In your love of stairs, have you ever decided to check out the fabled Guinness Book of Records acclaimed world’s longest staircase in Switzerland? Mount Niesen in the Swiss Alps hosts this 11,674 step staircase, which leads visitors to the top of the 1643 meter (5,390 ft) pyramid-shaped mountain. Found atop of the mountain is a transparent glass pavilion and the Niesen Kulm mountain guesthouse, where visitors can stay and eat, all while enjoying the view, even for the night if they’d like.
To get to the top there are two funicular railways in use that have four carriages that carry passengers 30 minutes up the mountain; the railways have been in use for over 100 years and mirrors the staircase to the top.
But the real attraction is the Niesen Treppenlauf, the mother of all staircase races. The actual stairs are only open to use once a year, and it’s for the race. The fact that the race has been going on for the last 10 years and no one has really known about it makes it even more unique.
As you can see in this video from 2012 the 3.4 kilometer (2.11 mile) race is not something to be taken lightly.
The next race is scheduled for June 6th, 2015. In previous years, there are around 500 contestants that enter and every 20 seconds, three people start the race up the mountain. Not only will your stamina be tested by the grueling battle up the mountain, but so is your willpower to not stop and take in the view.
You need to register a year in advance in order to make sure you can compete in the race, but even then sometimes there are forces that will not allow you to climb the mountain. Last year’s race was cancelled due to a snow storm.
The race record is 1-hour and 2 minutes for men and the women’s record is 1 hour and 9 minutes. The length of the race is compared to climbing the Empire State Building more than seven times. With modern strength challenging races like the Tough Mudder and the Spartan Race, they aren’t able to bring this type of natural experience to you.
Once you’ve burned the calories from the trek, which at times can be have a 68% steepness but only averages a 55% gradient, the top of the staircase offers quite the view. Atop of the mountain you can see a beautiful view of the Bernese Alps, of the Alps and its surrounding areas like Lake Thun, Kander Valley and Simmen Valley. If you aren’t looking to race the stairs, you can go almost any other day and ride the rails, hearing the legendary story of the sneezing fox and other fabled children stories.
There are other lengthy stairs in the world, like the 7,200 step staircase on Mount Tai in China and the Haiku Stairs (famously called the Stairway to Heaven) in Oahu, Hawaii, that boasts a staircase climb of approximately 4,000 steps. Though like the stairs on Mount Niesen, the Haiku Stairs are not for public use and a guard is posted at the bottom of the stairs.
If you like unique staircases and are looking to invest in a new staircase for your home or property, look to the stair experts at Acadia Stairs for all your staircase needs. Choose from a wide selection of stairs; straight, spiral, and curved or if you are looking for something a little more space conserving, a Ship’s ladder.
Contact Acadia today and let us make your vision come true.