The Wildgerst is located in the Bernese Oberland between Grindelwald (1000 m) and Meiringen (600 m) and is a neighbor
of the Wetterhorn.
A scenic road between these two towns leads over a pass: the Grosse Scheidegg (1962 m). In summer, a regular bus service is provided, while cars are only allowed from Meiringen to Schwarzwaldalp (1454 m, restaurant, guest rooms). No wonder that many cyclists appreciate this mountain pass. The road from Meiringen to Schwarzwaldalp is open all year round, although avalanches may interrupt it temporarily and the icy surface makes snow chains necessary from December to
The Wildgerst can be climbed all year round, but its high season is spring, due its wonderful slopes for skiers. It is one of
the most popular ski mountains of Switzerland, and there are few deep snow skiers that have not climbed it. Many easy
hiking paths exist for the summer season, but competing hikes in the vicinity, which are more interesting, makes this famous
spring mountain a rarely visited place in summer and fall. This is the reason why I describe two ski-ing routes, which have
become very popular. These routes can also be used in summer.
You can climb the Wildgerst either from south (Grindelwald) or from north-east (Meiringen-Schwarzwaldalp). The latter is the
classic and is recommended, except if you happen to stay at Grindelwald.
Literature and Maps
Map Nr. 254 S Interlaken 1:50'000
Map Nr. 1229 Grindelwald 1:25'000
See the Swisstopo Map
with many interesting features. Upload is in a seperate window.
Getting to the Top1. From Schwarzwaldalp
From Meiringen (railway) take the car (no bus before June) to Schwarzwaldalp. Winter tires are a must and chains should be
ready in the trunk. Ca. 30 minutes. Try to start the climb at Schwarzwaldalp at 7 a.m. You start right at parking lot with a
steep slope, that should be attacked slowly; many skiers do not reach the summit due to badly managed energy. Keep
always on the right hand side (west) of the creek (Pfannibach). In less than one hour, you pass the hamlet Pfanni, and head
for a small saddle at 2000 m. This is the place where the sun greets you and you have a first stop. You can see now the 50
peaks of the Engelhörner, a climber's paradise.
After the saddle, a short descent to a plain. Now climb a long slope that leads you to another saddle between points 2515m
and 2461 m. Cross along the south-west slope of the Wildgerst and reach the saddle (2704 m) between Wildgerst and
Schwarzhorn. This tiny glacier does not pose any problems.
Depending on the snow condition, you can climb the summit with skis or leave them in the saddle and walk up the easy
path. The amount of snow here is not so much a result of snowfall as of heavy wind, that blows sometimes all snow away.
The scenery on the top is overwhelming: Wetterhorn, Fiescherhorn, Eiger. 4 - 5 hours.
For skiing down from the saddle, keep on the shadowy slope of the Schwarzhorn on wonderful powder snow. Do not use the
path you came from, but go right, always on the steep flank of the Schwarzhorn. A wide slope of half a mile allows you to ski
down wherever you like. Often there is powder snow right, spring snow left. At ca. 2000 m you find is variety of three
different ways. In order to go back to Schwarzwaldalp always keep left along the slope, easy to find. If you are seduced by
the wonderful slope straight on, you might pay dearly. Below lies a forest, and if you do not know the exact way, you might
spend an additional hour fighting from tree to tree. Even if you see some ski trails, do not follow them, the majority of the
skiers is not familiar with that forest! Always enjoy the huge north face of the Wetterhorn, that is just opposite of you and
admire in safe distance the avalanches that crash into the valley.
There is a third route that leads right to the Grosse Scheidegg; the skiers from Grindelwald must use that trail in order to get
2. From Grindelwald
Take the First cable car and the ski-lift to Oberjoch (ca. 2486 m). Ski down towards Chrinnenboden and climb the ridge at
2635 m that comes down from the Schwarzhorn. Walk to the saddle (2704 m) next to the Wildgerst and join the skiers from
Schwarzwaldalp. 3 hours.
Sking down is same as Schwarzwaldalp. At. ca. 2000 turn right and head for the Grosse Scheidegg (1962). Ski to
The road from Meiringen to Schwarzwaldalp is open all year round. No fees for parking. So you can drive up early in the morning and do not need accomodation.
For those who want to combine several tours or mountaineers from far away there are rooms and hotels
available in Meiringen
Hotel Rosenlaui is open only in summer. 2 km below at Pt. 1223 is Kaltenbacher Säge at a reasonable price, open all year.
When To Climb
Any month is OK. In winter and spring take skis or snow-boots. No axe, rope, crampons necessary. Mind the avalanches after heavy snowfall or sudden fall of temperature.
For books, maps, webcams, trains, buses, weather, avalanches, rescue
see my list Swiss Links
in a new window.