Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Switzerland: Fiescheralp to Marjelesee

Last of them.
You've got to love goats
Right on cue, when I had reached my last destination, the sun was shining! It always seems to be shining in Fiesch! I just love this area of the Valais, and the two walks in this region perfectly display its appeal.

Staying high above the main town, at around 2200m in Fiescheralp, meant I had no need to catch the cable car each morning, allowing a more leisurely start. Case in point, this morning, I was waiting for my friend Madlen, and her son Maurice, to make the journey up from their home below, and the first car was full, such was the popularity. I had no problems sitting on the sun terrace of the Hotel Alpina waiting for another quarter of an hour, admiring the view!
 
Once met up, we were soon on our way along the wide dirt track that winds below the Eggishorn, affording expansive vistas of the Rhone Valley and mountains that make the Swiss and Italian border. It's a walk with negligible ascent and so should be within all walking capabilities.
 
Eggishorn Cable Car Station
Eggishorn cable car station
Track to Ober Tälli
Track to Ober Talli
Looking back at the path taken.
Looking back at the path taken
Ignoring the lower path, Uber Talli, which you can take around the mountain, we continued on to Obers Talli. Here, you can see the Fieschergletscher. Impressive as it is, it is not the main attraction.
 
Fieschergletscher
Fieschergletscher
Maurice on rocky outcrop near Obers Tälli
Maurice on rocky outcrop near Obers Talli
Over those mountains: Italy
Over those mountains; Italy
At Obers Talli, we entered a tunnel, that runs for 1200m under the Talligrat; ascending this ridge, or taking the Uber Talli route were once the only ways to Marjelesee, so this makes the journey much more accessible.
 
1200m tunnel between Ober Tälli and Marjelesee
1200m tunnel between Obers Talli and Marjelesee
Once out of the tunnel, you reach Marjelesee. A glacial lake on the edge of the Grosse Aletschgletscher. There are early photographs of this lake which show the glacier closer, and it is a reminder of how the glacier is retreating.
 
Marjelesee
Marjelesee
We had planned to lunch at the Gletscherstube hut, but it was busy and we weren't too hungry yet, so we took the path to "Platta" which is a scenic lookout of the Glacier.
 
Still on the path to Platta.
On the path to Platta
Along the way, we ran into some goats. A perfect alpine photo opportunity!
 
Lucky encounter with a goat herd
Lucky encounter with a goat herd
Goats galore!
Goats Galore!
At Platta, we stopped for a bite to eat. Below, you could see the deep crevasses within the glacier. Looking right, you can spot famous mountains such as Jungfrau, Jungfraujoch, Monch, Eiger. In front of you, the Rothorn, Olmenhorn, slightly obscuring a view of Aletschorn. To the left, Bettmerhorn and the valley where the glacier comes to its end.
 
Crevasse
Crevasse
Looking up the Grosse Aletschgletscher from Platta
Looking up the Grosse Aletschglescher from Platta
Rothorn and Olmenhorn stage front
Rothorn and Olmenhorn stage front
Looking down the Grosse Aletschgletscher from Platta
Looking down the glacier from Platta
And for a panoramic view!
 
The Great Aletsch Glacier
The Grosse Aletschglescher
We made our way back to Gletscherstube, but it was even busier, so after a sit down by the lake, we retraced our steps to through the tunnel, to the Hotel Alpina, where he had a late afternoon lunch instead.
 
Exiting the tunnel at Obers Tälli
Exiting the tunnel at Obers Talli
Cows above Fiesch
Cows above Fiesch
Good to be back here, I have to say this is my favourite place in Europe, and one I will always return to again and again!
 
And the route: