Switzerland

Winter Wonderland: Europe’s longest sled trail in Grindelwald, Switzerland

How about having some childish fun sledding down on Europe’s longest sledding trail? The trail is about 15km long, but to reach the highest point you will need to walk up at least 400m of elevation gain.

Craving for some beautiful winter walk combine with an awesome sled trail I was madly in desperation to find something out of the extraordinary. And voilà, how about sledding down on Europe’s longest sledding trail of 15km? This long sledding trail, also known as The Big Pintenfritz, is in Grindelwald not far away from Bern.

Thanks to the weather god, the sun was perfectly shining on the day David has his day off work on Wednesday!

Photo: Here

I was studying the map of the sledding trails when I realised that one need to walk quite a lot to get to the highest point of the trail, the Faulhorn.The summit is 2,681 metre high and can be reached by several trails. You can either take the bus to Bussalp and then walk the more or less the 800m of elevation gain OR take the cable car up to First and from there walk about 400m of elevation gain. With a toddler of 11 kg we decided to take the easiest option. 

More information about the sledge trail in Grindelwald Here

First Grindelwald SwitzerlandThe First Cliff walk by Tissot.

In spite of being on a Wednesday, I was surprised how much people was whooping down the ski slopes. I must say that the mountain station First is a lot quieter in summer than in winter. That said, for being crowded the ski slopes looked empty because the skiing area is so huge and there are so many choices of trails. If you are interested of skiing instead of sledding click Here for practical information.

As we have been here before we skipped the Cliff walk and walked directly towards Faulhorn!

Winter walk First Faulhorn Grindelwald Switzerland

The first hill might seem easy to you but it was not! 

Longest sledding trail in Europe Grindelwald Switzerland

After a tiresome first meters up there lays a small restaurant and I am not all familiar with the ski culture, so this was first time I have noticed a “Ski parking-lot”…

Longest sledding trail in Europe Grindelwald Switzerland

Faulhorn in view…

Between First and Faulhorn there is a beautiful mountain lake Bachalpsee. Although during the summer walking from First to the lake is quite easy, doing it on the winter is not entirely easy as there are a lot of small hills up and down up and down. The hike is not a genuine 400m of elevation gain. It is more 50m up and then 50m down. Imagine pulling a heavy sled plus a toddler. Makes the hike a bit harder.

Longest sledding trail in Europe Grindelwald SwitzerlandFaulhorn, 2,681 metre high. The start of the longest sledding trail of Europe.

Longest sledding trail in Europe Grindelwald Switzerland

Our plan

Our initially ultimate goal was to make Mirabelle taking her nap during our hike to Faulhorn, which would take about 2.5hours. But of course, with a kid nothing is predictable so she was falling a sleep in the baby carrier in the cable car on the way up and woke up at the beginning of our hike. Sign. Now full of energy, this little girl wanted to walk in her own pace, wanting to pull the sled no matter what. The time was ticking and our chances of going to Faulhorn and sledding down on the Europe’s longest sledding trail was rather slim!

Bye bye The Big Pintenfritz! #ourbabieshappinesscomesfirst

Want to read about when Mirabelle was very fussy and “ruined” our beach vacation in Thailand? Click Here

Longest sledding trail in Europe Grindelwald Switzerland

Longest sledding trail in Europe Grindelwald Switzerland

So the title of this blog post is a bit of a click bait, but now at least you know about Europe’s longest sledding trail existence! And belive me, I am dreaming to do this hike to the Faulhorn and try the Europe’s longest sled trail. Why not take the bus to Bussalp and walk as far up as possible and sled down from wherever we might stop you might wonder? Well, for us it is more fun this way…but that is just us.

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Longest sledding trail in Europe Grindelwald SwitzerlandI love all the Swiss benches with a view!

Longest sledding trail in Europe Grindelwald SwitzerlandFaulhorn, so close but yet so far away!

Longest sledding trail in Europe Grindelwald SwitzerlandTurn right for Bachalpsee and Faulhorn or left for Bort.

We thought of walking to the Bachalpsee, and but then we changed our mind when we arrived to a trail between First and the lake. Please look at the map above, it’s the orange trail. From here you can slide down all the way to Grindelwald, but I don’t recommend it if the condition of the snow is really bad. More about it later. 

Longest sledding trail in Europe Grindelwald Switzerland

So from there on, down we went! Mirabelle with her dad. There are many places to rent a sled by the cable car station in Grindelwald. David is almost 2m tall and he had this old-fashioned wooden sled and he said it was not easy to steer and at some places they sank down in the snow. Keep that in mind.

Longest sledding trail in Europe Grindelwald Switzerland

Longest sledding trail in Europe Grindelwald Switzerland

What I like with this trail is that there was almost no people in sight and the view of the mountains is spectacular! We felt like being the only person in the world. I just love that feeling!

What I like less with this trail is there was a lot of walking, is not like sledding down all the way. 

Longest sledding trail in Europe Grindelwald SwitzerlandOver-snowed Swiss chalets.

Longest sledding trail in Europe Grindelwald Switzerland

Longest sledding trail in Europe Grindelwald Switzerland

WARNING!  When we passed by the cable car station Bort, we made the biggest mistake ever of not taking the cable car from Bort down to Grindelwald. In spite of knowing that the snow condition further down would be horrible for sledding, we went a head anyway. Bad bad choice! Mirabelle was starting to get cranky and we had to walk most of the time because the melted snow mixed with mud. I was almost crying when further down there was no snow at all and we had to carry the sleds and it was darn heavy. BUT luckily, about 100 meter further down there was a bus stop and the bus was coming in 5 minutes taking us to the down town of Grindelwald! Saved by a bus!

Longest sledding trail in Europe Grindelwald Switzerland

So we didn’t get the chance to sled down on the Europe’s longest sledding trail, The Big Pintenfritz, but we had fun and I could recommend it to anyone. Perhaps not the best sledding trail but I do promise you that you will have a beautiful view!

Incase you are interested of walking to the Bachalpsee, I can recommend it. But in winter I wonder if it worth it as the lake will be covered in snow?

Hiking with kids Bachalpsee First SwitzerlandBachalpsee, June 2016

Have anyone of you ever try the Big Pintenfritz or even heard of it? Have fun guys!

Family Earth Trek

17 Comments

  1. You are really brave and adventurous as you carry your toddler in snowy high slopes. Also your post on Switzerland makes me in its love again and again. Many people don’t like snow, but more snowy cliffs are very heavenly and wonderland. Walking on First Cliff Walk by Tissot must be spectacular from there we can see beautiful views. I would love to take cable car option, as I don’t know skiing. Beautiful and magical pictures.

  2. I have never heard about Big Pintenfritz but I’m up for it. I am all about adventure, and can you believe I don’t know how to ski. But I’m sure when I’ll to the Alps, I’m going to try atleast once. And so is sledding. I’m slightly afraid of heights, the views you captured are gorgeous yet gave chills too! But anything for adventure..right?

  3. The astonishing Switzerland never fails to amaze me. This place is definitely a winter wonderland. How many days would you recommend staying in Grindelwald?

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