chantae pilatus
...but her tears were still totally worth this picture.

Hike, Gondola, and Scare the Elderly at Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

I don’t usually make old ladies cry – but when I do, it’s because I’m standing atop a mountain on one leg.

I befriended a lovely Australian girl, Lauren, at a barbecue in Lucerne. We immediately connected on a few levels – we both were in transcontinental relationships, we both loved hiking, and we both loved peanut butter. Thus, plans to hike Mt. Pilatus together, one of the best hikes in Switzerland. It was the next logical step in our relationship.

We bought bus tickets and proceeded to take the bus in the completely wrong direction… twice. After finally making it to the right destination, we ascended up Mt. Pilatus for four hours, passing few people. The serenity and beauty of our surroundings overcame us and helped some silent moments between feel simply peaceful.

Treescape trail
Treescape trail
lauren pilatus
Lauren trekking the first part of our climb!

gondola ride switzerland

Guess what I wished for? (a snorkel set)
Guess what I wished for? (a snorkel set)

We were short on time, and took the gondola up the most taxing part of the climb. At first I was apprehensive – after all, I wanted to conquer this mountain with my own two (albeit short) legs! …But I must admit the views from the gondola made my moral compromise completely worth it.

Beautiful view from the gondola
Beautiful view from the gondola
Bobsledding in Pilatus
Bobsledding in Pilatus

gondola pilatus

gondola ride switzerland
Excited to embark on the second leg of our climb!
gondola in the coulds
View from the gondola ascending into the clouds

We got off and watched young children squeal and tourniquet themselves on the rope climbing course. I snickered when they fell… but only because I was jealous. Unfortunately for my short self, the course has an age requirement rather than a height requirement like most child-targeted places.

rope walking pilatus
Unfortunately this section is only set up for small children – else I would have totally been here.
I've got friends in low places... This is why you wear your seatbelt, kids
I’ve got friends in low places… This is why you wear your seatbelt, kids

Atop of the mountain, we witnessed a genuine Swiss alpenhorn player jamming out while clouds passed us by.

Horn blower must be winded pretty easily up here
Horn blower must be winded pretty easily up here

In the background, an announcement played.

“Smith family, please meet your family at the food court.”

Lauren: Did that just say, ‘please feed your family at the food court?’ Isn’t that a bit rude?

Me: Yeah, it is. Some jerk on a megaphone calling out families who have emaciated looking kids…

The announcement droned on. “…Please meet your family at the food court.”

We climbed along every viewpoint of the top of the Mt. Pilatus. Lauren mentioned that she has a small fear of heights but I didn’t think much of her statement.

snow in pilatus
A little bit of snow hanging in there!

pathway pilatus
Lauren had trouble going down this pathway, so we took the gondola instead

lauren and I pilatus bible verse pilatus switzerland chantae pilatus

Lauren and I enjoying the view
clouds in pilatus
Clouds rolling over the mountain

I saw the edge of one of the most popular viewpoints of Mt. Pilatus as a perfect photo opportunity, and proceeded to climb on top of it.

Old lady: Oh my God!!! Oh my God!!! THAT GIRL!!! THAT GIRL!!!

On top of ledge, I looked around… what girl?

The old lady began crying. “You are going to give me a HEART ATTACK! GET DOWN! GET DOWN!”

Lauren’s own fear of heights kicked in pretty strongly and she asked me to get down as well. I obediently complied.

The old lady wasn’t done. “What if a bee attacked you? You could have fallen!”

Admittedly, I felt really bad for scaring her.

chantae pilatus
…but her tears were still totally worth this picture.

We trekked down in a hurry in a strong attempt to beat the sun setting behind the mountain. Luckily, we made it back on the bus just in time with sore legs and a strong sense of accomplishment. Mt. Pilatus was exactly the type of experience I wanted in my Swiss adventure.

Wood Switzerland Lucerne
A rustic cabin stores winter’s wood below the mountain.
Gondola Switzerland
Beautiful gondola scene
Obsessed with gargantuan dandelions
switzerland crow
Crow relaxes on top of Mt. Pilatus… not a bad place to rest your wings

Switzerland Pilatus Cross