Quite possibly the best country in the world for a climber to visit. Take your pick: granite, limestone, or gneiss - all of it splitter, and most of it bolted. Walls tend to be big, and if you're coming from North America, the vertical relief will take some getting used to. The hut system is great, providing quick access to climbs and hearty fare at a reasonable price.
If you're a fan of granite, check out Salbit (www.salbit.ch). There are many routes in the 500-700 foot range - along with a few marathon routes over 2,000 feet. You supplement the almost-adequate bolts with cams. Rock quality is superb. The hutkeeper, Hans Berger, whips up killer food and has one heck of an alpine resume.
For limestone, Melchsee-Frutt is a gorgeous mountain getaway that serves as a popular ski area in winter. In summer, you can enjoy the most pristine limestone walls I've ever seen. Varying in height, with many sections nearly 1,000 feet tall, they are supremely well-bolted.
For gneiss, there is a mongo slab just below the famous granite area of Grimsel Pass. Get your slab-climbing mojo on, as the bolts are very sparse, and some are rather old.
Of course you can get scared and cold at the same time climbing famous alpine walls like the Eiger North Face, but someone else will need to log on to explain why that's fun.
Beyond the climbing, Switzerland offers a unique opportunity to sample Italian, French, and German language, cuisine, and culture in its various regions. Well worth a visit!
Goals of these pages
There is so much rock in Switzerland. Too much for one website to describe comprehensively! The goal of these pages is to document many of the most worthwhile climbing areas (sport, trad; alpine and single pitch, and a bit of bouldering) and with useful details for some of the best routes. Hopefully this will be useful for visitors in getting oriented.
That said, if you want to add routes for your ticklist, please go ahead!
There are a ton of books you could get. For visiting climbers interested in alpine multipitch tours and single pitch sport climbing, the most useful books are the Filidor series, which divides the country into four broad regions (east, west, Jura, and south).
The series is divided into 'Plaisir' and 'Extrem' volumes, with the former covering areas emphasizing up to 6b (5.10b) climbing, and the latter covering areas dominated by the harder climbs. But plaisir areas still include topos for climbs up to 7a (5.11d) and even harder, while extrem areas may still have some 5c climbs in there.
Plaisir West and Plaisir Ost might be the two most useful books to start with. Newer and forthcoming versions have English, otherwise you can more or less figure it out.
The Swiss Alpine Club has its own series of guidebooks, which are massive, detailed, and pricy. These are generally more localized by canton, but great references if you know exactly where you want to go.
7a10m easy, 10m hard, 10m easy.Hard climbing involves delicate traversing, crimping, and a bouldery move on good holds. Wicked fun.The anchor is far up to the left after pulling the roof....[more]Browse More Classics in International
I am from Switzerland and I am in love with trad climbing. It is not easy to get information about trad climbs here at all. We do not have a DB like UK climbing... We do have dozens of climbing guides for bolted sport stuff but none for trad climbs (except the "keep wild" guide which only includes long alpine climbs).
swizzy, so much rock - and even more bolts...
go climbing in switzerland: besides the alpine routes you just finde bolted sport climbing. Ask people about nice crags to trad climb single pitches - they'll starr at you like your nuts.
we would have so much of nice solid rock for trad climbing (göschenen, grimsel, alto-ticino just to mention some areas) there is no big trad scene, just some freaks who do like theire E8 stuff at secret spots, the alpinists who do the multipitches - but the rest is sport climbers!
For me, a swiss guy want to climb moderate trad routes let's say one to three pitches, I have to finde them myself.
So thats what I do. Maybe I'll put up some info here sometime...
Just curious why there is no info on MP about the Eiger other than a handfull of people who snapped a photo from Grindelwald (myself included)? It seems to me that the most notorious face in climbing would have more info posted about it on an online climbing community. It is my dream to climb the north face (via the 1938 route) and I would like to be a mountain guide in Switzerland at some point in my life. These dreams are lofty indeed, but I'll get there eventually. I'm just a little dissapointed that there is no more information on the Eiger here. I have tons of other resources for the face, but it would be nice to see something posted on MP about it
By Monomaniac Administrator From: Morrison, CO Jan 12, 2011
The database is built by the users. The Eiger is not in the database, because none of our users have climbed it, (or if they have, they haven't bothered to submit it). Perhaps once you do it you can add it to the database! In the mean time, this is about the the closest thing we've got. Hope its enough to get your palms sweaty.
Regarding finding information... I'll be visiting Kandersteg this summer (2011) and would like to climb. Sport climbs, day-long trad routes, easy to moderate alpine routes... Can anyone recommend a book that I can order that covers the area immediately around Kandersteg or crags that are a short train ride away? On another note, do any shops rent hardware such as a rack and quickdraws so we'd only have to bring a rope and harnesses? Any info would be greatly appreciated!