Mount Pilatus

Lucerne Travel Blog

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Mount Pilatus Cable Cars

So you've got 2 days in Lucerne. You spent yesterday running around taking photos of the city. What's next? How about a train ride to the top of a mountain? Sounds good? I'd agree. But something to keep in mind when you are making plans 3 weeks in advance... don't count on the weather!

I bought my ticket up Mount Pilatus (Pee La Tuss) when I bought my Swiss Train Pass. The Swiss Train Pass gets you unlimited travel on just about every train and bus in Switzerland. If you are running around the whole country its a must. The Mount Pilatus pass wasn't included, but I heard great things about it, so I ponyed up the money for the ticket.

Unfortunately, the weather on day two didn't cooperate. But I paid for the ticket, so I might as well us it. I won't be here tomorrow. I got up early that morning, and found a weather channel on the hostel tv. They had views from Mount Rigi, the next mountain over.

Mount Pilatus Station
I was excited to see a landscape decorated in a dramatic set of clouds. Perhaps this trip up the mountain wouldn't be so bad after all.

I hit the bus, and made my way to the cable cars. There are multiple ways up and down Mount Pilatus. You can take the cable cars. You can take the world's steepest cog rail trail. Or you can hike up it. Lets just say that having a train that runs up the side of the mountain doesn't do much to motivate me to hike. I tend to hike for the amazing sites, not for the exercise. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy getting the exercise. But you are going to have a hard time convincing me to buy (hike) something (the view) that I can get for free (by train).

I decided to take the cable cars up. During the ride up I got some great views into the valley where Lucerne is. But I continued up further, the clouds got thicker.

At the top the clouds were so thick that in some places you could only see 10 yards in front of you. But you could immediately tell the place would be awesome on a warm and clear summer day.

Mount Pilatus - Mountain Goats
The hotels and facilities were quite nice, but I can only imagine the crowds in the summer.

With little to see, what is there to do on top of the mountain? Well I figured I had to at least "hike" (walk) to the highest point of the mountain. Its not even an hour walk. Then I can at least say I did it, right? So off I went.

There were plenty of interesting rock formations along the way and I enjoyed the peaceful stroll. Because of the weather, I was one of the few on the top of the mountain.

Mount Pilatus - Tomlishorn Path
Or so I thought. I got about 10-20 yards away from the top of Mount Pilatus when I was confronted by two mountain goats.

Of all the places, they had to be camping out on the narrow path leading to the top. What is with that? I had to stop and think for a minute. What do I do? Is it ok to pass them? Are they going to get defensive? The thought of me getting rammed right over the cliff didn't sit well with me. This was only compounded by knowing that because of the poor weather, no one else was out here. Not to mention no one really knows that I went to Mount Pilatus today (and no one expects me to check in).

A wise and prudent person would have turned around and erred on the side of caution. So what did I do? I kept walking up the mountain. Luckly, those two goats didn't want any trouble and they backed down. I showed them.

At the top there wasn't much to see.

Mount Pilatus Hotel
So I just pulled out a book and enjoyed the peace and quiet. After a while the winds picked up I decided to head back and grab some lunch. Much to my surprise, one of the goats had returned and was once again blocking my path. Now what are you going to do? You can sit on the top of the mountain all day. There is only one way down, well... two... but only one thats survivable.

So I began to walk toward the fearless goat. And the goat kept his ground. He snorted. I sniffed. He snorted. I coughed. Finally, the goat and I were standing side by side. He was stubborn as a goat... oh that was bad. But he finally relented and moved off to the side, and I was able to continue my journey down the mountain side.

I hit up one of the hotel restaurants when I got back to the station. It was quite superb. I had some kind of beef in this gravy sauce. I'm not a fan of gravy by any means, but this stuff was amazing. It was served with mashed potatos and carrots. Not a bad meal if you ask me. My first Swiss dish. Mmmm.

I took the train down from the mountain. The ride down was more enjoyable than the cable car up.

Mount Pilatus Approach
The scenary was much nicer. It would definately make for a nice hike.

Once I hit the bottom, I caught a train back to Lucerne to take in some of the shops and cuisine. I finished off my night be having dinner at a very nice restaurant in down town. Still on my Swiss kick, I ordered Bauern Bratwurst. It basically amounted to sausage and hash browns in the same gravy sauce from my lunch. It was quite good, but it felt odd ordering something like a hot dog and hash browns in a nice restaurant. There's just something not right about that.

Tomorrow, I take a train to Interlaken. A Mecca for extreme sport enthusiasts.

lovely_lori88 says:
That's crazy about the goats! Sounds like fun, I wish we would have gotten to do this. Thanks for the comment btw, Melissa and I were actually talking the other day and not doing any extreme sports is the only thing we regret about our trip. Oh well, next time!!
Posted on: Nov 07, 2007
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Mount Pilatus Cable Cars
Mount Pilatus Cable Cars
Mount Pilatus Station
Mount Pilatus Station
Mount Pilatus - Mountain Goats
Mount Pilatus - Mountain Goats
Mount Pilatus - Tomlishorn Path
Mount Pilatus - Tomlishorn Path
Mount Pilatus Hotel
Mount Pilatus Hotel
Mount Pilatus Approach
Mount Pilatus Approach
Mount Pilatus Cog-Wheel Train
Mount Pilatus Cog-Wheel Train
Mount Pilatus Valley
Mount Pilatus Valley
Amsigen - Mount Pilatus
Amsigen - Mount Pilatus
Mount Pilatus Directions
Mount Pilatus Directions
Mount Pilatus Path
Mount Pilatus Path
Mount Pilatus - Tomlishorn Approach
Mount Pilatus - Tomlishorn Approach
Mount Pilatus - Cave
Mount Pilatus - Cave
Mount Pilatus
Mount Pilatus
Mount Pilatus Path
Mount Pilatus Path
Mount Pilatus Path
Mount Pilatus Path
Lucerne
photo by: Chokk