|Elevation||2,128 m (6,982 ft)|
|Prominence||585 m (1,919 ft)|
|Isolation||16.7 km (10.4 mi)|
|Parent peak||Brienzer Rothorn|
|First ascent||14th century|
|Easiest route||Pilatus Railway (world's steepest cogwheel railway)|
Mount Pilatus (German: Pilatus) is a mountain overlooking Lucerne in Central Switzerland. It is composed of several summits of which the highest (2,128 m) is named Tomlishorn. Another summit named Esel (2,119 m) lies just over the railway station. Jurisdiction over the massif is divided between the cantons of Obwalden, Nidwalden, and Lucerne. The main peaks are right on the border between Obwalden and Nidwalden.
Railway and summit
The top can be reached with the Pilatus railway, the world's steepest cogwheel railway, from Alpnachstad, operating from May to November (depending on snow conditions), and the whole year with the aerial panorama gondolas and aerial cableways from Kriens. Both summits of Tomlishorn and Esel can be reached with a trail. Mount Pilatus has the longest summer toboggan track in Switzerland (0.88 miles or 1,350 m) and the biggest suspension rope park in Central Switzerland.
During the summer, the "Golden Round Trip" — a popular route for tourists — involves taking a boat from Lucerne across Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad, going up on the cogwheel railway, coming down on the aerial cableways and panorama gondolas, and taking a bus back to Lucerne.
A few different local legends about the origin of the name exist. One claims that Mount Pilatus was named so because Pontius Pilate was buried there; a similar legend is told of Monte Vettore in Italy. Another is that the mountain looks like the belly of a large man, Pilate, lying on his back and was thus named for him.
The mountain is heavily fortified, with gun emplacements within the mountain just below the tourist viewing gallery. The mountain has fortified radar and weather stations, not open to the public view and used all year round.
In late medieval times a dragon was said to live on the mountain. A particularly vivid account was written in 1619: 'as I was contemplating the serene sky by night, I saw a very bright dragon with flapping wings go from a cave in a great rock in the mount called Pilatus toward another cave, known as Flue, on the opposite side of the lake'.
View from Pilatus at mount Rigi and Lake Lucerne
|Climate data for Pilatus|
|Average high °C (°F)||−2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−4.7
|Average low °C (°F)||−7.5
|Precipitation mm (inches)||200
|Avg. precipitation days||14.3||11.9||15.2||14.8||15.8||16||14.3||14.7||10.6||9.3||12||14.2||163.1|
- List of mountains of Switzerland
- List of most isolated mountains of Switzerland
- List of mountains of Switzerland accessible by public transport
- Retrieved from the Swisstopo topographic maps. The key col is the Glaubenberg Pass (1,543 m).
- Retrieved from Google Earth. The nearest point of higher elevation is north of the Widderfeld Stock.
- "Mount Pilatus: Scenic Railway and Cable to Lucerne’s Mountain of Legends". Bargain Travel Europe. Retrieved November 2010. "Mt Pilatus is also a military installation due to its view to the Swiss borders."
- "The Mountain > Legends & Myths > Dragon Legends". Retrieved November 2010.
- "Temperature and Precipitation Average Values-Table, 1961-1990" (in German, French, Italian). Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss. Retrieved 8 May 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pilatus.|