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I first went to Mount Pilatus in Switzerland during the summer of 2001 and whilst it's not one of the biggest mountains in Switzerland (2,132 meters / 6,995 feet), it's definitely my favourite.

Whilst I have not had the pleasure, it is possible on a clear day, from near the summit to see seventy three alpine peaks across the mountain's panoramic view. It must truly be a breathtaking experience which I hope to experience on future visits.

I also enjoy the fact that Pilatus is just about high enough to be a pleasurable experience, unlike my visit to Mont Blanc. Where the rapid ascent in the single cable car, makes adjusting to the altitude very tricky and it was not too long, before it got to me and I had to quickly come down.

The mountain is situated near the town of Kriens just a few kilometres from Luzern, Pilatus offers a lot of value for money.

When I first visited, I was living in Basel, about an hours drive north from Kriens. Pilatus was the easiest mountain to zip down to, with the motorway bring me effortlessly to Luzern.

The first time I visited, I remember making my way from Lake Luzern to Kriens following the number one bus power lines, up to Kriens. I had asked one of the boat hire owners at the lake in my broken German, about how to get to Pilatus.

The boat hire owner to my surprise spoke back in English, in a thick Cornish accent and told me to take the bus or follow it, if I was going to drive.

Cable car

When I arrived at the base of the mountain near Kriens about fifteen minutes after leaving Lake Luzern, I was immediately struck by the beautiful scenery, gently interrupted by the arrival and departure of cable cars and the bells from the cows grazing on the incline.


Cogwheel railway

On subsequent visits to Pilatus, I discovered another way to get to the summit by using the world's steepest cogwheel railway in the world.

Golden Round Trip

On another visit with friends during the summer, I embarked on the 'Golden Round Trip', where we combined travelling on the lake, cogwheel railway, cable cars and bus for an incredibly memorable trip.

Toboggan

On my initial visit I missed the toboggan run, a few thousand feet up the mountain, where you disembark from the first set of smaller cable cars.

On my next visit, I took the time out to explore the area where the toboggan facility was located. Whilst initially apprehensive, I was overjoyed when I did manage to complete the run down the track.

Subsequent visits have made the toboggan a firm favourite and as my apprehension has disappeared more and more with each run down the track, my times to make the ascent have increased dramatically.

Pilatus Hotels

There are two hotels near the summit at Pilatus Kulm, which not only offer a place for the night but have excellent restaurant and dining facilities.

Pilatus Hiking

Many visitors to the mountain, come for the fantastic hiking, allowing them to hike up and down the mountain or part hike the different parts of the mountain. I have hiked from one gondola cable car station to the next and enjoyed it immensely.

Finally, the history behind the mountain, allegedly a dragon rock fell from the sky in fifteenth century which symbolises Mount Pilatus's association with dragons. There is also a local legend which believes the Roman governor Pontius Pilate may be buried in the area, thus giving the name for the mountain.

Whatever the history, it is truly a magical place which I have visited many times and will continue to visit for many years to come.