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).
- 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.
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.
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:
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.
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
|Date of Hike:||2020-11-18|
|Time (h – Est. / Actual)||3||9 / 6.25|
|Max. Altitude (m):||1843||1884|
|Useful Links:||– Cable car|
|– Parking Space|
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.