Swiss Mountain Run – Elm to Linthal

One of the most beautiful (and there are many) mountain locations in Switzerland is Glarus, and if you’re in the area, a nice run is from Elm to Linthal over the Richetlipass and is about 20km and 1200m elevation gain. This run started in Elm Dorf at 977m, after passing a Swiss tank base you can continue up towards and over the Richetlipass at 2261m. The fist few kilometers follow asphalt paths, but quickly turn to dirt and rocks before becoming alpine. The first highlight is the tank base. You can find the basic route with a map of the region, or check out this link for the Elm-Linthal Map.

Swiss Tank Base

As the mountain panorama opens up you might here what sounds like artillery fire, and it would be because at the end of the valley there’s a Swiss Army tank base, officially named Schiessplatz Wichlen. On a nice day locals and army fanatics can watch the Swiss tanks train their shooting skills. I snapped a few pics of the old panzer rusting in front of the base. You have to run along the road a bit, just follow the road, there’s only one back down the valley. On the left you’ll soon see a drinking fountain and just head up from there. If it’s summer you can stop by the ski hut for a drink and enjoyed a Sinola, a type of Coca-Cola imitation. Oh, by the way, since you’re running past a tank shooting range, if you happen to find an old munition shell, don’t touch it and possibly blow your hand off, note the spot and tell the police.

Mountain Panorama

Beyond the ski hut you begin ascending up and up along the mountain trail. Just stay on the trail as it going up and up, you’ll go over one ridge with a nice place to stop and chill, then down past another hut through a fantastic alpine amphitheater. Say Gruezi to the guys with large white beards enjoying large beers in the alpine sun. There’s a giant boulder you can climb on as you head towards the Richetlipass.

You can continue up the blue alpine route (no trail just a rock ridge) up to the Chalchstockli summit if you have time and energy, or head down to Linthal and the end. The run down to Linthal is quite steep and muddy and I would take running sticks with you, watch out for the mushrooms and create visions of fairy kingdoms under your shoes. The run ends in Linthal, you could technically then run up to Braunwald, but I was tired and took the train back to Zurich.

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