Burst - Schaflägerzähne - Geyerhorn - Mittaghorn - Schafloch

Published by Stijn , 24 September 2015, 22h35.

Region: World » Switzerland » Bern » Berner Voralpen
Date of the hike:16 September 2015
Hiking grading: T5 - Challenging High-level Alpine hike
Climbing grading: I (UIAA Grading System)
Geo-Tags: CH-BE 
Time: 6:00
Height gain: 1300 m 4264 ft.
Height loss: 1300 m 4264 ft.

After a careful study of the MeteoSchweiz wind forecast, looking for somewhere to escape the hurricane force Föhn winds, I ended up at the Grönhütte in the Justistal. The road here between Beatenberg and Sigriswil is a toll road (5 CHF; ticket machine) and there is parking some 100m past the Grönhütte in the direction of Sigriswil.


Though the Justistal is a beautiful U-shaped valley, the hike all the way up the valley to the Sichle saddle is a little bit tedious, because mostly on asphalted farm roads. Just as I finally get onto a proper path, an unannounced rain shower prompts me to shelter under a tree for 40 minutes. When most of the rain is over, I continue towards Sichle. Just before the saddle, I turn left towards the Burst (occasionally T3). Two other well-known Hikr names were here just the day before, proves the summit log book.

From the Burst, the neighbouring summit of the Bluemhorn is reached in a matter of minutes (very briefly T4- / I).

From here, there is a marked path on either side of the Schaflägerzähne and a vague trail following the ridge itself. The latter looks so good that I have to explore it. The ridge onto the highest point (P. 1953 on the newest maps) can be followed directly, apart from one sharp section near the beginning, that can be bypassed on the Justistal side. There are no major technical difficulties, but care is required all the time because both sides of the ridge are quite precipitous (T5). The same terrain continues for some 200m beyond P. 1953, until a notch puts an abrupt end to my progress. No shame in turning back when even Delta did the same. The only Hikr who managed the traverse of the entire ridge so far is Zaza.

After backtracking, I rejoin the path on the Justistal side, which now traverses spectacularly (T3) below the cliffs that I was walking on top of just before. After the Schaflägersattel, the marked path bypasses the summits of Geyerhorn (P. 1980 on the newest maps) and Mittaghorn, which is a shame, because they are well worth exploring. The Geyerhorn even has an nice bird sculpture and a "guest book" with multicoloured pens. The exact difficulty of traversing both summits depends on the chosen route, but never exceeds T4 as long as you go around the largest difficulties on the Mittaghorn west ridge. The marked path can also be rejoined in between both summits.

Unfortunately I have no time left for the Sigriswiler Rothorn. Instead, I want to explore the (600m long!) tunnel between P. 1810 on the northern side of the Sigriswiler Rothorn and the Schafloch in the south face. In spite of the name of the latter cave (which has existed long before the tunnel), the tunnel was hardly constructed by sheep. Unsurprisingly, the Swiss military are responsible for this impressive but rather useless hole pierced straight through the Sigriswiler Rothorn. There's a proper bunker at the northern end of the tunnel as well. The tunnel is not part of the official hiking path network, but both ends lie directly next to the marked hiking paths. At your own risk, the underground complex can be relatively easily explored as long as you bring a headtorch!

The path descending from the Schafloch into the Justistal is rather steep (luckily the ground is not too wet any more) and includes one ladder as well (T3).


Though I missed out on the highest summit, this was a really nice exploration of the beautiful Sigriswiler Rothorn massif. The Emmentaler Alpen have never failed to impress me so far, so I will happily come back some other time to this area for more explorations and to climb the Sigriswiler Rothorn itself as well.

Hike partners: Stijn

Click to draw, click on the last point to end drawing


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