Description

In its original form, as formerly part of Schweizmobil’s curated list of Swiss hikes, “Geoweg Stanserhorn” (Geological educational path Mt. Stanserhorn) leads from “Wirzweli” cable car station, to Stanserhorn cable car station, and teaches you about geology along the way, using the real life examples around you.

As I’m both really averse to using cable cars and more than a bit hard headed, I decided to do the route sans cable cars, adding the not inconsiderable ascent and descent, but also gaining a unified start and end point and closed loop. Just the way I like it.

The route has been removed from Schweizmobil since then. I’m not sure why, but I have a theory (see “Impressions” below).

Notes

  • Original route is not a loop, so use public transport.
  • The top is really busy, thanks to the cable car station. Don’t plan to eat here unless you like being surrounded by people.

Impressions

Stairs up a hill - 230 steps, if I recall correctly.
230 steps, if I recall correctly.

I already mentioned I’m averse to cable cars and hard headed. I’m also a night owl and defnitely not an early riser. As such, I packed a pair of headlamps before setting off, as my modified route is a bit on the long side and I thought I might be heading home in the dark. More on that later.

The first stage of the ascent (parking lot to ridge) was intense, and the weather warmer than expected for mid November (and warmer than the weather forecast), so the long sleeved shirt may have been a mistake. Luckily, I brought warmer and dry clothes for the way down. (My 100% wool hoodie).

The portion from the ridge to the top of Stanserhorn was comparatively easy. I planned to have my packed lunch (tofu and imitation cream cheese sandwich) somewhere near the peak, but quickly changed my mind when it and its station came into view.

Stanserhorn Station. Densely packed (especially the restaurant), considering this was during the peak of a covid wave.
Stanserhorn Station. Densely packed (especially the restaurant), considering this was a Wednesday during the peak of a covid wave.

Now keep in mind this was during the peak of a Covid wave here in Switzerland, before vaccines were available – and the restaurant as well as the terraces (with benches) were absolutely packed with people. AND this was a Wednesday. I shudder to think what a Saturday would have looked like.

The view would have been great, but not worth it.

At this point, I wished I had chosen my other option for the day, which would have been guaranteed to be desolate, due to its cable car already being shut down for winter, and it being much colder there (shady valley).

But I donned my mask, made my way through, and looked for a nicer, more solitary spot for lunch. And found one just a bit down from the top, with a gorgeous view of Sarnersee:

View of lake Sarnen from my lunch spot on the way down.
View of lake Sarnen from my lunch spot on the way down.

I was glad for it, as I’d been walking for about 8 km straight, with a backpack full of water (better have it and not need it, yada yada.) Having calmed down I was glad to be here instead of slipping on ice with no one in sight.

Now this should have been the start of the Geoweg, but for the whole way between here and Wirzweli (the other end/start), I did not see a single sign of this educational path. Except one mounted on a rock around the middle. At the time, I thought they might have taken all that stuff down already for winter (who knows) but now that I tried to open the route on Schweizmobil and saw that it has been removed, I guess they may have discontinued that material, for whatever reason.

Be that as it may, I certainly enjoyed the views, the trail itself, and the whole experience so far, but I needed another break after about three fourths of the way, even though the sun had started going down. I knew it meant I’d have to use my headlamp, but my feet definitely needed a short rest.

View from my short break spot in Obergummen
View from my short break spot in Obergummen

The dark did catch up with me, but only during the last kilometer or so, through the forest. At that time, I did wish I had a stronger lamp, but I obviously made it back to the car.

This was one of my longer hikes to date, but also one of my favorites. Check out the slideshow below for more pictures, and do give this route a shot, with or without geological educational way stations. Maybe without cable cars? 😉

Stats & Info

Basic

Date of Hike:2020-11-18
Participants:Roman (Solo)

Trail

OfficialMy Version
Distance (km):1022.7
Time (h – Est. / Actual)39 / 6.25
Ascent (m):3201677
Descent (m):9501677
Max. Altitude (m):18431884
Loop?NoYes
Cable Car?YesNo
Route:BergfexMy Route
Useful Links:Cable car
Weather
Parking Space

Route Gallery

Note that these images were shot on my old HTC 10 phone, before I finally bought a “real” camera. Nonetheless, full size images without watermarks are available for licensing to interested parties. Check romans.pictures, or contact me for details.

  • View during the ascent
  • View during the ascent
  • View during the ascent
  • View during the ascent
  • Stairs up a hill - 230 steps, if I recall correctly.
  • View during the ascent
  • View during the ascent -this may feel like the top, but it's really not.
  • View during the ascent
  • View during the ascent
  • View during the ascent
  • View from the top
  • View from the top
  • Stanserhorn Station. Densely packed (especially the restaurant), considering this was during the peak of a covid wave.
  • View from the top
  • View from the top
  • View of lake Sarnen from my lunch spot on the way down.
  • View during the descent
  • View during the descent
  • View during the descent
  • View during the descent
  • The only part of the geological learning trail I could discern.
  • Another view of Lake Sarnen, from further down.
  • View during the descent
  • View during the descent
  • View during the descent
  • View during the descent
  • View during the descent
  • View during the descent
  • Obergummen, 1614m
  • View from my short break spot in Obergummen
  • View during the descent
  • View during the descent
  • View during the descent
  • View during the descent
  • View during the descent
  • View during the descent - cutting it close.
  • View during the descent - cutting it close.
  • Poor cows...
  • View during the descent - cutting it close.
  • A bit too close for comfort. Luckily, I came prepared.
  • A bit too close for comfort. Luckily, I came prepared.
  • Sweet sight
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