Kandersteg offers some not so difficult higher mountains with lots of elevation gain from the bottom. One of the easiest and advisable for Skyrunners is the Balmhorn via Zackengrat. We added the traverse to Altels as it is so obvious and a cool combination of both mountains, but this traverse is only for experts in this field. Spooky loose rock combined with exposed firn ridges tell you another story than the smooth snow field up to Zackengrat or the last part up to Balmhorn summit over the glacier. There are some crevasses at the top of the mountain, but in good conditions they should be manageable without any special glacier equipment. For the traverse to Altels, experience in crampons walking is mandatory and you should be prepared for climbing up to grade II in loose rock with very severe consequences in the case of any mistake.
This round is quite long and do not underestimate the length of the way! The summit cross of Balmhorn looks so close, but there are another 600m of elevation to gain at Zackengrat. We struggled several times with our mind. Fortunately the views up there at the Zackengrat are amazing. For Balmhorn you have to love scree and debris and the landscape that it forms, otherwise you will feel like on the moon.
read more: Blog (only in German)
Balmhorn /Altels Traverse (45°/II)
2800m of elevation, 23km (if you take the cable car down from Sunnbüel)
time from bottom station to Balmhorn summit: 4:30h (incl. breaks)
round trip (incl. breaks): 7:40h