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Bonistock / Melchsee-Frutt

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Späckrösti 5c S 
Zuägadä 6b S 

Bonistock / Melchsee-Frutt Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,538'
Location: 46.7754, 8.2791 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 7,524
Administrators: Dan Flynn, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Colin Winter on Oct 18, 2008
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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:

Getting There 

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

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
Rock Climbing Photo: The jugular upper section of Heiliggeischt

Heiliggeischt 6b 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b  Europe : Switzerland : ... : 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

Photos of Bonistock / Melchsee-Frutt Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Most comfortable belay.  Ever.
Most comfortable belay. Ever.
Rock Climbing Photo: Lowering off of Späckrösti, a superb 6a.
Lowering off of Späckrösti, a superb 6a.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tanja "Tanjanator" Winter sending.
Tanja "Tanjanator" Winter sending.
Rock Climbing Photo: A great fire pit near the shore of the Melchsee.
A great fire pit near the shore of the Melchsee.
Rock Climbing Photo: Eiger Live, 7a
Eiger Live, 7a
Rock Climbing Photo: views from the crag in early spring
views from the crag in early spring
Rock Climbing Photo: Marmots in their environment
Marmots in their environment
Rock Climbing Photo: The approach in winter
The approach in winter
Rock Climbing Photo: The stoplight for the road to Melchsee.  The toll ...
BETA PHOTO: The stoplight for the road to Melchsee. The toll ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Melchsee panorama view from the crag
Melchsee panorama view from the crag
Rock Climbing Photo: Melchsee reflections, in autumn
Melchsee reflections, in autumn
Rock Climbing Photo: Traffic jam, Swiss style, in Melchtal... even if i...
Traffic jam, Swiss style, in Melchtal... even if i...
Rock Climbing Photo: Working hard on Eiger Live, 7a.
Working hard on Eiger Live, 7a.
Rock Climbing Photo: Out of the soup! In the gondola heading up to the ...
Out of the soup! In the gondola heading up to the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ossian "Oz bozz" B powering through some...
Ossian "Oz bozz" B powering through some...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tanja "Tanjanator" Winter sending
Tanja "Tanjanator" Winter sending
Rock Climbing Photo: Views from the crag in winter.
Views from the crag in winter.
Rock Climbing Photo: Views from the crag - a large cable car serving th...
Views from the crag - a large cable car serving th...

Comments on Bonistock / Melchsee-Frutt Add Comment
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By Braxtron
From: ...
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
From: MA
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.
By FourT6and2
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:
By BobbyShih Shih
Jun 21, 2017
The actual crags are down a long and windy road on the north side of the Melchsee lake. As you head down the road you will pass through a small town (if you can even call it that) that is set up mostly for people before they head up to the lake. You will need to get a ticket from an automated machine. The road leading up to the lake is a one way, with alternating traffic. On even hours, traffic is allowed up tot he lake and on odd hours traffic is allowed down from the lake. If you come late, or close to the next hour, it may be a good idea to wait it out as if you take too long getting up traffic coming the other way may start and this road has a lot of unfortunately sharp turns.

Once you make it to the lake you should park at the parking lot you see on your way in. You can technically drive all the way to the approach, but this isn't technically allowed. Just park and walk along the lake until you pass a gigantic ladder decorated as a candle. Past this you should be able to see the crags. Look for an approach trail just off to your left. All the routes are marked with a placard that has the name and the grade. The routes all look like they haven't seen much traffic, as there is little to no chalk on them, and a lot of them involved a good amount of hold finding.

When you're done and ready to come back down be sure to stop by a pay machine, which should be located at the parking lot. You will need to validate your ticket before you can leave. If you forget, there is another pay machine located near the gates at the bottom. When I came I stayed for about 16 hours (came at night, left the next afternoon) which cost 16 CHF. Not sure if the price is per hour or a flat rate, but it isn't all that bad.

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