Swiss Cable Car Summits

In Switzerland we have a number of “cable car” summits (this also includes ski lifts plus cog railways / funiculars) where you can ride up to within a short walk of the summit. For the benefit of visitors to Switzerland, we have assembled a list of such summits for summer activation. We do not claim this is an exhaustive list and encourage feedback if you have other suggestions. Further, be aware of several notes:

  • There are a large number of cable cars running in Switzerland, but in this list we have included only those that involve only a short hike (15 minutes or less) to the activation zone. There are many more cable cars / trains that involve an extended hike to the actual summit.
  • In this list we have made two exceptions:
    • HB/NW-011 Pilatus – Tomlishorn: Pilatus, near Lucerne, is such a well-known and popular summit that its omission would be obvious. One route up (starting in Alpnachstadt) is with the world’s steepest cog railway; the other way up (staring in Kriens) is with a gondola aerial cableway. Tomlishorn is a roughly half-hour hike over a well-maintained trail that is very popular with tourists. The activation zone will be packed with people.
    • HB/NW-019 Bürgenstock: From the hotels/resort area (accessible by bus and also by cog railway starting at the lakeside) there is a relatively easy half-hour hike to the base of the Hammetschwand Lift (Europe’s highest free-standing outdoor elevator and which is a nice attraction). The activation area is adjacent to the elevator’s summit station.
  • These cable cars and ski lifts are often not open all year round. They run during the summer hiking season (starting mid June through anywhere from late August to mid October, and especially late in the season many run only on weekends) and then for ski season (late December through late March). In the inactive periods they undergo maintenance and inspections. Please check the website for the cable car or the local tourist office for exact operating dates.
  • Many of these summits are the location of large radio/TV/telephone/microwave towers. QRM can be a problem, any may occur both on shortwave and on 2m (some HTs are particularly easily desensitized by strong transmitters on nearby frequencies).
  • These summits are generally very popular tourist destinations with lots of people around, and it can be difficult to set up an antenna without disturbing them. Stringing up a full-sized dipole or inverted Vee can sometimes be troublesome; better options are a vertical or an end-fed dipole. In addition, we have heard on BE-048 Schilthorn that operators have been told emphatically to take down their antennas because they were visible on the summit station webcam.
  • In addition to the actual summit, these cable car rides are often great starting points for the activation of additional nearby summits. Be sure to check the SOTA mapping project (and look at the number of activations for summits in question — if there are only a few activations, there is likely a very good reason!).
ReferenceNameAltitudeSOTA pointsNotes
HB/AI-005Hoher Kasten17946
HB/AI-007Kronberg16634Family fun park at the valley station.
HB/BE-048Schilthorn297010Be very discrete — management there not radio friendly! Stay off the platform. Instead, go a bit down along the hiking path but still stay in the activation zone.
HB/BE-111Gurten8581Just outside downtown Bern. Open year-round. Very convenient public transport to the activation zone. Great for a quick activation for visitors.
HB/BE-169Mont-Soleil12912Funicular open year-round.
HB/FR-019Le Moléson20028
HB/FR-028La Berra17194Also possible in winter with snowshoes.
HB/GR-129Piz Nair305610
HB/GR-155Aroser Weisshorn265310
HB/NW-011Pilatus/Tomlishorn21288See note above in the intro.
HB/NW-015Stanserhorn18986World’s first «convertible» cable car (open deck on top)
HB/NW-017Musenalper Grat17856
HB/NW-019Bürgenstock11282Hammetschwand Lift: Europe’s highest free-standing outdoor elevator.
HB/OW-010Brienzer Rothorn23508Two options: cog railway (from Brienz) or cable car (from Schönenboden)
23068Part of the very scenic Churfirsten Region
HB/SZ-017Chlingenstock19356Highly recommended ridge hike across to SZ-018
HB/SZ-018Fronalpstock19216Highly recommended ridge hike across to SZ-017
HB/SZ-021Rigi Kulm17986Ride up to the top for free on most train passes
HB/TI-101Monte Generoso17014Renovated, resumed operation April 2017
HB/TI-102San Salvatore9121
HB/VD-020Le Chamossaire21128
HB/VD-023Rochers de Naye20428
HB/VD-042La Châ13972Cog railway from Vevey to Les Pléiades; popular day trip for those living in Geneva.
HB/VS-110Eggishorn292710Overlooks the Aletsch Glacier — a UNESCO World Heritage Site
HB/VS-114Mont Fort332810The highest altitude summit on this list. Note that cables secure the last 30m, the summit station platform is not in the activation zone.
HB/VS-118Pointe des Mossettes22778Chair lift from Les Crosets (HB9) or from Avoriaz/Les Lindarets (F). Note: HB/VS-119 Pointe de l’Au is just a 1-hour T2 hike from VS-118.
HB/VS-240Croix de Culet19636Gondola (every half hour) from Champery or chair lift (continuous) from Les Crosets.