Elevation: 11,466 ft
GPS: 46.529, 8.13 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: Bill Flaherty on Sep 28, 2008 with updates from Jacek Czyz and 1 other
Admins: Dan Flynn, Mark P.


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!

A note on geographic organization:

Here the areas are listed alphabetically, but other information can be found about areas organized:
- by canton (topodb.ch, rockclimbing.com/routes/Eur… )
- by region and type of climbing (scalamalade-areas.com/en/ )
- by north, east, south, west (the Filidor guidebooks, and chmoser.ch/ )

More reference websites:

UKClimbing - look at logbook for crags (e.g., Salbit climbs )
Gipfelbuch - Great for conditions on alpine routes
Chmoser - Excellent personal logbook of a dedicated climber, with detailed descriptions of some routes (in German)
Scalamalade-areas - Overview of some areas, no detailed route information, but good for getting ideas of where to go
hikr.org - Some alpine routes / many peaks detailed here, with condition reports
summitpost.org - Some mountains / crags detailed here
kletterportal.ch - for finding partners
camptocamp.org - Alpine focused site, good for finding climbing near a specific point


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.

And then there are specialized books for areas like Gastlosen in Bern, Valsertal in Grabünden, or the canton of Glarus.

390 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Switzerland

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13
Hörnligrat Route
Trad, Alpine
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Sport, Alpine 6 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c A0
Mittellegi Ridge 5b
Aid, Alpine
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Galengrat-verschneidung 5c
Trad, Sport 9 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Späckrösti 5c
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
NE Grat
Trad, Sport 11 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
La Fiamma
Sport, Alpine
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Via Cassin
Trad, Alpine 22 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
La fissure
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Blauer Käfer 6a+
Sport 6 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Trad 14 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Via Leni 6b
Sport, Alpine 6 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Salbit Westridge
Trad, Alpine 32 pitches
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Conquest 7a
Trad 9 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Die Maenner von Memmental 7a+
Sport 5 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Hörnligrat Route Matterhorn
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13 Trad, Alpine
Egg Riffelhorn
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Sport, Alpine 6 pitches
Mittellegi Ridge 5b Eiger
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c A0 Aid, Alpine
Galengrat-verschneidung 5c Furka Pass > Galengrat
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Sport 9 pitches
Späckrösti 5c Melchtal > Bonistock / Melchsee-…
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
NE Grat Zervreilahorn
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Sport 11 pitches
La Fiamma Albigna Valley > Spazzacaldeira
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport, Alpine
Via Cassin Bergell > Piz Badile, North-E Wall
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 22 pitches
La fissure Dorenaz
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Sport
Blauer Käfer 6a+ Melchtal > Cheselenflue
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport 6 pitches
Motörhead Grimsel > Eldorado
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 14 pitches
Via Leni 6b Albigna Valley > Spazzacaldeira
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport, Alpine 6 pitches
Salbit Westridge Göschenertal > Salbitschijen > Salbitschijen Westridge
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 32 pitches
Conquest 7a Albert Heim > Graue Wand
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad 9 pitches
Die Maenner von Memmental 7a+ Melchtal > Cheselenflue
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport 5 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Switzerland »

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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...

greez from swizzy Oct 17, 2008
North Kingstown, RI
Brian   North Kingstown, RI
I was only in Switzerland for two weeks and had no problem finding long moderate trad routes. What about the Engelhorner?

Nov 21, 2008
David Hertel
Haines, Alaska
David Hertel   Haines, Alaska
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 Jan 11, 2011
Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  

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. Jan 12, 2011
David Hertel
Haines, Alaska
David Hertel   Haines, Alaska
I shall look forward to putting the 1938 route on MP once I climb it, providing it's not up before I get to it. I can barely wait! Jan 14, 2011
The latest Plaisir West, Plaisir Selection, and Swiss Extreme West are all translated into English. The Plaisir Ost will also soon be available as a second updated edition and also in English. Aug 20, 2012
C Miller   CA  
Hey Friends!

Looking for a climbing partner for the summer! I'm located in Gryon in the south east part of Switzerland. I'd be psyched to make it over to Cham for some alpine objectives. Don't hesitate to hit me up. I've got rope, rack, and glacier gear. Let's get it. Jun 19, 2015
Berkeley + Sunny Slopes, CA
old5ten   Berkeley + Sunny Slopes, CA
'Walls tend to be big, and if you're coming from North America, the vertical relief will take some getting used to.' huh??? Oct 26, 2016