Bonistock / Melchsee-Frutt Rock Climbing
Melchsee reflections, in autumn
A short approach, southern exposure, a stunning landscape and an abundance of easy to moderate routes... it is no mystery why this is one of the more popular crags in central Switzerland.
Melchsee-Frutt, where the crag is located, is a wonderfully humble village / ski resort situated high above the Melchtal valley.
In the village, there are numerous hotels with restaurants, as well as a small convenience store with all the indispensable items for a day on the rocks (i.e., beer, sausage, cheese, and of course butter, for those with a true appreciation for the crown jewel of Swiss dairy products).
The crag is a single band of rock that extends for several kilometers. The rock is a high-quality limestone, with distinct horizontal "layers." As a result, the routes are not always sustained, but particularly in the steeper sections where the upper layers protrude outwards, it can make for some extraordinary and airy climbing.
The routes are well-protected, primarily single pitch affairs. Most of the routes are between 3-6b (french). There are only a handful of harder routes. At the base of each route, there is a sign with the name, grade and length. It doesn't get much more user-friendly than this.
Tip: On sunny winter days, you can climb here in a t-shirt and take in the views of the ski resort. As icing on the cake, you can ski or sled back down to your car in the evening!
Info, topo and local weather conditions at: melchsee-frutt.com
Melchtal is a relatively quiet valley very close to Lucerne, and is accessible by public transport (bus) or car.
In the summer, the Melchsee-Frutt resort is accessible from the valley by car, via a windy, single-lane road that takes off from the valley floor at the end of the proper two-lane street. In both the summer and winter, the area can also be accessed by gondola.
Note that the one-way road is open for uphill traffic on even hours, and downhill traffic on odd hours. In the summer, particularly on weekends, you may have to pay a toll to drive up.
From the resort, you walk along a paved road to the east for about 5 minutes. From there, a clearly marked trail takes off to access the crag. The first routes are just a few minutes away, the furthest 20-25 minutes.
Climbing Season For the Switzerland area.
Weather station 6.1 miles from here
14 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Bonistock / Melchsee-Frutt
Heiliggeischt 6b 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Europe
: ... : Bonistock / Melchsee-Frutt
In the humble opinion of a +/- local, the upper half of this route is the most entertaining 30 feet of limestone climbing, at the grade, in all of Switzerland.... assuming you like it steep and juggy.Unfortunately, as with neighboring routes, one observes a certain positive correlation between absurdly well-featured stone and virtually perpetual moisture. Shorthand: if it is dry, climb it.As a casual nota bene, the crux is actually in the lower, vertical section. ...[more] Browse More Classics in International
Aug 21, 2009
There is a toll for the road from Stöckalp, and it's 12 Franken. IMO, if you're going to Swizzyland for single pitch climbing, you're nuts!
By Dan Flynn
Jul 17, 2011
Toll is 7 chf to drive up and park at Melchsee-Frutt, but we couldn't find out how to pay it... camping is possible at several sites on the drive up.
Sure, don't come to Switzerland for the single-pitch climbing, but it sure is fun if you're already here!
Note the grades on the route name placards are UIAA/German, which takes some mental gymnastics...
By Colin Winter
Dec 7, 2011
Toll (in 2011, gets adjusted every year or two) is CHF 12, but this is only collected during the tourist season - if nobody is standing at the base or the top to collect, you've got nothing to worry about.
From: San Francisco, CA
Oct 31, 2016
Now in 2016, there are automated toll gates regulating the flow of traffic up (but not down). On the way down, there's a digital sign/stop light telling you when you can go down. I think you have to insert your toll ticket into some sort of pay machine at the top. because when we got done and ready to leave, we couldn't get the gate open again at the bottom. We didn't know you had to pay/get the ticket validated. But it's October and the ski resort was basically empty/closed.
The crag itself is huge and has about 150 climbs—all marked with metal placards. But based on the routes available here on MP, we didn't realize just how big this place is.
To get to the crag, park your car and then walk along the north side of the lake on the paved road. Go along the lake until you pass the giant, standalone elevator. Just past this point, you'll see some large signs with climbing info on it and the path that leads up to the base of the crag on the left. Don't do what we did and hike up toward the top of Bonistock. We asked someone where Bonistock was and they sent us on a wild goose chase lol. Wasted about 45 minutes before we realized our error. The approach is literally 5-10 minutes from the parking area. Just head toward the lake.
The crag is broken down into 7 zones. Each zone has 10-15 routes.
It's such a beautiful place to climb. Definitely worth the trip if you're in the area. And worth it as a destination in and of itself if you want to also do some 600-foot multi-pitch nearby as well (Chelesen).
Here's a link to a breakdown of the entire crag: melchsee-frutt.com/files/swiss...