Bernese Oberland Ski Traverse 2017 - SOLD OUT

Ski touring and ski mountaineering in the Bernese Oberland is the quintessential Swiss Alps experience. Pro Guiding Service has guided on the Konkordia glacier, the Jungfrau and the Finsteraarhorn region for well over 20 weeks in many variations. We have many local connections there and speak the local language. The area south of the Jungfraujoch is the most glaciated zone in the Alps.

April 17, 2017 - April 22, 2017

Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

Difficulty Rating System

Overall Difficulty Level: Difficult

Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience 

Fitness Level: Strenuous

  • Category: Ski
  • Type: Guided
  • Ratio: 3:1,6:2
Ski touring and ski mountaineering in the Bernese Oberland is the quintessential Swiss Alps experience. Pro Guiding Service has guided on the Konkordia glacier, Jungfrau and the Finsteraarhorn region for well over 20 weeks in many variations. We have many local connections there and speak the local language. The area south of the Jungfraujoch is the most glaciated zone in the Alps. If weather and conditions allow, you will summit iconic peaks like the Monch, the Jungfrau and the Finsteraarhorn, which involves some ski mountaineering. Starting in the famous resort of Grindelwald, we will take the trams up to the Kleine Scheidegg, up through the Eiger Tunnels and on to the Jungfrau Joch at 11,000 feet. From here we will work our way south to the Valais over the course of six days. You will be touring on the biggest glaciers in the Alps, skiing in the immediate vicinity of the Eiger, Moench and Jungfrau and hopefully summit a couple more 4000 meter peaks in the vicinity. For a week you will be surrounded by rock and ice in the most alpine environment of Europe. Unlike many other ski traverses, you will do some climbing on easy but exposed ridges and get introduced to the beauty of ski mountaineering. Conditions allowing, you will summit a peak almost every day.
Suggested itinerary for the Bernese Oberland ski touring week:
Day one: From Grindelwald we will take the train directly beneath the North Face of the Eiger to the alpine village of Kleine Scheidegg, the viewing place for all the escapades on the Nord Wand. The next train tunnels right into the heart of the mountain to the Eiger Wall Station, where an observation window allows us to look out onto the Nord Wand. Finally we will reach the Jungfraujoch and Sphinx Observatory at 3500 meter. From here, opitons abound. Most likely we will ski down to the Konkordia hut (2850 meters) via the Lowitor and the Kranzberg or the Trugberg. This will get us our first taste of the high altitude, but we still sleep relatively low in the comfortable Konkordia hut. 
Day two: The Wyssnollen (3590 meters) is a great objective along the way to the Finsteraarhornhut. In order to get there, we have to tour over the Grunhornluecke, ski down to the Fieschergletscher and then ascend the gentle slopes of the Wyssnollen. After the descent back to the Fieschergletscher we have to tour up the short distance to the Finsteraarhornhut at 3048 meters. This day consists of several ascents and descents that still add up to about 4000 feet of vertical gain.
Bernese Oberland ski traverse Day 1 and 2
Day three:: Perhaps the most impressive peak on the trip and also the highest peak in the Bernese Oberland, the Finsteraarhorn (4274 meters) ends with a short but fairly exposed ridge climbing section to reach the summit. The pre dawn start sets off with a steep ascent of slopes right above the hut. From there we reach the one of the tributary glaciers coming of the Finsteraarhorn. It takes about 2 hours to get to the so-called Fruehstuecksplatz (breakfast spot) at about 3600 meters. Here a short but exposed traverse on skins gets us onto the final slope to the Hugisattel at 4088 meters where we will depot our skis, put crampons on, rope up and climb the easy but exposed terrain to the summit. Round trip time from the ski depot to the summit and back is about 2 hours. The very direct descent brings us back down to the hut where we will spend another night.
Day four: There are many options. Here is one. We tour up the Fieschergletscher across the Fiescherlucke  and down to the Ewig Schneefeld. This involves again an early start. If conditions and time allow, we should have a good chance to summit one of the Fiescherhoerner. The descent off the Fieschersattel can be tricky depending on snow conditions, but once this is done, all we have to do is tour up the seemingly endless Ewigschneefeld back to the Monchsjochhut at 3624 meters. This is the highest hut we sleep in this week, but generally be the 4th night nobody seems to have a problem with the altitude anymore. 
Bernese Oberland ski traverse Day 3 and 4
 Day five: We have to get to the Hollandiahut today and if conditions are superb, we can give the Jungfrau (4158meters), one of the most beautiful mountains in the range a shot. We will leave our skis at the highest col right by the Rotthalsattel and climb the last few hundred meters with crampons and axe. Once back at the ski depot, we will ski down to the within an hour of touring of the Lowitor. The following spectacular descent down to the Grosser Aletschgletscher gets us to within 1.5 hours of our final hut. The beautiful Hollandiahut at 3164 meters.
 Day six: We are now in an excellent position for one of the best ski descents that we offer in the Alps. From the hut, we will tour the short distance up to the Mittaghorn at 3892 meters and then ski all the way down to Blatten at 1540 meters (that is a 7500 foot drop) in the beautiful Loetschental. What a finish. A short bus ride from Blatten will get us back to the train station in Goppenstein. 
Bernese Oberland ski traverse Day 5 and 6
Two of the guides (Rinaldo and Martin) are Swiss guides and Rinaldo even lives in Grindelwald. We know the area as well as anyone. We know the hutkeepers and have guided in this area for 20 years. We speak the local language, and have entered and exited the area from every possible direction and variation.
You can fly into Geneva airport or the Zurich airport. Zurich is a bit closer, but Geneva works fine as well.
Both of the airports feature a state of the art train station right by the airport. TRAINS leave in every direction every hour.
From Geneva, you would have to catch a train to Bern, from there to Interlaken and from there to Grindelwald.
From Zurich, you would take the train to Bern, from there to Interlaken and from there to Grindelwald.
Travel time from the airport to the hotel in Grindelwald is about 3 to 4 hours with transfers.
For accurate schedule info, please refer to:
We will have reservations for you at an amazing B and B which is owned by very good friends of ours. You will be informed of the particular location well in advance.
The key words are ski mountaineering. If conditions are on our side, we will be summiting a peak everyday and most of them involve a bit of basic mixed, roped climbing with crampons.  You are also roaming in a smaller geographic area than on the Haute Route, but will summit more peaks at a higher elevation. 
It is not required, but we recommend to have some basic mountaineering experience. Make sure you are fit, are a good skier and have solid ski touring experience. 

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BASE LAYER    Men's - Womens's
o            1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
o            Non-Cotton Underwear
o            1 or 2 Tops - midweight or lightweight
o            Sock Liners - 2 or 3 pair
o            Ski Socks - 2 pair
MID LAYER    Men's - Women's
o            Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece - only one of these is necessary
o            Schoeller™ type pants - soft shell
OUTERWEAR    Men's - Women's
o            Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
o            Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Pants –
              may be omitted w/ Schoeller™ type pants
o            Warm Hat - should cover ears
o            Sun Hat - baseball type or visor
o            Lightweight Gloves
o            Ski Gloves
INSULATION    Men's - Women's
o            Down or Synthetic Jacket

o            Day Pack - 25 to 40 Liter
o            Headlamp - lightweight LED recommended
o            Water Bottles - 1 or 2 liters, wide mouth
o            Sunglasses - adequate for snow travel
o            Goggles
o            Sunscreen - SPF >25, waterproof
o            Lip Balm - SPF 15+
o            Personal Toiletries - toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
o            Waterless hand cleaner- there is no running water in the huts.
o            Small Personal 1st aid kit - blister repair (Compeed™), aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
o            Ear Plugs - essential for sound sleep

o            Skis - Alpine Touring or Telemark
o            Ski Boots - Alpine Touring or Telemark – no downhill boots
o            Ski Poles - telescopic poles work well, but not required
o            Alpine Touring Bindings - Lightweight recommended
o            Climbing Skins
o            Ski Crampons - THESE ARE REQUIRED!
o            Ski Brakes

o            Transceiver - single frequency,  457 kHz only, new batteries at start of trip
o            Shovel - compact, lightweight, metal blade preferred
o            Probe - dedicated probe only, ski poles do not suffice

o            Ice Axe - 55-70 cm length, lightweight
o            Boot Crampons - STEEL ONLY; NO ALUMINUM!, check fit prior to departure
o            Anti-Balling Plates - fit to crampons
o            Climbing Harness - lightweight, BD Alpine Bod style.
o            2 Locking Biners - (1) large HMS style and (1) regular locker
o            3 Non-locking Biners - any style, we recommend wire gates
o            2 Cordelettes - 6 mm diameter, 6 meter lengths, untied
o            1 Sewn Sling - nylon or spectra, double-length

OPTIONAL ITEMS *We highly recommend these items, but do not require them to participate.
o            Camera - we’d like some shots for the PGS website!
o            Skin Wax
o            Thermos - vacuum type
o            Note Pad and Pencil - Rite-in-the-Rain brand waterproof notebook works
o            Compass - adjustable declination a must
o            Altimeter - Suunto watch works well
o            Sleep Sack - lightweight silk or cotton
o            Warm Socks - to sleep in
o            Foot Powder
o            Cash - see note below

o            Ropes
o            Technical Group Gear and VHF radio
o            Group 1st Aid Kit

➢            We recommend bringing cash for use in the huts to purchase snacks, lunches, and drinks.  Water must be purchased and costs approximately $7 per liter.   Most Pro Guiding Service customers have found bringing $200 to $250 in the local currency allows for a good hot meal in the afternoon and plenty of drinks (including beer) for a six day hut trip.