Overview and routes
The Albrist's summit
The double-summited Albrist
, oftentimes named Albristhorn
, is the highest mountain of the Niesen chain between the Simmental valley and the valley of Adelboden. Both summits are of equal height and connected by a horizontal ridge. On the southeast summit, which also carries the summit cross, there is a master station for mobile transmitters.
As this summit stands out by it's height - between Albrist and Wildstrubel there are no peaks of equal height or higher - and lies already at a distance to the Wildstrubel, one not only has a perfect panorama to all the bernese Alps, but also to many an important summit of the Pennine Alps behind the ice-field of the Glacier de la Plaine Morte on the clear days.
View to Wildstrubel and Plaine Morte
There are two unmarked trails leading up the Albrist’s summit: one from the south, coming over the long crest from the Hahnenmoos
pass and leading over the Seewlenhorn
and up to the Albrist’s summit, nearly permanently following the ridge (5 km). The other trail comes from the east, beginning in Stigelschwand
above Adelboden, rising up the very steep northern slope in many serpentines to the col (pt. 2336m on the map) between Albrist and Gsür, then to the left up the east ridge of the Albrist fairly steeply to it’s summit. There can be a couple of scrambling bits on this section from time to time.
1) Going up from Adelboden:
The best way to do it, in my opinion, would be to combine the two above mentioned trails. Start very early in the morning from Stigelschwand, follow the path as indicated above to the summit – the height gain is 1280 meters or 4199 feet - , then descend along the 4,5 long south ridge, always following the unmarked but always present path that leads over scree as far as the Seewlenhorn (watch out for icy bits in autumn), then over grass – one gets great views to the Bernese and Vaudois and even the Pennine mountains all along the way! – to pt. 2194, then turn left and follow the ca. 800 meters long wide grass ridge that leads to Silleren
. If you arrive there early enough (before 5:00 p.m.), you can use the Sillerenbahn cable-car and afterwards the bus to get back to Adelboden. The entire mileage covered would be something like 10 kilometers for this route.
2) Going up from Lenk
also offers a round trip possibility, though a much longer one. This one would cover a mileage of up to 20 km (though one can foreshorten it) and a height gain of 1739 meters. Start very early in the morning in Matten
(the Zweisimmen-Lenk train stops here), go up the Fermeltal
valley (known throughout Switzerland for its exceptional beauty and preservedness!) and follow an unmarked trail until the col (pt. 2336m on the map) between Albrist and Gsür, then turn right and follow the trail (here and there there can be some scrambling to be done) leading to the Albrist’s north summit. From here, cross over easily to the summit cross on the Albrist’s equally high south summit. From the Albrist, follow the path indicated above leading down the south ridge to pt. 2194m, and then continue straight ahead, descending 200 meters to the Hahnenmoos
pass on 1950 meters (also from here, there is a cable-car down to Geilsbühl
, and from here, a shuttle to Adelboden, if you arrive at Hahnenmoos before 5:00 p.m.). Turn right and follow the broad dirt road leading down the alpine pastures to Büelberg
upon 1659 meters, where there is a restaurant and also bus shuttles down to Lenk until 6:00 p.m.
I’m always hesitant about posting maps on my pages, because of all of the hassle with editor’s rights etc. But there is a page on the internet with a detailed map of the area (the Albrist is indicated as "Albristhore"; the Adelboden-Albrist-Silleren route is marked on it): click on the link below, then on “XXL-Karten”.
Map of the Albrist
As indicated above, there are two possible bases for this mountain: Lenk im Simmental
to the west and Adelboden
to the east.
Zürich, Basel, Geneva
Coming by car from Zürich:
Follow the motorway N1 to Bern, then the N6 to Spiez. Exit at Spiez and follow the road to Zweisimmen. At the roundabout in the center of Zweisimmen, turn left and head for Lenk, which is reached after another 13 km. Distance Zürich-Lenk: 203 km, duration: 2h 20 min.
Coming by car from Basel:
Take the motorway N2 in the direction of Bern/Zürich/Luzern; at crossroads switch to the N1 in the direction of Bern, then continue as indicated above. Distance Basel-Lenk: 176 km, duration: 2h 3 min.
Coming by car from Geneva:
Follow the motorway N1 as far as above Lausanne, then switch to the N12 direction Fribourg-Bern and follow it until Bulle, exit the motorway here and follow the signs to Jaunpass-Boltigen. In Boltigen, turn right and pass on to Zweisimmen. From here, continue as indicated at the top. Distance Geneva-Lenk: 174 km, duration: 2h 14min.
Follow the N6 as far as Spiez, then take the road to Frutigen (same as for going to Kandersteg). Having reached Frutigen, turn right and follow the road and the signs to Adelboden. From Spiez to Adelboden it’s 30 kilometers.
Coming by means of public transportation:
: Take the fast direct train bound towards Interlaken or Visp-Brig as far as Spiez, change here to the regional train to Zweisimmen, then change to the MOB train to Lenk. From Basel
: Take the fast train bound for Interlaken or Visp-Brig, alight in Zweisimmen and continue as indicated above. From Geneva
: Take the fast train bound for Sion-Brig-Milano as far as Montreux. Here, change to the MOB train to Zweisimmen (a fairly slow but very enjoyable trip through the Pays d'Enhaut!) and in Zweisimmen, change to the MOB local train to Lenk.
: Take the BLS (Bern-Lötschberg-Simplon) train – note that the fast trains of this line do not stop any more between Spiez and Visp! – to Frutigen, and the bus from Frutigen to Adelboden.
Watch out especially for the weather. Make sure it is a stable weather period, with as little thunderstorm tendency as possible. As half of the time one is moving along the ridge, this could get dangerous.
The Swiss Federal National Topography (Eidgenössische Landestopografie/Service topographique fédéral) in Bern issues very precise maps that contain an extraordinary amount of detail in the design. The three maps in 1:25000 for this area are: no. 1266 Lenk, no. 1246 Zweisimmen and no. 1247 Adelboden. The map in 1:50000 to use is no. 263 Wildstrubel.
Recommended guide-book: Alpinführer/ Clubführer Berner Voralpen Von Gstaad bis Meiringen, Martin Gerber, ISBN: 3859021656
No extra gear needed, apart from good mountain shoes and wind and rain protection. One should bring enough food along, as there are no alpine huts with catering on the way.