Glecksteinhütte, the Swiss Alpine hut you have to visit

by Igor
hike to Glecksteinhütte, the Swiss mountain hut

After staying at campsite ‘Camping Gletscherdorf’ in Grindelwald (Switzerland) for the third time already last year (2019), we agreed that we couldn’t leave this beautiful Jungfrau mountain region again without an overnight stay in a real Swiss Alpine hut like the Glecksteinhütte. After scrolling through a selection of many pictures of Alpine huts around Grindelwald (thanks Instagram!), we decided to pick the Glecksteinhütte for our stay. Oberer Grindelwaldgletscher Glecksteinhütte An idyllic Alpine hut next to the impressive Oberer Grindelwald glacier on a height of 2350 meters. Based on the online reviews, we concluded that the hut was well managed by the family Bleuer. Great pictures and wonderful words from previous guests made us choose to make an online reservation and go for it.

Pro tip: Got some time to spend in this area? Then consider to make a visit to the Glecksteinhütte part of a multi day hut-to-hut hike through the beautiful Jungfrau mountain region! We found the trail map below in the ‘Trekking Tour of the Jungfrau Region’ guide, available on Amazon.

The tour of the Jungfrau Region

 

Hike to GlecksteinhütteWe had never hiked to a mountain hut before and have no alpine experience at all. So, this was totally new to us. We both have some fear of heights, but we were naïve enough to just ignore this very useful line on the website of Glecksteinhütte: It is important that you are not afraid of heights because there are exposed parts of the trail” 

We packed only one backpack with gear which we thought would be necessary for a 2 night stay at the hut and a small daypack. (Check our list with essentials to bring on a hiking trip to an alpine hut.)

The hike up to the Glecksteinhütte

We started our hike from a bus stop somewhere between hotel Wetterhorn and Mountain hotel Grosse Scheidegg. The first kilometres started pretty innocent and forestry. A steady but not too difficult ascent to a snowy patch. After that, the path turned quickly from a mountain trail into an alpine trail and then into a very narrow and rocky path with not more than half a meter separating us from the cliff. Yes, there were some moments we spoke about heading back. Rocky path GlecksteinhütteBut we didn’t! We just took our time and climbed slowly and carefully without looking over the edge.

For those of you also facing some fear of heights: on the most challenging parts you will find steel cables to hold on to.  After we passed the rocky side of the mountain, the trail flattened out a bit and we didn’t have to fight our fear of heights anymore.

Although we still had to climb another 800 meters (which took us almost 2 hours), we started to enjoy the views of the mountains of the Eiger region, Grindelwald and the Oberer Grindelwald glacier. One of the great scenes along this trail is the former upper aerial tramway station (one of the world’s first passenger carrying aerial tramway) which was only in operation until the beginning of World War I. Glecksteinhütte waterfallAnother fun (and on hot days very welcome) part of the path leads underneath a small waterfall (free shower).

After the waterfall, we zigzagged up to the Glecksteinhütte. On this part of the trail we saw a first glimpse of the Glecksteinhütte. After almost 4 hours of hiking in total, we arrived just before dinner was served (daily at 6:30 pm).

Staying 2 nights at the Glecksteinhütte mountain hut

After arriving, we checked in at the bar in the hut. We received useful information and our room was showed to us. Glecksteinhütte has 80 beds divided by small rooms with 4 bunk beds and large rooms with 10-13 beds. The shared rooms are nicely finished in wood all around and give you a typical mountain hut style feeling.

Most of the people who stay here for the night or two, are mountaineers or hikers like us. However, we’ve also seen plenty of day visitors! The family Bleuer are fantastic hosts and provide a daily delicious Swiss mountain 3 course meal for those who spend the night. We got homemade soup, pasta with a local flowery touch and pudding for dessert. What’s really great about having dinner here, is that you share a table with likeminded people. Some of the guests where hut-hopping through the valley, some were super young (there was a small boy of age 8 with his grandmother) and some stay here as a pitstop to an icy climb more up the mountain.

Glecksteinhütte shoe-roomGlecksteinhütte Dinner Breakfast roomGlecksteinhütte room

4 natural wonders around the Glecksteinhütte

  1. After dinner, we enjoyed the truly magical burning sunset which can only be seen like this at great height.
  2. The glacier on the opposite of the hut. We have seen many glaciers in the past, but this one was so close and impressive… Even a bit intimidating and worrying when huge chunks of ice would break from the glacier creating a snow slide and echoing through the valley like thunder.
  3. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet the Alpine Ibex – a Swiss mountain goat – just before sunset at the terrace of the hut.
  4. It was great to meet some locals who told us about the special Edelweiss flower which can be found at this height.

Edelweiss flower SwitzerlandAlpine Ibex, a Swiss mountain goat

And then it was time to return to the campground again

Glecksteinhütte gletsjerThe next morning a simple but fine breakfast was served. If you like, you can also order a nice lunch pack. We just spent our day relaxing in sun chairs and walking a bit around the hut. Purely enjoying the natural sounds and the gorgeous mountain views. After 2 nights, we hiked back to our campsite in Grindelwald and enjoyed our last night in Switzerland. All in all, we really enjoyed hiking all the way up to the mountain hut and we were pleasantly surprised by the service level at the Glecksteinhütte. Ok, it’s a bit expensive to stay here (but what can you expect!), but really worth the efforts being done to make your stay comfortable. And the views are priceless… The hut serves wonderful food throughout the day, (they have beer!), is super clean and well-kept and you can really see that the Bleuer family love this mountain lifestyle.

Update 2020: family Bleuer will not be guarding Glecksteinhütte anymore. From season 2020 Sarah and Christoph Sager-Benz will be the new hut guardians.

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