass. Reaching it is discussed below.
Take the train Meiringen either from Bern or from Luzern. From Meiringen there is bus service during non-snow times to Grimsel Pass.
In the off-season and during winter, the bus only goes as far as Guttannen, after which it is advised to hire an alpine taxi (Alpentaxi Guttannen, Werner Kehrli, 033 / 973 12 09). If coming from the south, travel by train as far as Oberwald. Take the bus from there. In winter this route is not open.
Get off at the Chüenzentennelen Bus stop (near Handegg). From there a trail leads to the Gelmerhütte, via the trail along either the N or S side of the reservoir Gelmersee (3 1/2 to 4 hours). One can buy a ride up a really scary (but really fun!), cable car to gain access to the south end of the lake. It takes 25 people each time, and waits can be long, if there are many people wanting to take it. It saves about 1 hour of hiking. There are stairs next to the cableway that are used to access some fine climbs on the slabs next to the cable car.
The public transportation route is also the one to drive with your own vehicle. During winter or when there is snow on the road, you must buy permit to continue past Guttannen or take the taxi (see section above for taxi information). There is a parking lot near the cable car for about 25 cars.
AccommodationsNumerous huts and hotels and some camping places exist throughout the valley from Meiringen and Grimsel. This is a popular area and reservations are advised.
The Gelmerhütte is the closest hut. Remodeled in 1986, this hut has room for 60 but is often crowded. Reservations are necessary.
Get off at the Chüenzentennelen Bus stop (near Handegg). From there a trail leads to the Gelmerhütte. One can buy a ride up a really scary (but really fun!), cable car to gain access to the south end of the lake. It takes 25 people each time, and waits can be long, if there are many people wanting to take it. It saves about 1 hour of hiking. There are stairs next to the cableway that are used to access some fine climbs on the slabs next to the cable car. From the top of the cable car at the dam, a trail leads along the reservoir to the hut. It is exposed in places with cables, but care should be taken, if the rocks are wet. The trail crosses the stream leading into the reservoir and ascends the very steep trail to the hut. About 2.5 to 3 hours from the dam. Be sure to check when the last car ride down is scheduled and be there early. People taking dam tours have priority over climbers and hikers and you can end up waiting a long time for a ride.
Diechterhorn can also be climbed from the Trifft hut.
1) The most common access to the Trift hut is from Käppeli on the Sustenroad. (See Steinhaushorn) From Käppeli use the Trift cable car and the wonderful Trift bridge.
2)From Gutannen over the Furtwang saddle to the Trift glacier. Then via the trail from the Windegg hut to the Trift hut. The winter approach via the winter trail on the Steinhüshorn to the Trift hut. 6-7hours. Over 2500 meters vertical.
The traverse to or from the Tierberglihut is also possible.
Routes OverviewA short overview of routes. Consult a guide book and other route decriptions for more detail.
F or L (Easy) Ascend to the Diechterlimi from either the Trift or Gelmer huts. Then directly to the summit. !/2 hour from the Diechterlimi.
F or L (Easy)
From the Diechterlimi, ascend and traverse the mountain on the east and north until the NW ridge is reached. Crossing the bergschrund requires some care. From there it is 1 pitch of 4th class to the summit. Recommended, if the southern route conditions are poor. 1 hour from the Diechterlimi
UIAA II to III (Easy 5th class); First climbed by Keller and Pfrunder, 30 July 1928.
4 to 5 hours from the Gelmerhütte. Stone is breakable, but it is considered to be a classic alpine tour.
It is popular to climb the mountain and then descend to another hut, i.e., up from Gelmerhut and then descend to the Trifthut. Traverses from the Tierbergli hut are also done. The current condition of the glaciers has made these ventures less easy than they once were.
When To ClimbIt depends if you chose to ski or do this as a summer climb. March/April through October.
Mountain ConditionsThe warm trend in the Alps has changed many of the routes and approaches. Be sure to check with locals (the hut warden is most knowledgeable) about the most current conditions and problems.
Swiss Weather and Conditions
Books and MapsSwiss Alpine Club Guide, Urner Alpen 2 By Toni Fullin and Andi Banholzer, 1996 with 2003 update. ISBN 3-85902-156-7. In German.
Maps: Swiss topo 1:25000: 1230 Guttannen, 1210 Innertkirchen
1:50000 : 255 Sustenpass