Discovering Pilatus’ Rope Park
A couple of weekend’s ago we decided to have an adventure in our own backyard and headed to Pilatus to try out the Rope Park. My daughter Yzzy discovered rope parks in Corsica two years ago and she was thrilled to finally be trying our own local one. Rolf, my husband, an eternal adventurer was equally enthusiastic and I thought I’d be a good representative for all people who have a greater fear of heights and adventures in trees.
When we arrived, we were a little dismayed to see that we had somehow managed to time our arrival with a number of buses and the queue went well out into the street, but we needn’t have worried, thanks to three booths and a helpful lady handing out tickets to Golden Swiss Pass holders in just under 20 minutes we were in our cable-car heading up to Fräkmüntegg.
The ride up is beautiful and we couldn’t help but feel excited at what lay ahead of us.
At the Fräkmüntegg station we were welcomed by Alphorn players and a stunning view down to the lake, the Bürgenstock and Vitznau.
Once we had signed up for the park we were kitted out and then given instructions on what to do by the very friendly and efficient Mireille.
Then it was time to climb into the trees. There are 11 courses going from easy to very challenging including a 10 metre drop and even for the very brave a 20 metre free fall drop.
I was quite comfortable in the first 3 courses, but the zip lines were my undoing. Somehow I just couldn’t convince myself that it was okay to sit on the edge of the ridge and just zip into the empty air. To be totally truthful after a face on splat into a tree in Corsica I was also well aware that coming to a stop after zip lining is not something I do with any grace or dignity! But I had a lot of fun and there were several more courses I could have done had I mustered the courage.
After our first hour we retreated to the barbecue area and had some well deserved food and a break, whilst watching the little ones have fun on the mini course, The Pilu Rope Park, which is open to children from 4 to 8 years of age.
There also is very nice self service restaurant with great views if you would prefer.
Rolf and Yzzy were now joined by other friends and they all made their way through the various parcours. It was fun to watch them figure out how to get around the various challenges, some require balance, climbing over, stretching, always a fun zip line part seemed to be the reward. The more they did, the more they wanted to do and Yzzy and her friend showed no fear even when faced with the challenge of jumping from 10 meters with only the security line keeping them from crashing. They were saving the greatest challenge, which is a 20 metre free fall, for last and I spent several minutes craning my neck to catch the moment when they finally let go of the ridge and were swooped down to the ground. Rolf just stepped off and let himself fall, Yzzy took a little longer and was both shaken and exhilarated and, of course, declared that the only way to get over it was to go back to her favourite parcours the Flying Dragon, which has two zip lines including one which is 100 metre long. It was a great finish to a really fun day.
Both of them want to go back and seeing how much fun they had I might just venture a bit more out of my comfort zone and try a few more courses next time we go.
Yzzy says: It was so much fun, I loved all the parcours and can’t wait to be tall enough to do the Dragon Fire (only accessible from 14 or 150 cm).
Rolf says: Very adventurous and varied, the Dragon Fire is truly challenging and should only be done when you are feeling really fit.
How to get there:
You can drive and park at the base station in Kriens (CHF 5.- for up to 24 hours) or take the bus 1 exit at Kriens, Centre Pilatus and it’s a 5 minute walk to the station.
Buy a return ticket for Fräkmüntegg CHF 40.- or CHF 20.- with a half price and for kids
1 adult: CHF 28.-; children 8-16 CHF 21.-
Family 2 adults 1 kid: CHF 67.-
Freefall experience (20 metre drop) CHF 5.-
Pilu Rope Park (4 to 8 year olds) CHF 12.- for 1 hour
One last note, although it was a glorious sunny and warm day we were all very happy to have packed some jumpers as it was definitely cooler.
More information at the Pilatus website.