This time I have decided to make a little harder climb as a training before I am going to conquer Grossglockner in Austria.
Grossglockner is the highest summit in Austria standing at 3798 meters. Switzerland itself has many more higher peaks, but we decided to start from something more easy, more relaxing and not tough. This climb will include all we want: some rock climbing, use of crampons, ropes, snow and so on. I hope it will be a full scale mountain experience.
So when climbing Grossglockner we will start at approximately 2000m altitude and do 1500m climb to 3500m and spend a night in a hut. To climb all these 1500m we will have the whole day, so it shouldn’t be hard at all. Next day we will push to the top which is just 298 meters up, but it is more complicated, little more rocks, much steeper, some walking on the edge of the mountain which is pretty slippery and so on. So it should take us around 3 hours to the peak and come back to the hut.
So to be sure that I can do 1500m climb in a day, we have tried to climb to Glacier 3000 which is based not far from Gstaad.
Col du Pillon – Scex Rouge
Col du Pillon is a cable station which can take you up to Glacier 3000. Little bit more information here, if you are interested how to get there and things to do: Glacier 3000.
Col du Pillon itself is at 1540m altitude. On the day we did climb it was pretty hot, around 30 degrees, so the start was pretty hectic as the sun was hitting us pretty hard. The path to Glacier 3000 or the top Scex Rouge is quite steep. I can say honestly that I have never did a steeper hike. It’s all the time pushing up. Up and up, not flat terrain at all.
At the altitude of 2500m there’s a hut, which is in a fabulous place. Really amazing. Despite the fact that you can see Glacier 3000 station on the top and a city below, it looks that this hut is really in the middle of nowhere.
Just before reaching the hut, we had to cover some distance (maybe 300m) where it is just rocks and you have to even us a ladder which is put into stones, but it’s no big deal. If you come to this place, do not be worried, it’s easy and short.
At altitude of 2500m it got little chilly, but as we decided to push straight up, it wasn’t cold at all.
Now, then you go from that hut, we had some snow on our hiking path, but it’s no big deal, we could walk it carefully with our running shoes. It is important to say, that it is very recommended to do this hike just from the middle of July, and we did it on the 14th of July. So I guess one more week later there’s now snow at all.
When we reached the altitude of 2600m I started to feel little dizzy. I don’t know really why, maybe shortage of oxygen decrease or I got little tired (and the section from the hut to the altitude of 2700m is verrrry steeeeep). So till the top I really felt little dizzy all the time. I was little worried, but then we spend like 5 minutes on the top, not climbing anymore, I got all good. No problem at all.
On the top, it’s quite busy as you have quite many people walking around, there’s as well some nice activity with sleds which goes down on the rail and so on. Glacier itself at this time of the year doesn’t look that fascinating as the top of it looks more like a melting snow. It’s not majestic like those glaciers from Greenland or Iceland. Glacier 3000 in summer is a big patch of snow, like all field is full of snow, but I am pretty sure there’s a LOT OF ice beneath it. The Glacier in the summer time looks little dirty because of all the rocks and dirt around it, so it covers it a little, so it’s not that pure looking. It looks much better in winter.
I don’t know the exact temperature on the top, but it’s not much, maybe 5 degrees by Celsius 😉 What is really fun on the top, is the bridge which connects two peaks. It’s not very long, but still pretty fascinating 🙂 It sits there at 2971m altitude.
After making some pictures on the bridge, we have decided to have a small lunch in the station. There is one buffet and one restaurant inside which is very nice, cozy and warm 🙂
We have decided to have a goulash soup which is very popular in many Swiss huts. I can say that I have eaten goulash soup in maybe 5 different huts in different places of Switzerland. It’s very delicious. It’s a must after a hike 🙂
After our lunch, we saw a thunderstorm and pretty heavy rain outside, so we decided to use this cable car which takes you down to Col du Pillon. What is very cool – it’s free. Once you manage to walk all the way up, they will take you down for free 🙂
I would really recommend a trip to Glacier 3000, as it is in a very spectacular place, but maybe to enjoy it’s all beauty, I would choose a colder time of the year, as I saw pictures done in winter there, it looks even better 🙂
All in all we made 7km, 1500m climb in 2,5 hours 🙂 I think I am ready to go to Grossglockner :)))
See how it looks on youtube:
See you on our next adventures 🙂