Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hiking around the Aletsch glacier: Day 2

Greg's pre-sunrise climb to the Riederhorn was pretty much a waste since the clouds were too thick to see much in the way of mountain tops. Oh well, it's good to start the day with a bit of exercise.

We got a pretty late start because the hotel didn't serve breakfast until 8, but then we headed up along the ridge path towards Moosfluh. This really nice path had the added advantage of being mostly empty, it was our one bit of solitary hiking on the trip. Along the way we spotted a couple bits of wildlife: a pair of Gemsen and a small member of the weasel family (to be looked up later). The original plan was to take the UNESCO high route between Bettmerhorn and Eggishorn, but that was all in cloud by the time we reached the climbing point, so we opted to join the crowds and take the Aletschtour around the mountain to the Märjelensee. What a relief it was to be back on the highway and away from all that scary solitude. right.

Along a very nice path along the mountainside with great views of the glacier and its constraining mountains we reached the path down to the Märjelensee and were shocked to see a horde of giant ants moving off to the Gletscherstube:


We walked down to the glacier itself and amazed ourselves with the sheer scale of the thing from close up. Upon finding a hole, we did something one probably shouldn't do and climbed underneath the glacier to look around.

there are probably a million good reasons not to do this

After a brief Kaffee and Kuchen break, we took the tunnel under the Tälligrat (see straight line on map), and then continued along to Fiescheralp and the gondola back down. The train trip home was just as crowded as the one down.

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