Brienzergrat to Hardergrat
Join me for an epic alpine hike on the Brienzergrat to Hardergrat ridge trail, an endlessly rewarding but punishing trail in the heart of the Bernese Oberland. It is a test of endurance, a 25-28km hike with almost 1,000m of combined ascents along an entire ridgeline in a federally protected area for wildlife (camping, bivouacking and drone flying is prohibited).
About the book
My book celebrates a legendary ridge hike, one of the most beautiful in Switzerland, but it is a hike to be taken with caution and with a lot of preparation. It is not for the faint-hearted nor ill-prepared. It will punish every mistake you make and there is little margin for error on this legendary ridgeline path, often less than a metre wide. It will, however, reward you with some of the most stunning views in Switzerland and deliver a life-changing experience you will never forget.
The new hardcover book, published by been books, is 132 pages 21 cm x 21 cm size, with over 130 colour and black & white photographs of some of the most dramatic parts of the trail and moments recorded over months of hiking this ridge as well as a trail guide with descriptions and photographs of the major milestones along the trail. It also describes some of the growing problems of the ridge and outlines the mission of Friends Of The Ridge, an organization set up to increase awareness of the rules the protect the area. All proceeds from sales of this book help Friends Of The Ridge to provide information to hikers. You can buy the book here at this website or find it at Buchhandlung Bödeli in Interlaken and at Papeterie Jenny in Meiringen, Brienz and Lungern.
This trail tests your endurance. It tests your patience. It pushes every limit you think you have. It stubbornly refuses to get easier and it is always longer than you think. It was a goal for me to complete it, now it is my benchmark, my favourite trail in these alps. The photography in this book covers not just one hike, but a number of hikes up here, the first around November 2020, through the winter and into the spring and summer hiking seasons of 2021, 2022 and 2023. You can read more details about the trail on my trail guide and trail diary pages.
I only started hiking in the summer of 2020, and quickly started to love the experience of ridge hiking, usually high up in the mountains along lightly populated trails with spectacular views. As my experience and confidence grew, I started to study this trail. Labour of love? Obsession? No idea, but the first time I saw this ridge I knew I had to get to know it. My first ascent to Augstmatthorn had me hooked. It was a long and difficult hike to and from the restaurant at Harder Kulm, but at the summit, the drama and scale of the ridge opened up before me for the first time. I studied photographs of various sections of the ridge I had taken from other hikes in the area, and I read blog after blog about the trail. Many exaggerated the dangers, some underestimated it. It is certainly dangerous but predominantly (for me) it is a test of endurance, difficult but profoundly rewarding and spectacularly beautiful.
I am a photographer and graphic designer based in Oberried Am Brienzersee, Switzerland. In 2010 I published Around The World In 18 Days, a photographic travel diary. In 2019, I co-founded Been Magazine, an international arts, travel and culture magazine. You can find out more at beenmagazine.com. I recently started a group called Friends of The Ridge, dedicated to increasing awareness of the rules that protect the Brienzergrat, Hardergrat and Riedergrat Ridge Federal Wildlife Protection Area. Please visit hardergrat.com to find out more.
Buy the book
Brienzergrat to Hardergrat is available now. Pricing is CHF 34.95 including shipping.
All profits from sales of the book and other items on this site go towards funding an information campaign to promote awareness of the rules that protect this Federal Wildlife Reserve.