Glacier 3000 is a huge area for snow fun and winter activities - almost all year round.
10 Highlights Glacier 3000
- Glacier 3000 is served by a three-section aerial cableway from the Col du Pillon and Reusch passes to the Scex Rouge (2940 m above sea level).
- The freeride areas at Glacier3000 become a venue for training with the pros every year in April.
- The Dôme Hike is the highest point of Glacier 3000 at 3016 m. A wide and comfortable path leads up to it.
- The Peak Walk by Tissot is the only suspension bridge in the world that connects two mountain peaks. It is about 100 m long.
- A naturally formed ice grotto is called Ice Cathedral and can be reached in 15 min walk from the valley station of the chairlift ICE Express. Access is possible only in autumn and winter.
- 40 km/h is reached by the summer toboggan run, here called "Alpine Coaster".
- Between 3000 and 1300 m altitude, the high alpine area is snow-sure between November and May
- Freeride skiing is very popular here. You just follow your own track and enjoy the scenery of the glacier.
- Dog sleds with huskies drive over the glacier from November to March.
- A snowbus holds up to 20 people. It drives like a snowcat over the snow and lets you effortlessly explore the landscape of Glaciier 3000.
The Tsanfleuron glacier is the starting point for a ski paradise with 28 km of slopes stretching down to 1350 m above sea level. The Peak Walk by Tissot is almost flat. From it you can see not only the Jungfrau massif but also the Matterhorn. The view even goes as far as Mont Blanc.
The glacier has good snow conditions all year round. Many winter activities can therefore also be done in summer
Sightseeing Glacier 3000
The biggest sight is the glacier itself and the Peak Walk, which connects two mountain peaks and leads across the glacier. At Glacier 3000 the glacier can be seen from below as well. Einkathedrale is called a grotto that fills with water every year again and may be visited.
The sights at Glacier 3000 include:
- Dôme Hike
- Peak Walk by Tissot at Glacier 3000
- Ice Cathedral
Dôme Hike is the highest point of Glacier 3000 at 3016 m. A wide and comfortable path for a walk leads up to it.
The hike starts at Scex Rouge at 2940 m a.s.l. and descends along a marked path to Col de Prapio. From there, two less pronounced ascents lead in a southwesterly direction up to Le Dôme. The Dôme is also called Steinmannli because of the cairns. The summit of the Dôme is marked with a large cairn.
The pleasantly wide path is surrounded by boulders and can be hiked in a relaxed manner. The good mountain air and an overwhelming view make for a lasting experience. The view of the glacier, the devilish Diablerets peak and the valleys deep below are breathtaking in their combination.
The hike along the approximately 1.5 km trail takes about an hour. From Dôme, a secured trail leads down to the Diableret glacier. If you take the route back to the mountain station, it is worth taking a short detour at Col de Prapio to the Rifugio Espace at the Quille du Diable. The glacier trail is marked with poles. Also the way back from there to the station Scex Rouge is marked. Both paths are therefore not to be missed even in poor visibility.
Peak Walk by Tissot at Glacier 3000
The Peak Walk is the path across a suspension bridge on Glacier 3000. This is the only suspension bridge in the world that connects two mountain peaks, at an altitude of more than 3000 meters. Depending on the weather, the bridge is accessible all year round.
The suspension bridge connects the pre-summit (View Point) with the main summit (Scex Rouge). The main summit is about 5 meters higher. The breathtaking view of the high mountains can be enjoyed both in summer and winter. The path is 107 meters long and eight meters wide. Because of the small difference in altitude, the bridge is almost flat. Among other things, the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc and the triumvirate of the Jungfrau massif can be seen from here. Entering the suspension bridge is free of charge.
The ice grotto at Glacier 3000 is also called "the mill". It was formed naturally using the siphon principle and fills up again with water every spring and summer. As soon as the plug loosens in autumn, the water flows out and the grotto can be entered, but only at your own risk. It is about twenty meters long and as the lights reflect on the ice walls, images are created and a special effect that is worth seeing.
The ice cathedral can be reached in about 15 minutes on foot from the valley station of the chairlift ICE Express. The path leads along the Glacier Walk in the direction of the entry station of the Dôme ski lift. The path to the grotto is secured, but inside the cave the ground is very slippery and slippery. In winter, snow may accumulate in front of the entrance, blocking access. Access is possible exclusively in autumn/winter.
Mountain railroads and lifts to the Glacier3000
The ten lifts are:
- 3 aerial cableways
- 3 chairlifts
- 4 ski tows
With the aerial tramway up the Scex Rouge
Glacier3000 has been gradually created since the 1960s. The idea of connecting the Col du Pillon with the Tsanfleuron glacier dates back to 1959. The aerial tramway travels from the Col du Pillon valley station as a 125-cabin cable car to the Scex Rouge summit station, covering 1,400 meters in altitude. For the total distance, the cable car needs 15 minutes at a speed of 10 meters per second in the first part and 9 meters per second in the second part.
- Aerial cableway Col du Pillon (1,552m) - Cabane (2,531m)
- Aerial cableway Cabane (2.531m) - Scex Rouge (2.948m)
The first section is 1960 meters long and climbs 979 vertical meters. The second section reaches 417 meters of altitude over 1,661 meters of travel.
Another cable car has a capacity of 40 passengers per cabin and runs for 1,619 meters between Reusch and Oldenegg over 569 meters of altitude.
- Cable car Reusch (1.360m) - Oldenegg (1.929m)
The cable cars do not only bring the guests to the top in winter. In summer the cable cars also run daily, but at the beginning of the season sometimes only on weekends.
Swiss Activities offer:
With the ICE Express chairlift to the glacier
The ICE Express chairlift takes you to Glacier 3000. It starts at Scex Rouge. A total of three chairlifts operate on Glacier3000:
- Glacier chairlift (2,800) - Scex Rouge (2910m)
The 4-seater chairlift (fixed-grip) takes guests from the top station of the Scex Rouge aerial cableway to the glacier in summer and winter. Over a length of 373 meters, it descends 110 meters in altitude. At 2m/sec. Speed, it takes 3.5 minutes and can carry a total of up to 1200 people per hour.
- Chairlift Oldenegg (1924m) - Cabane (2528m)
The chairlift Oldenegg to Cabane connects the cable cars of Reusch and Col du Pillon at the top station Cabane and also extends the chairlift coming from Oldenalp. It is a 4-seater high-speed chairlift with covers, which can be coupled. With a speed of five meters per second, it takes 8.5 minutes for 2327 meters of length.
- Chairlift Oldenalp (1844 m) - Oldenegg (1927m)
The 4-seater high-speed chairlift is detachable and takes about 2.4 minutes at 5m/sec for 742 meters of length between Oldenalp and Oldenegg.
Operating times of the lifts to Glacier 3000
The operating times of the lifts vary between summer and winter.
Summer season Glacier 3000 end of May to beginning of November
In the summer season, all lifts are open continuously. An overhaul takes place in May.
The Col du Pillon - Cabane - Scex Rouge cable cars / Ice Express chairlift run daily between 09:00 and 16:50 at a 20-minute interval. 16:50 starts the last descent from Scex Rouge. Please check the exact times before your visit.
Glacier 3000 winter season from the beginning of November to the end of April
The winter season lasts six months until the end of April. During this time there is no revision.
The cable cars Col du Pillon - Cabane - Scex Rouge run daily between 09:00 and 16:30 in a rotation of 20 minutes. 16:30 starts the last descent from Scex Rouge. Between Col du Pillon and Scex Rouge the cable car takes 15 minutes. The chairlifts and glacier lifts run daily between 09:15 and 16:00. Please check the exact times before your visit.
At Glacier 3000, winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding are available from early November to early May, but in good weather conditions the slopes will open earlier.
Many activities can also be practiced in summer, as the glacier offers good snow conditions almost all year round. But since some years an increase of the glacier retreat is observed, so that temporary glacier closures are possible in order to preserve it.
Winter activities at Glacier 3000:
- Skiing and snowboarding
- Sledding and cross-country skiing
- Dog sledding
- riding the Snow Bus across the glacier
- Hiking on foot or with snowshoes
Summer activities at Glacier 3000:
- Climbing and via ferrata
- Alpine Coaster
- Sledding and cross-country skiing
- Dog sledding
- Hikes on foot
- Glacier flight
Skiing and snowboarding on Glacier 3000
Skiing and snowboarding on Glacier3000 can be reached by cable car in two stages from Col du Pillon. The pass road is open all year round. The cable car goes to the top station. Freeride skiing is possible on the glacier. Between 3,000 and 1,300 meters above sea level, the high alpine area is snow-sure between November and May and offers a variety of possibilities. When freeriding, you only follow your own track and enjoy the glacier scenery.
Freeride routes on the Glacier 3000
- Mountain peak Dôme (3016 m a.s.l.) - Les Diablerets village (1200 m a.s.l.)
- Pierre Pointe near Restaurant Botta (2971 m a.s.l.) - Col du Pillon valley station (1546 m a.s.l.)
- Various downhill runs in the Martisberg area (2525 m a.s.l.)
- Nägelikelle (2400 m above sea level) - Oldenalp (1840 m above sea level)
- Two variants for descent Oldenegg (1919 m a.s.l.) - Reusch (1350 m a.s.l.) Chrotti and Büdemli
The accompaniment of a local mountain guide is recommended for all freeride tours. A freeride map for the Glacier 3000 is available for purchase.
The best way to start freeriding is via the mountain station. The lift first takes you to the third floor and from there out onto a metal bridge. At the end of the metal bridge, you climb over the railing (Official Freerider Downhill) and mount your skis on the safe plateau. Two T-bar lifts take skiers up the Dôme. Another tow lift leads to the neighboring peak Quille du Diable and a fourth is located above the parking lot Reusch.
Overview of ski lifts (T-bar lifts):
- Dôme (3016 m a.s.l.)
- Quille du Diable (2908 m above sea level)
- Tsanfleuron (3016 m above sea level)
- Reusch (1350 m a.s.l.)
The freeridedays.ch are held regularly on two days in April on the Glacier3000. Freeriders then have the opportunity to discover the freeride world in complete safety accompanied by professionals. This applies regardless of whether they are beginners or advanced. The freeride terrain here allows you to leave 2,000 meters of altitude behind you very quickly. Steep slopes that require a lot of technique and sections of untouched powder snow make Glacier3000 one of the most popular freeride spots in the world.
Avalanche Training Center:
At the Avalanche Training Center, anyone interested can learn how to properly navigate freeride terrain for free. It is shown what to do if an avalanche really goes off. Under realistic conditions, everyone involved can learn how best to deal with an emergency. The avalanche training facility is located on an area of one hundred by one hundred meters in moderately steep terrain at the lower part of the Ice Express chairlift. The avalanche transceiver (LVS) offers five transmitters that are activated from the control center. They remain buried throughout the winter. Shovel and probe must be brought by yourself.
Freeride providers in the region include, for example, the Alpine Center based in Gstaad.
A new descent over 8,000 meters is the Red Run Slope, which descends from 3,000 vertical meters to 1,300 vertical meters. It starts at the Scex Rouge mountain station. From here it passes under the Oldenhorn, continues below the Cabane middle station and connects with the already existing red Martisberg run.
The Olden Slope descends from Oldenhorn to Olpenalp and another piste leads from Oldenegg in wide sweeps down to Reusch. Both are black slopes.
These 6 blue slopes are in the upper range:
- Dôme - Tsanfleuron
- Return Scex Rouge
Scex Rouge - Dôme Les Diablerets has with the Snowpark Glacier3000 already in the pre-season months October and November a good possibility to prepare for the coming season. Also in the months of April and May, the snowpark is an ideal training spot from beginner to pro rider.
The three runs Transfleuron, Dôme and Retour Scex Rouge have boxes, rails and tables. The giant jump Big Mama is suitable for snowboarders and skiers.
Sledding and cross-country skiing on the Glacier 3000, even in summer
Due to the certainty of snow on the glacier of Glacier3000, sledding and cross-country skiing are also possible in summer under good conditions.
Sledding at Glacier 3000
Those who don't like skiing will find good sledging possibilities in the fun park. Sledding at Glacier3000 is possible in the Funpark all year round. It is open every day, weather conditions permitting. Especially for smaller children the ride on a plastic plate is a special fun. The Fun Park is located in the lower part of the Ice Express chairlift and has safe snow conditions on the glacier. The Fun Park can be used free of charge.
Cross-country skiing at Glacier 3000
The glacier at Glacier 3000 makes it possible to do cross-country skiing also in summer.
Cross-country skiing and skating is possible on seven kilometers of trails that use almost the entire surface of the glacier Glacier de Tsanfleuron. The trails are groomed from April to October. Several professionals from the cross-country skiing and biathlon scene also take advantage of the ideal training opportunities amidst the fascinating panorama. The cross-country skiing track on the glacier is open until December if the snow conditions are good. The altitude of the cross-country ski trail network ranges between 2800 and 2840 m above sea level.
Experience the Glacier 3000 by dog sled or snowbus
The glacier area of Glacier 3000 stretches for three kilometers in length and one and a half kilometers in width, sloping eastward to about 2,500 meters. Group bookings for the Snowbus or a dog sled ride must be made in advance by email.
Driving over the glacier with a dog sled
The dog sled is pulled by huskies. A whole pack shows that it is at home in the snow. This way visitors are driven over the glacier in an original and romantic way. A ride on a dog sled is extraordinary and remains in the memory. The rides are offered by swiss mushing all year round.
In the period from November to March, the dog sleds are always at the glacier on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm, weather permitting. The weather can be checked on the website in the morning.
It is possible to book a sled for up to 7 people for 30 minutes ride over the glacier.
Ride over the glacier with the Snowbus
The Snowbus of Glacier 3000 offers space for up to 20 people and drives like a snowcat over the crunching snow. With it you can explore the glacier area without having to move yourself.
Hikes on the Glacier 3000
Glacier 3000 is a popular hiking area. As soon as they get off the cable car, visitors are amazed by a wonderful panorama. The view easily reaches as far as the Jura. There are a total of 75 km of signposted mountain hiking trails. Besides easy hiking routes, there are also challenging alpine tours.
Mountain hike on the Glacier Walk to the Devil's Rock
From the Sex Rouge mountain station, an easy glacier walk runs high above the Col du Pillon pass road on the Glacier 3000 to the legendary Devil's Rock. The cable car leads up from the valley station at Col du Pillon.
The trail starts at 2929 m above sea level at the top station of the Sex Rouge and can be shortened considerably with the ICE Express chairlift. The use is free of charge. For the descent via the ski slope, hiking poles and a light vest are important.
The leisurely mountain hike (T2) is signposted as Glacier Walk from the glacier station of the chairlift. For the most part, it leads along a cross-country ski trail. Passing the Oldenhorn, the path goes over the Glacier de Tsanfleuron to the cantonal border into Valais. During the hike you can see the Bernese and Valais Alps. The trail ends at the striking obelisk Tour St-Martin / Quille du Diable.
Right next to it is the Refuge l'Espace at 2598 m above sea level with a large panoramic terrace. At this place, with a little luck, bearded vultures are observed. They live below the terrace in the Derborance valley. This mountain hike does not need any special preparation and does not require any special equipment. The way back is the same way.
Difficult mountain hike on Glacier 3000 from the valley station in Reusch to the Oldenhorn
This demanding mountain hike starts below the Glacier 3000 at the valley station of the cable car Reusch at about 1343 m above sea level and ends at 3074 m above sea level below the top of the Oldenhorn. The best time for this mountain tour is the summer from July to October at the latest. For this trip with 1740 meters of ascent over a length of 8.5 km a very good physical condition is needed.
The path through the Olden valley, which climbs slowly at first, leads along waterfalls and a spruce forest. From Oldenalp the Oldensattel begins. The Tsanfleuron glacier is already in the immediate vicinity and remains in sight during the further ascent. Arrived at the Oldenhorn, a view of 24 four-thousand-meter peaks of the neighboring alpine chain can be enjoyed.
In the Reusch, free parking is available on a large parking lot on the pass road between Gstaad and Les Diablerets.
Demanding mountain tour from Col du Pillon via Cabane SAC to Scex Rouge
This mountain hike starts near the valley station at Col de Pillon at 1540 m above sea level. Via very winding paths the tour leads to the SAC hut. The Cabane des Diablerets hut is located at 2500 m above sea level.
The further ascent is very steep and one passage goes directly over the glacier until Scex Rouge is reached at 2940 m above sea level. The ascent takes about 4.5 hours, a descent 2.5 hours.
Climbing and via ferratas at Glacier 3000
Glacier 3000 offers no less than three challenging via ferratas, which can be climbed between June and September/October. Further information from the Diablerets tourist office is available on the via ferratas around the Devil's Rocks. It is the Via Ferratas:
- des Dames Anglaises (K2), the
- Cascade du D'ar (K5) and the
- Tête au Chamois or Rocher Jaune (K5)
Via Ferrata des Dames Anglaises
The Via Ferrata des Dames Anglaises is rocky and alpine. For the via ferrata, absolute surefootedness and a head for heights are indispensable. There are also challenging passages on the way to and from the via ferrata. You need a complete via ferrata equipment as well as helmet and via ferrata gloves. In addition, an ice axe and crampons are needed for the traverse. The former via ferrata had to be relocated due to the recession of the glacier.
The edge crevasse under the Col de Prapio had become a danger. The way back is either in reverse back to the Refuge de Pierredar or by cable car Glacier3000 to the Col du Pillon. The three rocks got their name because their shape reminds of women with long dresses. A stop is recommended at the Refuge de Pierredar. From here you have a beautiful view of the glacier Glacier de Prapio.
Via Ferrata Cascade du D'ar (K5)
This via ferrata Cascade du D'ar faces northwest and scores with the greenery and waters of the Diablerets massif. From the Col du Pillon, the via is reached in about ten to fifteen minutes. This via ferrata is classified as extremely difficult and requires extreme surefootedness. Some places can be extremely slippery and for people of smaller stature, the via ferrata is particularly difficult to master. However, the most difficult part can be bypassed to the left at the beginning.
Via Ferrata du Rocher Jaune (K5)
This fixed rope route goes over a large and beautiful 300 meter high yellow rock face. The via ferrata is therefore also known as the Yellow Rocher. It faces north and offers views from the Alps to over the blue lakes. This via ferrata contains many extremely difficult passages
From Col du Pillon, the via can be reached on foot, but it is easier to take the cable car to Glacier 3000 to the middle station. From here it is another ten minutes on foot. This route contains particularly exposed sections and overhanging ladders. The site around the Cabane additionally offers several climbing routes, ranging from 5 to 250 meters in length. All of them are located near the Cabane des Diablerets.
Alpine Coaster at Glacier3000
The summer toboggan run operates daily at Glacier 3000 from May to September. The operating times are based on the opening times of the Col du Pillon - Scex Rouge aerial cableways.
The toboggan run is the highest in the world and starts near the Scex Rouge mountain station. It is a spectacular glacier ride that is one thousand meters long and has a 520° loop, six waves, three jumps and ten curves, some of which are steep.
The speed here can reach up to 40 km/h. Tobogganers experience almost weightlessness on the track, which hovers up to six meters above the ground, and enjoy not only the great view but also the fresh mountain air. You can reduce the speed yourself by means of a brake pedal.
In case of bad weather conditions like big snowfall or strong wind, the Alpine Coaster will be closed.
Glacier flight and paragliding at Glacier 3000
Glacier3000 is the destination for glacier flights. Small planes and helicopters are allowed to land on the glacier. Conversely, paragliding flights from Glacier 3000 are offered as tandem flights.
Paragliding from Glacier 3000
A flight over the glacier starts not far from the top station. The paragliding equipment is provided by the tandem flight provider. The flight duration is 30 to 45 minutes, a total of about two hours time is required.
Glacier flight on the Glacier 3000
Helicopter flights with a stopover on Les Diablerets are offered by various providers. They usually start from the base Gstaad-Saanenland. Some providers also offer a stopover on the glacier.
The sightseeing flight starts above Lake Arnen and leads directly to the Glacier 3000, the highest skiing area of the Saanenland. On the Glacier des Diablerets, the direct view of the four-thousand-meter peaks of the Valais Alps is impressive. Over the Sanetsch Pass the helicopter flies over the Wildhorn and Lauenen back to Saanen.
Events at the Glacier 3000
The current events are displayed on the page of the Glacier3000.
Examples of regular events:
Glacier 3000 Run in August
26 kilometers with 1900 meters of altitude have to be mastered. The run starts at the Gstaad promenade at 1050 m above sea level and ends at the Glacier3000 at 2950 m above sea level. Participation fee from CHF 80.
Brunch in Glacier 3000
A peak brunch is held regularly at the Botta Restaurant. The extensive meal with a view of the mountains is very popular and must be booked in advance.
Restaurants at Glacier 3000
There are various dining options at Glacier3000 throughout the year.
The Refuge l'Espace is located at 2860 m above sea level. It can be reached on foot in summer and winter in about 45 minutes from the top station along the signposts to the "Glacier Walk to the Quille du Diable". By snow bus or on skis the way takes about 15 min. Helicopters and small airplanes are allowed to land on the glacier a few meters away from the Refuge. The Refuge l'Espace offers regional, down-to-earth cuisine as well as hot and cold drinks.
Restaurant Botta at the Scex-Rouge station
Peak Brunch is held at the Botta Restaurant daily between 9:00 am and 11:00 am.
In addition to the uniquely beautiful view of the mountain panorama includes the small, served at the table, buffet:
- Various breads, croissants, chocolate croissants, butter, jam
- Butter, jam, honey, cereals, fruit, yoghurt, dried meat
- Dried meat, raw ham, smoked bacon, ham
- Cheese selection
- Smoked salmon, fried egg, boiled eggs
- Orange juice, coffee, tea, Ovaltine, chocolate
The building was designed by the star architect Mario Botta and offers high level enjoyment on three floors. Small snacks and specialties of the cantons of Bern, Vaud and Valais are offered. The restaurant on the 4th floor has 140 seats.
Open daily during the operating hours of the facilities from 09:15 to 16:30.
The building is located on the edge of the glacier Les Diablerets, the highest point of the canton of Vaud.
Self Service Botta
There are 160 seats in the self-service restaurant on the 3rd floor. In addition, there are 70 seats on a sunny terrace on the 2nd floor.
Restaurant Col du Pillon
The restaurant is located on the pass road Pillon 251 next to the valley station of the gondola lift. Due to its ideal location, it offers typical Swiss cuisine to skiers, excursionists, but also motorized guests. The Diablerets massif is easily visible from here. Open daily between 8:30 am and 6 pm. In November could be closed for seasonal reasons.
Zellers Skibar Oldenalp
After the long and challenging descent down the Olden piste, you reach the ski bar in Gsteig.
SAC hut Cabane des Diablerets
The hut, located at 2,485 meters above sea level, can be reached on foot in 5 minutes from the Cabane middle station. It is located on the Reusch - Scex Rouge hiking route and offers a view of the Vaud and Bernese Alps. For overnight stays, prior reservation is required. There are 32 berths. 2'582'819.5 / 1'131'974.5
Climate and weather at Glacier 3000
At Glacier 3000 there is snow even in summer. However, the weather changes quickly even in summer. It's best to check the weather before you visit. Winter clothing is not only appropriate in winter. In addition, headgear and sunscreen.
The altitude above 3000 m above sea level is not without danger for inexperienced high-altitude hikers. Also sick people should better consult their family doctor in advance. This is especially important for difficult mountain and climbing tours. As early as 1900 m above sea level, the first symptoms of mountain sickness begin in one fifth of people. it starts with headaches and malaise. As soon as sleep disturbances or loss of appetite are added to the symptoms, you should start to descend slowly. You may need to seek medical help
Glacier 3000: location and arrival
Glacier 3000 is best reached via the Pass Col du Pillon. Asphalted and free parking spaces are available in sufficient numbers here as well as in the Reusch. The regional airports Bern and Sion are nearby and small aircraft can land and take off at Saanen airfield.
From Saanen, you can reach the aerial cableway by car via Gstaad and Gsteig on the Pillon road in half an hour. The 33 km long pass road connects Saanen, which belongs to the canton of Bern, with Le Sépey / Aigle in the canton of Vaud. From Bern it is about 130 kilometers via the A12 highway, which takes about one-three-quarters of an hour to reach the destination. From Sion, it takes a good hour by car via the A9 freeway.
By car, the Glacier3000 is also easily accessible from the Lake Thun region (Spiez), the Lake Geneva region (Aigle) and the Gruyère region (Bulle). From Spiez, it takes one and a quarter hours via Route 11 to reach the valley station of the cable car. From Aigle via route 11 it takes half an hour from the other side. And from Bulle, via the A12, it takes about an hour.