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“Hiking Paradise” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Aletsch Glacier

Aletsch Glacier
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$235.90*
and up
Jungfraujoch: Top of Europe Day Trip from Zurich
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Europe's largest glacier, a UNESCO World Heritage site, surrounded by geological glacial featured landscapes and Alpine flora and wildlife.
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
37 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“Hiking Paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2010

For me, Alestch Glacier area is mostly of Riederalp - Bettmeralp (Bettmerhorn) - Eggishorn that can be reached from 3 bottom cable stations (Mörel, Betten and Fiesch). I have done various walks there 4 times last summer and 2 times so far, including Eggishorn - Bettmerhorn alpine hike. Just breath taking and I cannot stop going back there again and again.

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4 Thank kat1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Centurion, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Breathtaking”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2009

The first time I was in the Jungfrau region, it was snowing quite badly (April) and obviously did not get to see and do all we planned, so we promised ourselves we would return. We returned a few years later during the summer (June).
Interlarken is such a picturesque town. It is clean and fresh and safe. Our trip up to the Jaungfrau was exciting. The scenery is breathtaking with the contrast of green rolling hills, blossoms and snow capped mountains. My first glimse of a glacier was at Eismeer station. Here one has to get out when the train stops.
The scenery from the top is awesome and one of my best overseas trips. One also has to visit Murin and the Trumbelbach waterfalls.

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Thank Wrankmore_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Heaven on Earth for hikers”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2009

We return to the Junfrau region again and again. Breathtaking beauty, serenity, and miles and miles of amazing hiking trails. We typically arrive by train from Zurich, start at Wilderswil and backpack from inn to inn, using lifts, cog railways and fuliculars to help us along the way. Easy to spend two weeks and never set foot in an automobile. The Faulhorn, Mannlichen, Grindelwald, Wengen and Murren call us back year after year.

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2 Thank Pickles218
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Glacier Walking”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2007

One of the best experiences in Switzerland has to be the two day glacier walk from the top of the Jungfrau. The trip we went on was organised by Grindelwald Sports. The cost includes very basic accommodation half way along the glacier as well as meals. One of the highlights is that they get you up at 5am to see the sun rise over the glacier (N.B. it is extremely cold at that time!).

You do not need to be especially fit but it is vital that you are not terrified of heights because the accommodation is at the top of a very very long set of metal stairs bolted to the side of a sheer cliff (as bad as it sounds but such a sense of achievement!)

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5 Thank Victoria101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario, Canada
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Hiking through the ProNatura Protected Aletsch Forest”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2006

Hiking through the ProNatura Protected Aletsch forest to Riederalphorn
By Nancy V. Sont

We took the 8-minute cable car from Moosfluh to Huhfluh which isn’t accessible by car. Laoudo Albrecht, our guide, explained a lot about the glacier moraine as we stood looking down on it. It was a breathtaking view of the glacier from this cliff top. People stood around and sat on benches.

The Aletsch glacier is a UNESCO site. It was chosen because at 23km long, it is the biggest glacier in the Alps, even though there is a bigger and longer one in Scandinavia.

It begins at Jungfraujoch and from Eggershorn you can get a wide, fisheye view of the whole Aletsch glacier.

The Aletch is actually three glaciers: the Jungfrau vein, the Aletch vein on the left and the Eveehneuelt on the right. They have lateral moraines on the side of each of the glaciers. If you have two coming together, then you have two lateral moraines connecting. Those outer moraines are then called median moraines.

The three glaciers meet at Concordia. That’s where the lateral becomes the median. The glacier is moving at Concordia at 200 meters annually, or more than half a meter daily. This speed is abnormal, but in 2003 it was 5 degrees hotter all summer than it ever has been.

An animal like a goat and the parent of the snow goat called a shamwa, live in these mountains.

In the tops of the mountains across the glacier, we could see the Ober Aletch glacier, then the Tirast glacier then the Tenbecken glacier, the Middle Aletch glacier, and another unnamed glacier.

The Aletsch glacier has been at many levels, but 10,000 years ago it was level with the moraine on the walls.

There have been many small ice ages. During those times the glaciers become bigger and smaller. The last one ended in 1860. That’s when the glacier was up to the top of the moraine line along the walls of the valley. It was 3 km longer and was 200 meters deeper.

Our guide showed us photos of the glacier at that level.

The scenery was breathtaking as we began our walk. The ridge was dotted with small hills, around which the path wound up and down.

Laoudo pointed out a Nutcracker (a bird) sitting on the branch of an aurealian pine. He told us they each hide 80,000-100,000 nuts each year. They will take fifty to seventy nuts in their necks, holding them in their pouches and carry them. Later the nuts sprout and they result in more Aurealian pines.

A few nutcrackers flew over the valley as we talked. They resembled a kingfisher in their shape and flight pattern. They have floppy neck skin and black and white markings.

The shamwa and the birds eat the blueberries on the bushes that cover the ground. The berries are ripe in August then leaves turn red in September.

Alongside the trail was a 70 year old stone wall. It marked the boundary of the Aletch Forest protected area. A sign told us about ProNatura who had protected this area.

ProNatura has 100,000 members. They’ve protected 500 areas in Switzerland. Since Switzerland is such a little country, this is a big protected area, four square kilometres. In a protected area, you are only allowed to walk on paths. You can’t hunt. There’s no removal of wood, you can’t pick blueberries, and you can’t even move anything like a carcass off the path. (A deer leg lay partially eaten on our path) It is all part of the UNESCO world heritage site. However, if the area were only protected by UNESCO, then they’d still be allowed to use it for agriculture and to take wood.

There are 50-70,000 visitors in the forest from June till the end of October. Because the area goes up to the end of the glacier and the glacier is receding as it melts at the end, the protected area is expanding all the time!

The reason it is protected is because it has Aurealian pines. They have disappeared elsewhere. There are also Larch trees, a fir tree that loses its needles in the fall. As it turns yellow, it changes the colour of the forest. Although winter consists of seven to eight months of snow in the area, the trees are adapted to the conditions.

After passing through the gateway and heading down the side of the mountain to the moraine and then to the forest, Laoudo pointed out an huge aurealian pine with lichen growing on it. All but one branch of it appeared dead. Laoudo told us it was 700-800 years old. They grow to be over 1000 years old. As the oldest trees in Switzerland, it’s nothing for these trees to be 500 years old.

We passed a fallen Alnus Viridis tree that had been uprooted. On the tips of the dead looking branches, were live growth.

Although it is forbidden to make fires in the forest, many people smoke, as that’s not forbidden unless it’s very dry.

One Aurealian pine was dead and burned amongst the rest of the forest. A helicopter had put out the fire by dumping water on that one tree.

Across the valley and above the glacier, we could see a very long waterfall. Laoudo said it didn’t have a name. He’d been over there though. It looked impossible to get to that spot!

I loved walking through the sparse, shady forest, we were on top of a ridge it seemed, always with the view of the glacier beside us.

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16 Thank tipiwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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