I planned climbing Fluela Schwarzhorn from the moment I saw it first from the Fluela Pass several years ago, and I finally did it in 2017. This is my report about the tour, so keep reading.
Where is it
Fluela (Flüela) Schwarzhorn is a very sharp peak which rises directly above the Fluela Pass (2383 m; 7818 ft) on its south side, in the Davos area of Swiss Alps. The map below shows you its location and the access roads.
- Longitude: 46° 44′ 6″ N (46.735).
- Latitude: 9° 56′ 30″ E (9.941667).
- Elevation: 3146 m (10322 ft).
The only access road is the one that goes over the Fluela Pass, and in driving there the Pass should be your destination. So you can get there either from Davos in the north-west direction, or from Susch in the east.
Note that the start point for the route is some 600 meters from the pass, on the east side. There is a parking on the side of the mountain, it is shown in the picture.
The road is good and very attractive from both sides, worth passing even if you do not plan any climbing around. It is closed in the winter time.
There is a Hospiz directly on the pass; this is not a hut, and yes they have showers with hot water, and no they will not let you use it even with paying unless you are staying there for the night. Otherwise, continue in any of the two directions, and you will find a place to stay either in Davos or in the villages on the east side of the pass.
The route goes around the mountain, so you will approach the summit from the south side. All the time this is a simple walk up, no exposed sections at any point. The path is visible all the time and markings are around, so orientation is never an issue.
This is an easy summit in the true sense and this is mainly due to such a high car access. But the height difference is still around 750 meters, so do not underestimate it, and the route is longer than you may expect when you see the peak from the pass; see the map above.
The pass is closed in winter, therefore, it is advisable to plan climbing when you have the car access. I have seen the mountain in the winter time and it looked inaccessible.
Equipment & water
If you carry a water filter or purifier, no need to carry any water. You will be passing several streams, and there are some small tarns below the path on the lower part of the route. I was carrying my Pure2Go purifier & filter. The upper part, roughly above 2700 m, is without any water so refill the bottle in time.
You do not need any special equipment for this tour, just the usual stuff for a day tour on high altitudes. It was free from snow when I was there in August. But see my text about clothing in the summer in the Alps. Here is my summary:
I was driving from Vent in Otzal Alps in Austria (see here what I was doing there) and I came to the pass quite late. A storm is expected afternoon and I knew I did not have much time, so climbing Fluela Schwarzhorn looked like a good idea for the day.
I knew the area well from my previous visits and passes, I climbed the Fluela Wisshorn which is on the other side of the road.
As mentioned above, the start of the route is not on the pass, it is below, on the south side, there is a sign so you cannot miss it.
I started the tour at 10:50 and I was on the summit at 12:50, so in two hours exactly. No doubt it would take me longer if the weather was good, I would simply enjoy the climb and go slow. But the storm was coming and I wanted to get to the summit in time.
There was nobody around until the place where I met the old man and his grandchild, you can see them in the picture. I asked for permission to make this photo. He told me there was yet another hour to the summit. He was right, but I did it faster because of the storm that was coming.
The upper part is a bit steeper in one section only, but this is a walk up all the time. It was very windy; rain and hail started as soon as I arrived at the summit. So I did not stay longer than 5 minutes, the place is very exposed and there is always a danger of lightning.
On the way back the weather improved but it was obviously still raining on the summit. I met several groups of people going up. Many of them were totally unprepared, in light walking sneakers, without warm clothes. I find this irresponsible regardless how easy the climb can look.
So, all in all, my climbing of Fluela Schwarzhorn was a nice and pleasant tour. Later, I spent a sleepless night in the car on the pass. It was raining all the time, with ice and snow sometimes, and with an incredibly strong wind. But in the morning it was calm, so I continued in the direction of Livigno and Bormio, and climbed Cima Solda after that.
Thank you for reading. It will be great to hear from you, there is a comment box below. So let me know if you know the area and if you could write something and publish here in the site, I have an open invitation for guest authors. Have a nice day.