Please sign in to post.

Difficulty of a Murren to Schilthorn hike?

My husband and I did several easy hikes around Murren last October. This year we were thinking of trying the hike to the Schilthorn, also around the 2-4 of October.
I have three questions:
1.) How long will the hike take? We have an 80 year old Mom traveling with us, and will want her to take the cable car up to meet us. So we need an estimate of how much time it will take us.
2.) Having been to the top of the Shilthorn before, that last part of the ascent looked pretty scary, as I was looking down at it. I hear there are chains(?) to help you on the very narrow ridge. How narrow is this ridge? I guess I want to know how scary this will be ?!?
3.) I assume we can ride one way back down to Murren on the cable car with my Mom. Has anyone ever done this?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Lynne

Posted by
3145 posts

It is 4 miles and 3500 feet of elevation gain. That is rated as a strenuous hike. Have you ever climbed that much on a hike?

I know my hiking time for a hike like that (2 to 2.5 hours) as we hike a lot. We have never done the Schilthorn as the weather has never cooperated. I would not try it if it is foggy or if lightning threatens. And remember that if you get near the top and it seems too scary, you will either have to push on anyway, or turn around and walk all the way back down.

Posted by
12040 posts

I've never hiked up, but I've skied down. Judging by the steep pitch of the piste, I would guess that it's closer to a technical climb than hike.

Posted by
4132 posts

Having only hiked down from Birg, I would rate it as a challenging climb. The final approach to the summit looks very challenging.

During our trip, one of the couple staying at the mountain Hostel gave that part a whirl. The woman froze on the steep narrow place below the summit. She said her brain shut down her eyes and she was unable to see. Others guided her feet to safety.

Posted by
196 posts

Hey Lynne,

I have done the hike; an amazing experience! The ridge I think you are talking about is from the cable car station at Birg up to the summit. We came down from the summit that way and it was an interesting experience. We came in from the other side going up. I have done a recent post in "Trip Reports" on this RS web site concerning Gimmelwald where I describe the hike in detail. Have a look at that. You need to be in fairly good shape and I recommend acclimating first in Gimmelwald or Murren. Go for it!

Posted by
115 posts

Thanks for all the answers. We are doing a Grand Canyon day hike next week (7 hours), so I think I could handle the Schilthorn hike. It is the steep drop offs that I am not too thrilled about navigating.

Posted by
3145 posts

Which Grand Canyon day hike? Lots of elevation gain and loss there, but the main corridor trails are wide and wel-groomed. No rocky ridges with chains for security.

Posted by
115 posts

We are doing the Bright Angel Trail with a group hike. It looked like the easiest one for the time we had to spend there.

Posted by
3145 posts

Nice! It is a beautiful place to hike. If you hike down to Indian Garden it might be in bloom. It is a 3000 foot climb over 4.5 miles back to the rim from there, so similar in strenuous factor to the Schilthorn (but not narrow or rocky, and not at such high altitude). Have fun!

Posted by
243 posts

Lynne,

My wife and I did this hike two years ago; it was one of the best hikes that I have ever taken in my 35 years of hiking. I would agree with another poster that it would take 3-4 hours with stops. We hiked up to the top and back down (using a different trail) and the 10 mile hike took us about 7 hours with our lunch stop at the top. If you decide to hike back down, make sure that you take the trail that goes to the Schilthornehutte and Birg on the way up and the alternate trail that meanders near the farms on the way back down. Both paths are incredible. I would choose the Schilthornehutte and Birg route if you are only hiking one way.

As far as the scariness factor: I have a fear of heights and there was only one 3-5 minute stretch that I slowed down and held the cables. (The cables are only near the summit). My wife walked across the ridge and I took pictures of her and then she nonchalantly walked back across the ridge to get the camera so she could take pictures of me crossing the ridge. I guess that I am trying to say that if you are afraid of heights, it is doable; if you are not afraid of heights, it will be a breeze.
I would recommend good hiking boots and poles as the trail close to summit is not as "manicured" as the easy trails near Murren. Have a wonderful time!

Posted by
115 posts

Thanks to everyone for the information & encouragement. Your answers have been very helpful. I think we will go for it, even though I am afraid of heights.
Since we will be there almost a week, surely we will have ample opportunity for good weather. It was beautiful this past October with only morning clouds on one day .