Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

June 28, 2014

Via Ferrata Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland

The Alps have been in the midst of some unsettled weather.  What else is new?  So after "almost" seeing the top of the Matterhorn between clouds, and with the forecast calling for lots of rain, we turned tail and ran for Venice.   Ah, sunshine.  But before we rolled the car onto a train for a tunnel to Italy, we managed to squeeze in a short Via Ferrata in Switzerland.

The Aletsch Glacier is the biggest glacier in the Alps (don't quote me on that, though!).   It's more famous at the top end for having the highest train stop above the Eiger and the town of Grindelwald.  But at the tail end of the glacier, in a whole other valley system, a small lake has been damned up, called the Gibidum-Stausee.  There it is possible to climb all the way around the steep cliffs on the wires and pegs of a recently created Via Ferrata.  It's a short route...I raced around it to beat the weather and it took me 1:40.  Most people would be happy to do it in 3 hours.   Probably without sweating, too.

The route is good for beginners...it starts easy and stays easy for a while.  The tricky bit, if you could  call it so, could be the longest suspension bridge in the Alps!  It bounces a little over a raging river, even though there is a solid walkway rather than a single braided wire like some routes have.  Don't look down, newbies.

The return side of the route is a little bit more interesting and challenging, and maybe even lives up to the rating of 3-4.   I think the whole thing is more like a 2, with an occasional adrenaline filled traverse.  Fun but after doing the Kandersteg route a few days ago, it felt too easy!  There is a short zipline, too, but you'll have to bring your own pulley if you want to do it.  Overall, a fun little route above the town of Blatten near Brig in Switzerland.

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