Engelberg Summer Adventure of the Week – May 26, 2023

Via ferrata climber on steep wall

Over the past decade, Engelberg has become one of the freeriding capitals of the world. Die-hard skiers congregate here for big lines and incredible scenery. We’d argue that summers here are JUST as magnificent, with so much room for activities we almost don’t know what to do with ourselves. Over the next few months we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite things to do here in the warmer season, and we’re pretty sure they’ll pique your interest. 

Via ferrata, Italian for “Iron Path”, is a centuries-old means of moving around the alps. Through history they’ve been built and used as tools by farmers, explorers, and militaries; and now we get to reap the rewards. Engelberg is a fantastic location for via ferrata, no matter your comfort level (although we should say that if you have a crippling fear of heights…maybe tune in next week). We 100% recommend starting with a guide, as they know their way around like no one else, and can provide you with the proper gear to have a fun and safe day in the mountains. In fact, our friends at Engelberg Mountain Guides keep them all up and running for us, which is no easy task. 

Zittergrat / Brunnistöckli Via Ferrata

Enjoy a casual climb on the sunny side! We recommend accessing these via ferratas by mountain bike, because why not? Plus, as a bonus you get a super fun downhill on one of the many trails Brunni has to offer. To get started, bike, hike or ride the lifts up to Brunnihutte. From there it’s a short walk up to the two via ferratas at this location. We love Zittergrat, as it’s a bit steeper and spicier, but if you’re with your family or wanting a calmer experience, go for the Brunnistöckli option. At the top you’ll have some amazing views, and it’s just a short hike back down to the hut. Feeling extra sporty? You can keep hiking on the ridge after these smaller climbs and tackle the impressive Rigidalstock.

After you’ve challenged yourself and tested your bravery, relax and go for a dip at the Härzlisee lake (highly recommended)! If you’ve brought your bike, the fun doesn’t have to stop here. The trail down towards Bergli winds through fields and forests, a mix of double and single track. The trail is moderate, but the techy sections will keep you on your toes.

Mountain bike on field of flowers

Fürenalpwand – Via ferrata

For those looking for an “airier” experience, you cannot miss Fürenalpwand. You’ll climb 760 meters (that’s just about 2500 feet for our American friends) up this imposing wall over the valley floor. Start at the Fürenalp gondola station, easily accessible by bike or free bus. Then follow the short path up to the start of the climb. There are easy-to-see signs posted so you can’t miss it. As you begin to ascend, you quickly realize the enormity of the wall. A bit of fitness and courage are absolutely necessary for this mission. The path offers all of the via ferrata features we love: exposed traverses, long vertical stretches, and of course a shaky ladder to finish it all off.

At the top, definitely stop in at the restaurant for some Rӧsti and an aperol spritz…you earned it. From there, you can take the gondola down, but if your legs aren’t still shaking, hike or run up the valley and back down past Stäfel and to the base station. 

Mountain trail

NOTE: It is super important to have the right safety gear and to know what you are doing. Via ferratas might seem mild with all of the hardware in the rocks, but falling is very serious. We appreciate everything that the Engelberg Mountain Guides do to keep this playground safe, and we are certain you’ll have a great day with them. 

Ready to via ferrata with us? Book your stay this summer and let us know if you have any questions about all that summertime in Engelberg has to offer.

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