I’ve been looking at the Lobhörner – a very distinctive rocky outcrop in the mountains above Lauterbrunnen – for years. Wondering what it actually looks like up close, how tall it is, and what kind of classic landscape photo I could take from the right angle. Jo and I hiked to the area around the Lobhornhütte mountain cabin back in 2014 and saw that the route from there was more than a moderate challenge.

Lobhörner viewed from the Lobhornhütte mountain cabin

The hike to get to the peak itself had always put me off visiting, but after a few big hikes over the past few years, I decided last summer that I should give it a try. Given that it would be the hardest, longest hike I’ve ever done in Switzerland, with just short of one thousand metres of ascent and descent over a ten-kilometre route, I set out with expectations of a good walk. Whether I would actually make it to my initial goal of the ridge leading to the peak was secondary.

Lobhörner from Schwarze Schopf. As you can see, I made it to my initial goal.

The hike up through the woods from Sulwald makes the leg muscles moan a bit, given that there are a number of steep sections and no view to distract you. Around 35-40 minutes into the hike, you clear the forest at Sulsalp and choose to head for the comfort of the Lobhornhütte, a short walk away, or head onwards and upwards. I stopped for a while to take some drone footage and then pressed on.

Alphornist near Sulsalp

An hour or so later, I’d covered around 75% of the route but was beginning to struggle – the path was much steeper than I’d expected and the warm day was really taking it out of me. But I was within close sight of the ridge at Schwarze Schopf, which was the point from where I wanted to get my shot. A bit of swearing and a sugar boost from a chocolate bar got me there, and I got the shot I thought I’d come for, then sat to enjoy a small lunch.

But the local Brämse (horseflies) had other ideas. No sooner than I’d sat down, they started buzzing around and getting ideas of munching my bare lower legs. Thanks to them, I was driven on towards the distinctive peak in front of me and after slogging up the last hundred metres or into the rocky wilderness, I found a spot to sit and have a proper rest. With my back to the cliffs and a view all the way across the region, watching an eagle soaring in and out of the clouds below me, I revelled in my achievement and enjoyed a good half-an-hour of rest, before the long, muscle-aching walk back to my starting point.

Lobhörner, Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, August 2018