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near Oberried, Canton de Berne (Switzerland)
Start the climb from Oberried, well indicated. Constant climb for about 1000 m altitude through trail in the forest, easy but steep about 20%. Some views onto the lake already but the forest is quite dense. At around 1300m altitude there is a refuge hut, well equipped, wood, water, table outside and inside, sleeping area, on hay so make sure you have a sleeping bag. No luxury at all. Wood to make bbq outside and simple kitchenware inside. They ask for 5 chf to stay per person. Continuing up the trees fade away at about 1500 m and we take a path that traverses a very steep side of the mountain heading towards the mountain rim. Here the path is quite narrow and although not technical it can be quite frightening if the hikers are not used to this. Views are spectacular already. We get on to the top of the rim in about 3.5 hours and eat, not at Augsmatthorn yet though. Our pace was not fast as two of our hikers were quite frightened and we took it slow. From the rim starts the most spectacular part of the trail, you follow a narrow path with steep falls on each side but ample room to walk safely, and after a few initial hills which can be walked easily we start up to Augstmatthorn, very steep and technical, loose gravel at times, there are areas with a chain which helps but others there are no chain and you must absolutely not slip here. Not for children or for those that are afraid of heights. The view at the top is spectacular, 360 view on lake Brienz, Jungfrau, Eiger, Much and the opposite side of the valley. Going down the other side is easy and after a short walk you reach the next horn, Suggiture, even steeper but an easier climb as the path is in better shape, also coming down the other side, there are steps drilled into the rock which make the descent steep and technical but ok. From there you progressively loose height go over a couple more peaks but not as technical, always with fantastic views, and then go through a prairie to two forests heading towards the funicular at Harderkulm. Beware that it is still a long way, at least 6-7 km 2-3 hours as the going through the forest is very complicated with many tree roots, rocks and falls on left hand side which forces you to go slow and cautiously. The view on the Jungfrau at Hardekulm is fabulous, as is the beer at the restaurant before taking the lift down.
All in all it is a beautiful but demanding hike, not for beginners, not for children or anybody that suffers from vertigo or is scared of heights. It took us 10 hours but at a normal pace it can be done in 7 hours. Enjoy