Interlaken to First mountain without the gondola?

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4 posts
new member
Jul 4, 2018 - 6:55 AM

Hi there. We are staying in Interlaken in July, and would like to visit First Mountain to do the mountain kart and scooter ride..

The issue is my partner has a fear of heights and is not a fan of the gondola ride up. Is there another way? Is it possible to walk up and if so, is it strenuous/steep?

Or is there another way around, maybe catching a bus to somewhere nearby and walking the rest?

If there's no other way up, how steep is the actual gondola? If it doesn't go too high up off the ground at any given time, he said maybe he can "man up and do it".

Any thoughts on this are much appreciated... we really, really want to get up there so we can mountain kart and scooter down!

12308 posts
expert &
Jul 4, 2018 - 9:40 AM

Hi Toony,

Please see rum/topic/hiking-up-first-grindelwald-how-hard-is-it for the hike up to First. There is no other mode of transport, only the gondola. The only alternative I can think of is to take a bus from Grindelwald to Waldspitz, but then you still have to hike for at least an hour, and back too of course. Note that the buses don't operate frequently.

The gondola ride is pretty gentle. Lots of it is not very high above the ground but I recall that part of the last section is higher. It's hard to estimate if it is doable for someone else, but I would classify this as one of the less scary cableway rides in Switzerland. You can skip the last section though. The cart ride starts from Schreckfeld, so you can get off there and don't go to First at all.

Last modified on Jul 4, 2018 - 9:41 AM by Arno
205 posts
active member
Jul 4, 2018 - 7:58 PM


The Firstbahn isn't very high, but like all gondolas, will rattle and jump a bit when the cabin travels over the supporting pylons, which can be a bit startling if you're not expecting it.

The walk up to First is a bit steep in places and quite long and would take up quite a chunk of your day. Overall, it would be rather strenuous.


448 posts
top member
Jul 5, 2018 - 1:20 AM

If you are not experienced alpine hikers I agree it would be quite strenuous and leave you with little energy to do anything else!

I too am afraid of heights and I agree with the previous descriptions of this particular ride. It is not without trepidation but do-able IMO. Just make sure he sits in the side of the gondola facing uphill

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new member
Jul 5, 2018 - 1:28 AM in reply to Toony63

>> how steep is the actual gondola? If it doesn't go too high up off the ground at any given time, he said maybe he can "man up and do it".

I have attached some photos taken from the gondola from Grindelwald to First. They aren't particularly good photos, but they do give you an idea of how high off the ground you travel.

Something else to be aware of is that gondolas often stop mid-journey for a minute or so. This is normal, and nothing to be concerned about.


Last modified on Jul 5, 2018 - 1:29 AM by Removed user
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4 posts
new member
Jul 7, 2018 - 11:05 AM

Thank you so much, all, for the info and thoughts - and Alpenrose for the photos. It doesn't sound too bad, and a better option than the hike up. I think we will give it a go.

Thanks :-)

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