It does not always have to be the big waterfalls in the Bernese Oberland. With a little luck you will find a few meters of ice near the Mittelland to practice. For example, in the Mutzgraben, a dreamy little valley that moves from Riedtwil to the southeast into the hills. After a good 2.2 kilometers you reach the 12 Meter high Mutzbachfall, with its varied ice climbing possibilities.
A contribution by Daniel Silbernagel - bergpunkt / Bächli Bergsport
What does it actually take for great icefalls to develop? The trick box of nature is varied and so arise again and again other ice forms. The icefalls themselves always form in the same places. That's why there are also corresponding ice climbing guides who describe the frozen waterfalls and their possibilities. The ingredients for an icefall are basically water and low temperatures. The recipe for a stable (healthy) icefall is in the right mix. Ice grows best between 0 ° C and -3 ° C. It develops its largest volume under these conditions. In order to experience ice climbing correctly and, above all, safely, you need a lot of experience and a sound knowledge, which you can best acquire as part of a course. After that it means: try it out and pick it up step by step.
Short approach, ideal climbing terrain
The Mutzbachfall near Riedtwil, between Burgdorf and Langenthal, can be reached after a good 2.2-kilometer walk in about 30 minutes. Once arrived, the 12 meter high Mutzbach offers his contenders seven short routes as well as a traverse in the difficulty range I-III / 3-4, M5. Left below the waterfall, there are other ice climbing opportunities that are not described here.
Arrival and approach
- Regional express trains from Olten and Bern to Herzogenbuchsee SBB or Wynigen SBB. From there by bus to Riedtwil station.
- From Riedtwil we continue to the mill and from there the Mutzbach along the valley on the track to. Then eastwards following the footpath to the foot of the Mutzbach Falls (2.2 km; 50 Hm; 30 minutes, T2). If you want to climb the toprope, continue along the hiking path to the top of the rock and reach the trees as turning points.
Best season / exposure
- December January. In order to be able to climb ice on the Mutzgraben, it takes a longer cold spell. Exposure: NNW
You have already gained some experience in ice climbing, but you would like to know more about technique and tactics? - The right technique and tactic for ice climbing
About Bächli mountain sports
Bächli mountain sports is the leading Swiss specialist shop for climbing, mountaineering, expeditions, hiking, ski touring and snowshoeing. Currently offering 11 locations in Switzerland Bächli mountain sports its clientele expert advice and superior service. At LACRUX, Bächli Bergsport regularly publishes exciting articles on climbing and bouldering.
This article may interest you
Credits: Picture Christoph Blum, Text: Daniel Silbernagel - bergpunkt / Bächli Bergsport