Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 46.42934°N / 7.67738°E
Activities Activities: Mountaineering, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 11906 ft / 3629 m
Sign the Climber's Log

In Memory of Cyrill Rüegger

A note from the SP staff
Cyrill Rüegger, the member we all used to know as Cyrill and Digitalis, died on June 13th 2009 in an avalanche on the summit ridge of Piz Palü together with his wife Tanja and a common friend. They were swept down by the avalanche into a couloir underneath the east summit and died instantly. Their bodies were retrieved from the Palü Glacier by helicopter a day after the accident.

Cyrill joined SP in March 2006 and soon was one of the most prolific contributors on the site with almost 70 mountain and 5 range pages to his profile. He was an accomplished climber, bagging almost 1000 summits in not quite seven years. Among them are 35 4000ers and 272 3000ers, almost all of them in his home country Switzerland.

While contributing a lot on SP, Cyrill's real internet home was where he contributed 585 mountain profiles and reports in his native language German. Cyrill also posted on and other climbing sites, often under his real name but also under the pseudonym Digitalis. He was a botanist by profession and also contributed his knowledge about medical plants to different websites. Cyrill will be greatly missed by all.

This page will be kept in honour of Cyrill, one of SP's most prolific members and most active mountaineers.

Rest in peace, brother!

The picture above was taken on the summit of Matterhorn on July 28th 2007.


The Altels 3629m is a mountain in Switzerland, in the canton Berne, located in the Bernese Alps. Altels is in the norh-west of the Balmhorn 3698m. This mountain is close-by the villages Kandersteg and Leukerbad on the boarder of the Swiss-cantons Berne (Bern) and Valais (Wallis).

On the normal route (north-west flank) is no glacier. To the south-east of the summit you find the glacier "Balmhorngletscher" and to the south the "Schwarzgletscher". Altels is a popular mountain in summer as well as in spring with ski. With ski is essential to have a minimal avalanche risk. First ascent: 8. July 1874 by Hans Hari, Hermann Löhnert & Fritz Ogi.

Link to Altels 3629m: >Altels 3629m

Balmhorn and AltelsAltels and Balmhorn

Route & Difficulty

A celebrity and ambitious tour is the exceedance Balmhorn - Altels.
Route: Balmhorn Hut - Wildelsigen ridge - Balmhorn - south-east ridge - Altels.
Difficulty: ZS (AD)

or easier:

Schwarenbach Hotel - Zacken ridge - Balmhorn - south-east ridge - Altels
Difficulty: ZS- (AD-)

Normal route to Altels (also not easy):

Schwarenbach Hotel, over the broad and abrupt north-west flank to Altels
Difficulty: WS+ / ZS- (PD+ / AD-).

Ski route:

Schwarenbach Hotel, over the band and abrupt north-west flank to Altels.
Difficulty: ZS-S

Getting There

With public transport:

From Berne with train to Kandersteg and with bus to Eggeschwand. Take cable car up to Sunnbüel 1934m.

Online train schedule (public transport Switzerland): SBB schedule

By Car:

From Berne to Kandersteg.Take cable car up to Sunnbüel 1934m.

Online route scheduler: route scheduler in english and


Mountain Hotel Schwarenbach 2061m. Link> Schwarenbach

Winteregg Hut 1888m. Link> Winteregg Hut

Balmhorn Hut 1955m. Link>Balmhorn Hut

More accommodations on Kandersteg-Tourismus: >

Books & Map

Guidebook summer:
Hochtouren Berner Alpen
Author: Ueli Mosimann

Guidebook winter/spring:
Skitouren Berner Alpen ost
Author: Ralph Schnegg/Daniel Anker

online maps:

Map Search - Online Maps

Online Map Swissmap

Weather, climate and snow conditions in Switzerland

Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology

Weather SFDRS


Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research Davos:


Bernese Oberland Tourismus:

Switzerland Tourism:

Good and favorable accommodations:

Wikipedia about Altels (german): Altels

Wikipedia about Bernese Alps: Bernese Alps