Tälli Klettersteig

Published by Stijn , 9 September 2014, 21h59.

Region: World » Switzerland » Bern » Oberhasli
Date of the hike: 7 September 2014
Via ferrata grading: AD
Geo-Tags: CH-BE   Titlis und Wendenstockgruppe 
Time: 7:00
Height gain: 1000 m 3280 ft.
Height loss: 1000 m 3280 ft.

The Tälli Klettersteig was, when it opened in 1993, the first real via ferrata in Switzerland. Through kletterportal.ch, I met up with Steffi to do this route, her first via ferrata, together.


The Tälli cable car starts immediately next to the Sustenpass road near Gadmen. Since you can see directly from the bottom station to the top station, the cable car doesn't seem to cover much ground, but in fact it does bring you a decent 550m higher up. This for a modest price of 12 CHF for a return ticket, payable with cash only at a ticket vending machine.

From the Tällihütte, there is an ascent of 300m to the start of the via ferrata. The final ca. 100m of ascent (onto the Alpligerstock) is already mostly secured with cables, but there is no need to put on the via ferrata set until reaching the foot of the Gadmerflue wall. A friendly cat is keeping us company along the entire approach, even ascending small crags without much effort.

The start of the via ferrata is steep and about as demanding as the route would get (K3). Further on, there are longer easy sections, which often simply involve hiking over grassy ledges. There's is plenty of opportunity for taking breaks or letting others overtake. Regularly, there are brief sections of more interesting climbing, and above all: ladders! In total there are 14 ladders, mostly towards the end of the via ferrata. The most interesting ones are ladders number 3 to 5, where you have to step sidewards from one ladder onto the next. The final part of the via ferrata, after passing the log book and donation box, is the most vertical section, with five ladders in quick succession. This upper part of the Gadmerflue seems to like being surrounded by fog, even on an otherwise sunny day. But as soon as we reach the exit of the route, the views to the north are clear, opening up a great panorama of the Melchsee-Engstlenalp plateau with its lakes.

It has not been too busy on the route, except for the fact that everybody seems to arrive at the end at the same time. Four different groups are having lunch on the ridge, by a "mountain sculpture" put here by the Haslital mountain guides. Entertainment is provided by a crazy Catalan guy who literally runs up and down the sheer crag of P. 2598 in trainers...

The descent down the north side of the Gadmerflue is marked, but could use an extra lick of white-blue-white paint. If you are travelling by public transport, you can descent further down to the Engstlenalp and take the Postauto there. (If only there was some kind of "Brünig base tunnel", then taking the train here from Zürich would be a lot more attractive...) Going back to the Tällihütte involves more effort: there is another significant ascent from P. 1921 to the Sätteli at P. 2116. More than a dozen of people are relaxing on the Sätteli. This seems to be a very popular ascent from the Tällihütte, though I'm not quite sure why. The view north is not particularly interesting, and was certainly a lot more spectacular from the exit of the via ferrata. The view south towards the Triftgletscher is much better, but you don't need to go all the way to the Sätteli to enjoy this.

From the Sätteli, it's a straightforward descent down to the Tällihütte for a well-deserved drink.


The oldest via ferrata in Switzerland has certainly stood the test of time. The Tälli Klettersteig is a nice route, suitable for beginners as long as they have plenty of endurance. After all, we did cover 1000m of ascent in total, of which 500 vertical metres of via ferrata on a warm south face, and that's discounting the long cabled section on the approach.

Hike partners: Stijn

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