The Bernese Oberland is particularly famous for its huge remote glaciers and accessible high peaks, so it's understandably one of our best-loved routes. This is the highest massif in the Alps and is often compared to the greater ranges, but all made easily accessible by the historic railway that runs through the Eiger’s North face.
In this 6-day itinerary, we are able to visit the most impressive parts of the range. Our starting point is Interlaken, the capital of the Jungfrau region. As we traverse across the massif our itinerary takes us on a magnificent route both over high glaciated passes and sharp summits and gives some of the best descents in the region. At the end of the week, we make the famous 2000m descent down the Lotschental valley to the westernmost extent of the range.
The accommodation is entirely in good quality mountain huts with half-board throughout. The food in the huts is of a very high standard, you will eat well keeping your energy high ready for each day on the hill.
Explore the whole route with our guidebook on the FATMAP website here, or follow one of our favourite stages of the tour below.
Click on the aeroplane icon to experience a birdseye view of the route. This route was plotted by our very own Lead Guide, Matt Dickinson in partnership with FATMAP.
Arrive in Interlaken by late afternoon and check into the hotel. Meet up with your Mountain Tracks guide. Welcome meeting, kit check and trip briefing.
After breakfast we walk to the historic Jungfrau Railway and travel to the very end of the line: the famous Jungfraujoch (3454m). The rail journey is a spectacular ride and an astounding feat of Swiss engineering. The train climbs via a tunnel bored through the Eiger and the Mönch and emerges at the final station aside vast glaciers, tumbling icefalls and precipitous cliffs.
After gearing up we leave the railway tunnels and start with a ski descent down the gentle Jungfraufirn glacier before making a 500m ascent (2 hours) of the Louwihorn (3773m). From the summit a long glaciated descent leads us to, where we use exposed metal ladders to reach the Konkordia hut (2850m).
After descending the ladders back to the Konkordiaplatz we continue our journey eastwards to the top of the Grunhornlucke pass (3280m, 2hours). We descend a few hundred meters before using our skins again to ascend (2-3 hours) a peak called the Wyssnollen (3590m).This great peak gives us magnificent views of the surrounding peaks and a fantastic north facing ski descent to the Finsteraarhorn hut (3048m). There is an easier option to split the group and some people can follow a different route to the Finsteraarhorn hut.
An early start and big day with the ascent (4 hours) of the remote and majestic Gross Wannenhorn, (3905m). This is the most southerly of the peaks ascended. Return to the Finsteraarhorn hut for a second night.
An ascent of the Trugberg (3880m). This peak is island-like, completely surrounded by glaciers. We ascend it via the Ewigschneefeld ice fall to the east, and return to the Konkordia hut.
The traverse of the Kranzberg (3666m). This peak overlooks the Konkordiaplatz and is an excellent peak to take in on the way to the hut. Our descent to the Grosser Aletschfirn is spectacular and leads on to the Hollandia hut (3240m).
This day is a great finish to the trip. We climb the Abeni Flue (3962m, 4 hours). Although not technical or steep it does give wonderful glacier skiing and, from the summit, brilliant views of the surrounding Swiss Valais. Descending back to the Hollandia hut and the Lotschenlucke gives access to the classic alpine ski runinto the Lotschental. We return to Interlaken by train.
Depart after breakfast.
The price includes: all guiding fees and expenses, 2 nights B&B hotel accommodation, 5 nights half-board accommodation in mountain huts
The price does not include: local transfers and uplift costs, equipment hire, personal insurance, travel to/from Interlaken, 2 evening meals, lunches and beverages.
We exclude the cost for transfers and uplift because use of these will depend on weather and snow conditions. Based on previous tours the cost of transfers/uplift for this tour will be about CHF200.
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This is an extensive list of the recommended clothing and equipment you will need if you are coming to one of our Ski Tours.
During the tour you will be staying most nights in catered high mountain huts and will need to carry all the equipment and clothing you require for the duration of the tour. The huts are comfortable but basic with limited facilities.
Any clothing or other items not required on the tour can be left in a travel bag at your first hotel ready for your return on the final night.
We recommend keeping the weight of your pack as light as possible. If you are new to alpine multi-day ski touring, try taking your pack out on the slopes before the tour to see how it feels. You quickly realise the benefit of ‘skiing light’.
If you are uncertain or need further information, don't hesitate to contact us.
For all touring trips it is essential you ski with an all-mountain/freeride type skis, ski touring boots and ski touring bindings. If you have your own skis but they do not have ski touring bindings then you will need to rent skis. The same applies if you have downhill ski boots, you will need to rent ski touring boots.
For alpine ski touring we recommend an all-mountain/freeride touring ski that isn’t too heavy, a really lightweight ski comes at a cost to performance on the descents so are only recommended for really good off-piste skiers with a strong interest in ski touring.
There are plenty of great skis to choose from and we highly recommend skis from the following manufactures:
Dynastar Skis: www.dynastar.com
Movement Skis: www.movementskis.com
Black Crows Skis: www.blackcrows-skis.com
Trab Skis: www.skitrab.com/en-us
Scott Skis: http://www.scott-sports.com
Volkl Skis: http://www.voelkl.com
If you are planning on buying skis for ski touring and general skiing and have any questions do not hesitate to call us to discuss the options available to you.
It is essential that you have ski touring boots for all touring trips as walking up hill is much more comfortable in these types of boots with a walk mode and great flex. A dedicated touring boot or a hybrid freeride boot is best.
Avalanche airbag rucksacks can be used for touring but they are heavy, adding somewhere between 5-8kg just for an empty pack plus canister. So unless you are sure you can carry it and fit all you need in, we do not recommend you use one.
Over a long multiday tour every gram of weight is important as you have to carry and move it yourself. Carrying a heavy pack will hinder and tire all but the most experienced and fit ski tourer.
The “Safety Trilogy” - required on all our ski tours and off-piste courses.
Food and Water
We suggest you bring with you or buy in resort snack food that you can take out on the hill with you each day. Things like cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts, chocolate, sugary sweets or your favorite hill snacks. When you’re staying overnight in huts its best to take supplies for the days you are away. Huts do sell food but it’s expensive and sometimes stocks run low.
If you have any food allergies or dietary requirements especially if you are a Coeliac (Gluten free) or have a dairy allergy we strongly recommend you bring some food with you that you can supplement your dinners with. The huts are fairly good at providing for vegetarians but less so for other dietary needs.
You have to buy bottled water in the huts as usually any running water is non-potable. Bottled water is expensive in French and Swiss huts; you can be paying upto 12-16CHF per 1.5L bottle of water. So please ensure you budget for this cost.
Switzerland is a mountainous Central European country consisting of 26 Cantons, with Bern as its main federal city.
It is boarded by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Its a landlocked country with the mountainous regions occupying a greater part of its territory.
Home to around 8 million people (2013) the country has many pretty villages, lakes and mountains. The highest mountain in Switzerland is the Monterosa (specifically the Dufourspitze) at 4,634m. The country has the highest concentration of 4000m peaks at 48.
Its 2 largest cities of Zurich and Geneva are global economic centres and gateways to the Alps from countries across the world.
Its main languages are French, German, Italian and Romansh.
It is a condition of booking that you are insured for your chosen activity and the cover must include medical expenses, personal accident, personal liability, third party risks and rescue (including helicopter rescue). You are strongly advised also to take out cover against cancellation and curtailment.
For more details and to purchase a policy online visit http://www.skiclubinsurance.co.uk/
If you need assistance arranging your personal insurance please let us know.
All our ski tours are led by our team of IFMGA Mountain Guides. The team is led by Olly Allen, Matt Dickinson and Nick Parks.
We spend the first and last nights in Interlaken. The other 5 nights are spent in traditional alpine mountain huts. It is possible to leave some luggage in Interlaken whilst we are in the mountain huts as we return there for the final night. The Swiss huts are renowned for good food: nourishing and plentiful.
IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV
The IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV symbol is the logo of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association.
Nick, Olly and Matt are all fully-qualified UIAGM Mountain Guides and members of the British Mountain Guides Association.
The International Ski Instructors Association is the world body for professional ski instructors.
The ISIA was formed in 1971 and there are currently 39 member nations representing the very best in ski instruction around the world.