When you mention the Schreckhorn (Switzerland) in a conversation with a mountaineer, a little bit of fear is seen in their eyes. It is a notorious peak in the Bernese Alps often regarded as the most difficult 4000-meter mountain to climb in the Alps. The advantage is that there are few crowds seen on its faces and can bring you closer to mastery.
Facts about the Schreckhorn
The Schreckhorn (4078 m.) is located in the eastern part of the Berner Oberland near Grindelwald. It forms an impressive twin summit with the Lauteraarhorn. Both these peaks are located on a 10- kilometer long ridge, upon which there are more peaks, mostly between 3100 and 3700 meters.
The mountain is considered as the most technical and difficult 4000’er in the Alps and a huge challenge on any face. The main advantage is that not many people climb this peak, and there is a great mountaineering atmosphere for those who do. The tough part of the climb is the route towards the ridge.
The adventure starts in the village of Grindelwald, but the route is long and there are almost no mountain huts. This makes these mountains some of the most remote in Europe, and when an emergency situation occurs, you are on your own. From the normal route, that starts from the Schreckhornhütte, it takes about 6-8 hours to climb to the summit. The Schreckhorn is the northernmost Alpine four-thousander and the northernmost summit rising above 4,000 meters in Europe. It reaches an altitude of 4078 meters and was first ascended in 1861 by P & C Michel, U. Kaufmann and L. Stephen.
Accommodations in the region of the Schreckhorn
The Schreckhorn is one of the most remote mountains in the Alps: there aren’t too many villages and mountain huts around. The closest village is Grindelwald, a popular place for climbers and hikers who want to catch a glimpse of the notorious Eiger. Another option, though a lot further, is the village of Wengen in the Lauterbrunnen Valley,if you are looking for fine hotel these are worth checking out:
Hotel Spinne located in the heart of the glacier village of Grindelwald at the foot of the Eiger North Wall. The 4-star hotel comprises 43 rooms in a welcoming Alpine Chic design. Most include a balcony or terrace with superb views of our majestic mountain world.
Hotel Alpenblick located in Grindelwald, probably the most beautiful valley in the world, is worth a visit in summer as well as in winter. The Alpenblick stands for reasonably priced overnight stays, spontaneous parties in the pub and tasty, inexpensive food in the restaurant.
Hotel Lauberhorn located on the sunny side of grindelwald with the best views of the eiger north face. if you go hiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, winter hiking, relaxing or do not do anything to grindelwald, they are very happy to be there for you and will make sure that you can enjoy your stay with all your senses.
Grindelwald is a village in the canton of Bern located at the base of the Jungfrau. From the village center, one can take a train via Kleine Scheidegg to the railway station at Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe.
This ride takes 70 minutes and costs FR for a return ticket costs between €124 and €190. Get a Swiss Travel Pass to get 25% discount.
Not only is it a popular base for hikers, but climbers who have set their minds on the notorious Eiger North Face start their quest here as well.
Grindelwald has several types of accommodations. Besides hotels, there is the option to spend your nights at one of the three campsites: camping Eigernordwand, camping Gletscherdorf or camping Holdrio.
The village of Wengen is located in the canton of Bern, close to the border of Wallis. There are several hotels in the village and even a youth hostel. A train leading from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen continues its journey to Kleine Scheidegg. Here you can change to trains that lead to Jungfraujoch. The traffic-free village center with its traditional charming wooden chalets make for a perfect holiday setting.
Handegg is a small village in the municipality of Guttannen, Switzerland, situated near the lake Gelmersee. There are a number of hotels available near the village, but the hotel and naturresort Handeck offers one of the best experiences. Like most hotels in this area, it is found in Gutannen, just outside the center of Handegg.
The Schreckhornhütte at an altitude of 2530 meters is often used to climb the peak from its normal route. For active travelers, the trail leading towards it might be a beautiful day hike as it has a very long approach of about 6 hours; it is considered one of the most splendid approaches in the entire Alps. To shorten the hike, it is possible to take the cable car to the Pfingstegg station and do the 4h 30 minute hike from there. The hut was built in 1979 and has 90 places to accommodate visitors in the summer season (July to late August). In winter, there are only 57 places.
There are two options to do the hike to Glecksteinhütte. You can start at the Hotel Wetterhorn (3h 30 minutes) or from the village of Grindelwald (4h 30 minutes). The latter option offers rare beauty with amazing views f the northe4ast side of the Schreckhorn. Those who wish to spend the night in the hut at 2317meters might be lucky enough to spot a colony of steinbocks. Spending a night here is a truly unique experience, and they serve the best breakfast. There are 120 beds available.
At an altitude of 2392 meters, the Lauteraarhütte is a third option to climb the Schreckhorn. It is located southwest of Handegg in the canton of Bern. It lies above the Unteraar Glacier, at the foot of the Hienderstock in the Bernese Alps. The shortest access to the hut is from the Grimsel Hospice, below the Grimsel Pass.
Hiking in the region around Schreckhorn
Grosse Scheidegg to Bussalp
This scenic hike, traveling from Grosse Scheidegg to Bussalp, features magnificent panoramic views of several peaks, including the Schreckhorn, Fiescherhorn, the Finsteraarhorn and more from a variety of different angles. Along the way, the path travels through lovely meadows, traverses rocky ridges and meanders through pretty pastures. The complete hike is about 13 km long and has an elevation gain of 700 meters.
Murren to Grutschalp
Another popular day hike is the wooded stroll from the village of Murren to Grutschalp,located high above the Lauterbrunnen Valley. The route goes along the western plateau and crosses forests and grasslands. If offers plenty of photo opportunities of the famous peaks in the region. The hike runs parallel to the railway between both villages, making it possible to continue your journey by train half-way.
Grosse Scheidegg to Meiringen
This hike leading through meadows and forests is a good option for hikers who need a bit of a challenge. The trail is more difficult than most options in the region as it gains about 1300 meters of altitude. Hiking time is about 4 hours, but make sure to provide lots of time as you will be stopping frequently to enjoy the views. The starting point is easily reachable by car or train from the village Grindelwald.
Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg
Take a short and easy hike in the Lauterbrunnen valley. You will be granted an almost continuous view of the surrounding rock walls and pass by beautiful waterfalls, including the famous Staubbach Fall, situated just outside Lauterbrunnen.
Things to do in the region of Schreckhorn
Chances are high that Grindelwald will be the location of your accommodations during your stay in the Schreckhorn region. Here are a few options of things to do that offer great alternatives for a rainy or rest day.
The Jungfraujoch railway is a must when visiting the Jungfrau region. This scenic train journey brings you to the highest railway station in Europe (3454m). From this point, you get tremendous views of the neighbouring peaksk of Mönch, Eiger and Jungfrau. With a guarantee of snow and ice, a visit to the Top of Europe building is the ultimate activity during your stay in the Berner Oberland.
Just west of the saddle is the Sphinx station, one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world. The Top of Europe building a little higher up has several panoramic restaurants and hiking trails leading over the crevassed glacier to the Möncsjoch Hut.
Along the way to the Top of Europe buildingis Kleine Scheidegg, another railway station at 2061meters. It is situated directly at the base of the notorious Eiger North Face and the starting point of the Jungfraubahn.
The village of Interlaken, a short distance from Grindelwald, is the closest city to the Jungfrau. The name derives from the fact that two lakes, Brienzersee and Thunersee, are connected by the river Aare that flows through the city. Interlaken has a charming atmosphere. From its center, it’s possible to see the summit of the Jungfrau. The Höheweg, an avenue between both stations, affords great views of the peak.
Hiking with kids
The hike from First to Bachalpsee is an easy trail that is very popular among travelers, as it delivers jaw-dropping views of alpine peaks and glaciers. The trail leading through meadows and alpine terrain has close to no elevation difference, so you can complete the hike in about 2 to 3 hours. This lack of difficulty makes it a great hike to do with your children.
Another option is a fantastic 3.7km-long theme trail from Männlichen for children called Lieselotteweg, with thirteen interactive stations along the trail. The cow Lieselotte is a favorite children´s storybook character, living in a small village in the German Westphalia, that decides to go on a trip to the Bernese Alps.