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 to create great icefalls? Nature's box of tricks is diverse and so different ice forms are created time and again. The icefalls themselves always form in the same places. That is why there are also corresponding ice climbing guides that describe the frozen waterfalls and their possibilities. The ingredients for an icefall are basically water and low temperatures. The recipe for a stable (healthy) ice fall lies in the right mix. Ice grows best between 0 ° C and -3 ° C. It develops its greatest volume under these conditions. In order to experience ice climbing correctly and, above all, safely, you need a lot of experience and in-depth knowledge, which is best acquired as part of a course. Then it's time to try it out and pick it up step by step.

Mutzbach fall in winter

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 ice climb on the Mutzgraben, you need a longer cold spell. Exposure: NNW


Topo Mutzbachfall near Riedtwil

More tips

If you do not have the necessary equipment, you will find it on the following page Bächli mountain sports a compilation of the most important items of equipment. - The right equipment for ice climbing

Have you already had some experience with ice climbing, but would like to learn 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.



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Credits: picture Christoph Blum, text: Daniel Silbernagel - bergpunkt / Bächli mountain sports

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