Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Lat/Lon: 46.81008°N / 8.77439°E
Activities: Mountaineering, Skiing
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Elevation: 10295 ft / 3138 m


Gross Ruchen 3138m is a mountain in central Switzerland, politically in the canton Uri, geographically located in Glarus Alps group, that coverst the area betwen the rivers of Reuss and Rhine. Swiss mountaineers (common to their political borders) arrange the mountains politically - so in Switzerland you can find it among "Urner Alpen".
bais for the normalr route from north is the village Unterschächen wehre Brunnital valley starts. Brunnital valley is a tributary valley of the Schächen-valley that leads from Reuss valley near Vierwaldstattersee lake to Klausenpass. To the east of the Gross Ruchen you find the glacier "Ruchenfirn", to the south the "Alpgnoferfirn".

Climbing Gross Ruchen is one of the most spectacular and imposing ski tours in the central part of Switzerland. Eminently the ascent and descent through the "Ruch Chälen" dell. A long and ardous ski tour, which enjoys great popularity.

Gross Ruchen 3138m
Gross Ruchen 3138m
Gross Ruchen 3138m
Gross Ruchen 3138m

Route & Difficulty

@ summertime afoot:

Car park at point 1086m - Brunni valley - hamlet Brunni 1395m - Ruch Chälen - Ruchenfirn - east flanke/ridge - Gross Ruchen 3138m.
Difficulty: WS

@ winter and spring-time with ski:

Car park at point 1086m - Brunni valley - hamlet Brunni 1395m - Ruch Chälen - Ruchenfirn - east flanke/ridge - Gross Ruchen 3138m.
Difficulty: SS (very difficult) ¦ Route: 142 ¦ 2050 metres in altitude

The tour could be reduced with a overnight in the Ruchen hut / Ruchenhüttli at 1520m


> Hüfi Hut 2334m: Link to Hufi hut

> Ruchen hut 1520m:

Getting There

By public transport

From Zurich or Lucerne to the village Flüelen on the Vierwaldstätter Lake. Change to the yellow post bus to Unterschächen.

Online train schedule (public transport Switzerland): SBB schedule

By car:

From Zurich or Lucerne to Flüelen on the Vierwaldstätter Lake. Farther to the capital of Uri, Altdorf. Next Bürglen and then Unterschächen.
Car park at point 1086m in the Brunni valley.

Online route scheduler: route scheduler in english and

Weather, climate and snow conditions in Switzerland

Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology

Weather SFDRS


Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research Davos:


Link to the Gross Ruchen ski tour: Skitour Gross Ruchen

Uri tourism:

Switzerland Tourism:

Good and favorable accommodations:

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.