Day trip to Glacier 3000 (near Gstaad)

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Lucas
Lucas
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Feb 10, 2018 - 3:39 PM

Hi everyone,

I spent yesterday (Feb. 9) at the Glacier 3000 mountain (about 30 minutes from Gstaad by bus) which I just found out is pronounced “shtad” in English. Haha. I always pronounced the G and no one corrected me until yesterday. To be fair (to me) I think all English speakers do that...

Anyway, this is a LONG day trip from Zurich and I don’t really recommend it from there. There are much closer mountains that are just as good…but if your trip is focused on South-Western Switzerland (Montreux for example) and you want a big mountain trip, it was a great experience. Even from Bern this trip is pretty decent and includes part of the Golden Pass route.

My trip went like this: Zurich – Lucerne – Interlaken – Zweisimmen – Gstaad – Col Du Pillon – Glacier 3000(6 hours & 5 connections to get to the top of the Glacier 3000)
I went the scenic route here via Meiringen to take the Luzern-Interlaken Express train but the fastest route is Zurich – Bern – Zweisimmen – Gstaad – Col Du Pillon – Glacier 3000. This is still a 3h 45min trip one-way with 4 connections.

Between Zweisimmen and Gstaad you can board the Golden Pass panoramic trains (or between Montreux & Gstaad depending on where you are coming from).
The leg from Gstaad to Col Du Pillon is by Post Bus (about 30 minutes). The bus picks up right at Gstaad train station & stops in front of the Gondola at Col Du Pillon to take you up to the top of the Glacier 3000.


The first Gondola, from Col Du Pillon takes you to Cabane station at 2525 meters. If you aren’t skiing you would immediately transfer to the 2nd gondola up to Scex Rouge (2971 meters). They are large gondolas for up to 125 people.
At Scex Rouge you have a self-serve restaurant, a gift shop and in the summer, an Alpine Coaster (world’s highest, open roughly April to October).

The main attraction is the Tissot sponsored “Cliff Walk” between 2 peaks. The starting point is located just above and behind the Scex rouge station. You can see the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Eiger etc. Great panoramic views. The bridge is 80cm wide and 107 meters long. This is a free attraction.
Other than skiing, you can also do some winter hiking, dog sledding, ride on the snow bus or ride a helicopter. Dog sledding, the snow bus and helicopter rides must all be booked in advance. The Snow Bus operates without booking in the summer season only.

As I didn’t pre-book the Snow Bus, which takes you across the glacier to Quille du Diable (viewpoint and small restaurant) I did the panoramic glacier walk to get there instead.
You can start the hike from Scex Rouge station but the walk down to the Glacier is fairly steep and has skiers on it so I took the Ice Express chairlift down to the Glacier (1-2 minutes). From here the hike is about 45 minutes each way. It is mostly flat – a very nice walk in the sun.

I was wearing good hiking boots with wool socks which I would recommend for everyone. I was also wearing thermal underwear (pants & shirt) under my jeans and sweater and was quite comfortable. Temperatures were around -10/12 and mostly sunny. I didn’t wear my ski gear – I just layered well under my regular clothes; but many people were wearing ski pants and jackets. This depends on how well you do in the cold and how windy it might be. The wind gusted up from time to time which got me a little cold but overall it was great weather. If the wind is above 10-15km/h I would have worn ski clothes.

On my return, I had a quick bite to eat at the restaurant right beside the Col Du Pillon gondola station as I waited for the bus (it runs once an hour). It was a very charming Alpine style restaurant (where I tried and failed to use my French skills learned many years ago (under duress) in Canada. Gstaad is mostly German speakers but by the time you arrive at Col du Pillon everyone is speaking French.


This trip is covered by a Saver Day Pass which included everything except the trip up to the Glacier 3000 itself. No reservations were made. The trains in the morning were very empty but the trains home, starting about 4pm on a Friday were VERY busy (with skiers and commuters) but I still always found a seat.

Some pictures attached.

Last modified on Feb 10, 2018 - 3:47 PM by Lucas
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Mvmomcat
Mvmomcat
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Feb 10, 2018 - 7:00 PM

Beautiful pictures! Thanks for your hard work and research for MySwissAlps! 😀

rockoyster
rockoyster
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Feb 10, 2018 - 8:06 PM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas. Great report and pictures. You picked a perfect day. Schtad is a revelation.

sandhuctr
sandhuctr
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Feb 10, 2018 - 9:34 PM in reply to Lucas

Nice clicks Lucas

Lucas
Lucas
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Feb 11, 2018 - 8:02 AM in reply to rockoyster

Phew Gstaad wasn't just me. haha.

I'd been wanting to go for awhile. Perhaps because it is a little off the radar for most people - well worth the trip if members are in the area.

Luckily the weather looked good on a day where I wasn't working and could just take off. The only issue with waiting on the weather is the Saver Day Pass can't be bought in advance (when it's cheaper) but the pass was still cheaper (with my half tax) then buying regular tickets.

The trains in the evening were all running late but I still made the connections (though 3 minutes in Bern was tight - that station is not fun for quick transfers).

Last modified on Feb 11, 2018 - 11:08 AM by Arno
Arno
Arno
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Feb 11, 2018 - 11:16 AM

Many thanks Lucas, for the trip and the write up. Wonderful images, wonderful weather!

cspratik
cspratik
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Feb 13, 2018 - 3:26 PM

Hey Lucas, Great report. Thank you for sharing.

Is travelling to Glacier 3000 included in STP?

Chantal
Chantal
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Feb 13, 2018 - 3:48 PM in reply to cspratik

Hi cspratik,

The trip from Col du Pillon to Glacier3000 is not covered by the pass, but you will get a 50% discount. On their website is mentioned that a return ticket will be CHF 40,- after discount.

cspratik
cspratik
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Feb 13, 2018 - 4:11 PM in reply to Chantal

Thanks Chantal.

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Feb 14, 2018 - 12:47 AM in reply to Lucas

Great trip report and beautiful photos Lucas! What a perfect day.

Alpenrose

Lucas
Lucas
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Feb 14, 2018 - 7:01 AM in reply to Removed user

Thanks Alpenrose!

I was able to wait for the weather to look good before going - but it was better than I thought it would be.

sanjeev
sanjeev
14 posts
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Feb 14, 2018 - 11:23 AM

That was a great report on Glacier3000.

Can this be an alternative to Jungfraujoch mountains, as with STP the Jungfraujoch is still quite expensive.

If not Glacier3000, can you suggest any other mountain visit, which is covered with STP or is not much expensive and it gives almost near experience to Jungfraujoch.

Thanks for the reply

Lucas
Lucas
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Feb 14, 2018 - 4:03 PM in reply to sanjeev

Hi Sanjeev,

Yes, it is a little similar to Jungfraujoch, but not as high an altitude and not the same activities at the top. But yes I think it could be a reasonable alternative - especially when factoring in prices!

Note, The Swiss Travel Pass gets you 50% off the trip to the top, it isn't fully included either.

There are a few alternative mountains that you can travel to that are either fully covered or partially covered - they are listed on the Swiss Travel Pass validity page. Jungfraujoch is the most expensive mountain trip in Switzerland so all others will be less expensive.

rockoyster
rockoyster
4072 posts
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Feb 14, 2018 - 7:50 PM in reply to sanjeev

Schilthorn (www.myswissalps.com/sc hilthorn) is fully covered Sanjeev

sanjeev
sanjeev
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Feb 15, 2018 - 5:17 AM

Thanks for the replies, Lucas and rockoyster

I saw the alternative mountains Swiss Travel Pass validity page, but could not visualize the experience.

Seeing a couple of post Jungfraujoch OR/VS Schilthorn.

Visit in April, 2018 - if this makes the decision easier..

rockoyster
rockoyster
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maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
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Feb 16, 2018 - 2:13 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas

Thank you for your report and photos.

We did the trip to Glacier 3000 in summer of 2013. It wasn't such a long trip as yours as we were based in Thun - a couple of hours to Col du Pillon. We just happened to arrive at the top at the same time as runners doing the Glacier 3000 marathon! So we found ourselves being ushered around by the stewards and restricted as where we could go. We managed to get access to the chair lift down to the Glacier as an escape and took a ride on the Snow Bus which was great fun. We had good weather until returning on the chair lift when we were engulfed in cloud and couldn't see where we were going! The runners had all left by then so we were able to have a snack up there before going back to Thun. We didn't do the Cliff Walk so may return to do that but will check first there's no marathon going on!

Maggie

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Feb 16, 2018 - 3:29 AM in reply to sanjeev

>> Seeing a couple of post Jungfraujoch OR/VS Schilthorn.

Have you read the information on these pages?

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfraujoch

www.myswissalps.com/sc hilthorn

Also read the information about when the Schilthorn cable car is not operating: rockoyster gave you the link. The train to the Jungfraujoch operates all year.

I have posted some photos taken at the Jungfraujoch and the Schilthorn in my post of Mar 1, 2017 - 10:12 PM (and the following post) on the this page if you are interested

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/itinerary-questions

The Jungfraujoch is reached by cogwheel train. You get to the Schilthorn by cable car. If time and finances permit, they are both definitely worth seeing.

Should you have any further questions, please assist us by starting a new thread here:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/miscellaneous

Alpenrose

Last modified on Feb 16, 2018 - 3:32 AM by Removed user
Lucas
Lucas
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Feb 16, 2018 - 7:55 AM in reply to maggiehorswell

Hi Maggie,

I did luck out on the weather for sure. It's a worthwhile trip as long as you are at least in Bern or Bernese Oberland in general - from Zurich....not so sure! :)

Unfortunate about the marathon! Do the Glacier walk to the bar next time too - in good weather it is quite enjoyable....quiet and relaxing (except for the plane noise when they took off from the glacier but it was a lot of fun to watch).

Like2Travel
Like2Travel
26 posts
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Mar 13, 2018 - 8:20 PM in reply to Lucas

Thank you for sharing the report and pictures, Lucas. I am revising my 10-day trip to the Bernese Oberland in May/June to include Glacier 3000. I cannot do a lot of hiking anymore. I would like to see the magnificent beauty of the Swiss Alps by train, bus and cable car rides and this article helps a lot. We will be based in Murren and Wengen. Take care.

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