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reisen.ch - das Reiseportal der Schweiz
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Aletsch

The special of the glacier region with the longest glacier in Switzerland is, that access is easy and the ice stream can be admired  from above.

The area is included in the World Heritage List of the United Nations.

It offers opportunities for hiking and Winter-skiing.
Between Riederalp and Bettmeralp a shuttle service is  provided.
 

Bettmeralp Bettmeralp
 
Fiescheralp (Kuehboden): Located above Fiesch it's the middle station of Fiesch-Eggishorn cable car. The "must see" are Eggishorn with breathtaking view over Aletsch glacier and the Maerjelensee area where the ice masses make a bend.
vs-wallis.ch/wallis/goms/fiescheralp/main.html
  
Bettmeralp: above Betten/FO (Furka Oberalp train station). A large Cable car operates between Betten/FO and Bettmeralp, while a smaller system runs in two sections by Betten village. Bettmeralp is comfortably located in the center of the Aletsch region. A "must" is Bettmerhorn with fantastic view and a large Restaurant. You can walk up there or use the cable car from Bettmeralp.
www.bettmeralp.ch
 
Riederalp: above Ried/Moerel is close to the Aletsch forest. From Moosfluh you get a fantastic view over the glacier as well.
www.riederalp.ch
 
Aletschwald nature reserve with villa Cassel as education center on Riederfurka (30 Minutes walk from Riederalp). Pro natura, the caretaker of the protected area, organizes tours/seminars/workshops. 
Villa Cassel offers accommodations in the lovely old building.
www.pronatura.ch/aletsch
Book:
Aletsch Eine Landschaft erzählt, Laudo Albrecht 
Rotten Verlags AG Visp
in German

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Hikes from Bettmeralp: 

Here some interesting hikes from Bettmeralp, since that's my favorite. The routes can easily be adapted to your wishes, since there are many tracks to choose from. Cable cars and chair lifts are the easy way to or from the top.

 

Bettmeralp-Blausee-Riederfurka: On this hike we're ascending to Blausee, proceed to the rim of the mountain chain, enter the Aletsch trail to Riederfurka. Return by Aletsch forest to Bettmeralp.
Bettmeralp-Kuehboden-Maerjelen: We explore the upper part of the region. First leg is Fiescheralp (Kuehboden), then we proceed by Taelligrat to Maerjelensee. Then along the glacier and up to Bettmerhorn. By cable car or on foot back to Bettmeralp.
Fiescheralp-Bettmerhorn Start in Fiesch (MGB train) and End in Betten (MGB train), or Bettmeralp.
Bettmeralp-lower Aletsch trail: On these shorter route we choose the lowest track above the glacier, thereby we get a good idea about the development of plants from moraine gravel to forest. 
Along Aletsch glacier, from walking track Aletsch glacier, from walking track
Along Aletsch glacier In the Aletsch forest

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Bettmeralp-Blausee-Riederfurka

Bettmeralp-Blausee-Riederfurka km hrs
Bettmeralp-Bettmersee-Blausee-Unterer Weg-Riederfurka-
Oberer Weg-Blausee-Bettmersee
12 7

You may cut the hike by using the shuttle to Riederalp and return on the track as mentioned here. 
From Riederalp there is a cable car to Moosflue which is a bit above Blausee, giving additional choice of trails.
You may also use the chair lift from Riederalp to Hohfluh.

First we walk along the Bettmersee. The track to Blausee is clearly marked. It crosses the alp meadow. Some time later the climb will get a bit steeper.
 

blausee.JPG (94812 Byte) Blausee

After Blausee there is some more climbing, but after a few minutes we're on the verge of the mountain range with a undisturbed view into the glacier area. There are different trails to Riederfurka. One runs along the rim and the fence of the protected area, then there is an upper and a lower track and one on the very bottom of the forested area.

Choosing the lower track (unterer Weg) we enjoy walking in the unique forest of old pines (Arve), the larger ones are hundreds of years old. There are dense shrubs of Alp roses and berries.

At Riederfurka with Hotel, Restaurant and Kiosk we' re amazed by the old "villa Cassel", a peculiar building. It is used for Seminars, meetings etc. Don't miss the exhibition in the house and spend some time in the very informative "Alpengarten" right at the villa. If rooms are available you might be able to spend the night in one of the old, romantic rooms of villa Cassel.

Back to Bettmeralp we're using the "Oberer Weg", we'll have many fantastic views toward the upper section of the glacier.

A good option for proceeding to Bettmeralp is by way of Biel. From there we're descending behind Bettmersee.

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Bettmeralp-Kuehboden-Maerjelen

Bettmeralp-Kuehboden-Maerjelen km hrs
Bettmeralp-Furri Huette-Kuehboden-
Taelligrat-Maerjelensee-Aletschtrail-Bettmerhorn
14 7
Bettmerhorn-Bettmeralp (cable car)    

To shorten this hike you may use the chairlift Bettmeralp-Schoenboden and/or the cable car Kuehboden-Eggishorn with descent from Eggishorn to Taelligrat. 

For the first part of this hike we're using the track from Bettmeralp up to Furrihuette. From there it's a good gravel road to Kuehboden with hotels, Restaurants and the middle station of the Fiesch-Eggishorn cable car.

From Kuehboden we're proceeding on the comfortable road towards Maerjelen. After about one km we arrive at the site where some time ago the "old Hotel Jungfrau" has been. Some foundation is all that's been left after a fire. About 20 m before, we recognize the marking on a rock, pointing up to Eggishorn. The foot track will get a bit steep, but it's well worth the trouble.

If you want it easier, you may proceed on the gravel road. Later there will be a tunnel of about 1 km which will lead to the artificial lake and the Gletscherstube (little Restaurant).

From Taelligrat we enjoy a fantastic view: the Aletsch glacier,  Jungfrau region, Strahlhorn and Fiescher glacier just across.
 

fieschergl.JPG (97515 Byte) Fiescher glacier
Marjelental.JPG (100246 Byte) Aletsch glacier
Maerjelen valley

From this excellent viewpoint we descend to Gletscherstube. There is a marker pointing straight down to little Maerjelensee. Although the track is not marked, you won't miss the lake.

Maerjelen is where Aletschgletscher makes a bend and polished rocks from times gone by and the icy flanks of the glacier can be seen. Don't walk on the glacier without a licensed guide (Bergfuehrer).
 

wollgrasnah.JPG (119245 Byte) Wool grass

After a break we proceed above the glacier on a small but excellent track. At Roti Chumme we turn left and ascend towards Bettmerhorn. At first the pace is comfortable, but later we have to climb some stairs and it's a steep climb. At the top, on Bettmerhorn we'll be rewarded with a remarkable view.
 

zumbhorn.JPG (107635 Byte) On the track to Bettmerhorn

After a well earned drink we board the cable car for Bettmeralp. On the lower part before entering Bettmeralp, still in the steep slopes with rocks and lush alpine grass we'll probably recognize Marmots. They ignore the cable car cabins above.

Fiescheralp-Bettmerhorn by Maerjelensee

Start for the above mentioned route is Fiescheralp. Access is by cable car from Fiesch. The station is some 5 Minutes down from MGB train station.
4.5 hrs.

Fiescheralp-Bettmerhorn.jpg (200947 Byte)Interactive map:
http://map.search.ch/d/te5njnknd
GPS-File:
GPS_Data/GPX-Fiescheralp-Bettmerhorn.zip

 

Fiescheralp-Bettmerhorn direct

1.5 hrs. First take the road towards Bettmeralp. After the last houses a road to the right heads up towards Bettmerhorn. The road is well marked.
Fiescheralp-BettmerH-direkt.JPG (145029 Byte)Interactive map:
http://map.search.ch/d/wnkmdhkzj
GPS-File:
GPS_Data/GPX-Fiescheralp-BettmerH-direkt.zip


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Bettmeralp-lower Aletsch trail

Bettmeralp-lower Aletsch trail km hrs
Bettmeralp--Biel-Kalkofen-turnoff for Belalp-unterer Weg-
Biel-Bettmersee-Bettmeralp
10 3

This is a shorter, but quite interesting tour. We follow the markings for Biel. In the morning, when it's quiet yet, Marmots can be seen feeding around the rocks and on the alp pastures. Reaching the top we proceed to Aletschwald.
 
munggen.JPG (144091 Byte) Marmots along the hiking trail

Entering the reserve we head for Kalkofen, which will get us to the lower ones of the many tracks. We will find a reconstructed site where the predecessor of today's cement was won. The base material, limestone and wood for the fire was gathered in the area. The lowest track is also the youngest part of the flora and the larch trees in the stony environment are a different picture from the old arolla pines above.

We proceed on the lowest track until we reach the turnoff for the track across the glacier to Belalp. (Don't enter the glacier without licensed guide). At the turnoff we proceed to the Oberer Weg. According to taste we may add to the route or return by one of the exits either by Blausee or on the same track we came from.

Option: From Moosfluh is a cable car, from Hohfluh a chair lift available. From Riederalp it's a 30 Minutes walk to Bettmeralp (also a shuttle service is available). 

 

 

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