Back in Aletsch… to Riederfurka via the mountain top path…

If you have read the previous post, you will remember that the hubby and I were deliberating on whether to go back to Villa Cassel in Riederfurka via the route that we had taken earlier on (which is through the forest of Aletsch) or try a different route … upon arriving at a particular juncture. Earlier on, the hubby had seen someone heading in a particular direction from that juncture and he was therefore curious to see where it would lead to. When we approached the signpost near the area, we found out that one of the trails from there actually leads to a small lake in the area called Blausee.

Since we did not get to see the more interesting lake Märjelen … we decided we would try to see Blausee instead. And so we did! In fact, from there … instead of following a proper trail, the hubby decided to take a shortcut back to Riederfurka after spotting Villa Cassel from Blausee … much to my consternation after what had happened to us the previous day! Well … it was already close to 4.30pm by that time, and I did not fancy getting lost again when we were supposed to be making our way back home that evening! But this time round … he was right … and we soon found ourselves back on a trail … which was sooo much nicer than the one that we had taken earlier in the day through the forest of Aletsch! We loiikeeed it!!! 🙂

And here are the shots (click to enlarge or roll over to display names) of the trails we took to go back to Villa Cassel via the mountain top path …

The two different trails with one leading to Blausee … with the beautiful Swiss Alps on the horizon.

We were not the only ones who decided to do that trail … as we were joined by another couple who soon passed us (as usual!) 🙂

The trail from where we had come from … and the other trails down below, which you should be able to spot.

View of Bettmersee, another lake in the area, nestled below. Unfortunately, we did not have the time to go down and have a closer look at this lake … so that we were only able to admire it from far … which was pretty enough, given the beautiful surroundings lah!

Ahhh … that was where we were heading … Blausee (or blue lake in German), located on a slope just beside a chair lift station (the area makes for great ski slopes in winter, apparently). So … down the narrow path we went … heading towards the lake.

A group seen leaving the blue lake, heading down the slope … just as we were approaching the lake. It was a nice walk down to the lake from where we were … because we could see the peak of the iconic Matterhorn quite well.

And finally, reaching Blausee situated at 2,205m … which from this angle looked as if it was perched on the edge of the mountain!

The hubby decided to go to the edge of the lake (left) … to test the water temperature. He found the water to be quite warm … which was not surprising given that it was hot and sunny on that autumn afternoon.

Villa Cassel (in the middle of the curve) and Riederhorn (left) … as seen from Blausee. After spotting the villa … instead of going back the way we came from or following the trail on the sign post, the hubby decided that maybe it would be quicker to cut across the mountain slope … much to my consternation!

And so up the slope we went … not really following any designated trail … leaving lake Blausee behind …

… until we reached this point … where we saw that there were several trails, including one leading to Riederfurka … phew!! It was a very nice area … and it made me realise how far up we had been walking from the point where we had started … because this mountain top (with snow), the same one that we had seen in the morning and on our previous excursion in July, had never looked to me so big or so near!!

In fact, we could even peek into another smaller glacier hidden between these mountains from here! Oh wow!!!

The hubby striking a post against the backdrop … just to show how high and close we were to this mountain top … which had seemed quite far when we started our walk at Riederfurka in the morning!

From there … we went back on the trail … heading towards Riederfurka (to the left). There were quite a number of walkers here … but mostly going different directions from us. It is always nice to bump into or see other walkers when doing these walks … because it means that we are not lost! hehehe …

And the nice thing about taking this path on the mountain top was that we discovered that we were able to admire the glacier of Aletsch from a much higher view point.

Stopping at a signboard perched at the edge of the mountain at an area called Hohfluh … which also serves as a look-out point.

The view of the Aletsch glacier from there. We were able to see more of the glacier, especially the tail of the glacier … since Hohfluh is situated at 2,211 metres above sea level.

From there, there were two different trails to Riederfurka which we could take. Naturally, we chose the shorter of the two lah! 🙂

A display board near one of the highest points along the Gratweg … before we started going down towards Riederfurka.

The display board with a panoramic view of the mountains in the area as well as their names.

Me … trying to make out the names of the mountains against those indicated on the display board … and taking photos of their names as well.

Our last view of the glacier … before the path turned inwards and we could no longer see the glacier.

Passing by another chair lift station along the way … and a small pond or water catchment …

… as we made our way towards Villa Cassel … some 20 minutes away … down the slope on the other side.

Passing by yet another pond! There are several such ponds or water catchments on these mountain trails … in fact, I could say as many as cable car or chair lift stations!! 🙂

And then … finally we could see Villa Cassel again, looming not that far away, at the foot of the Riederhorn … and so we started making our way down towards it.

Although this particular trail makes for a nice route back to Villa Cassel as we were able to see the villa as we made our way down the slope towards it … with the Matterhorn in the background … however, to start a walk to the glacier, I would prefer to do so via the forest trail as the slope is more gentle … and therefore … kinder to me lah! 🙂

By the time we reached Riederfurka, I was getting really tired and was also finding it harder and harder to move my feet (especially my left leg which had started to hurt quite painfully) to get to the villa. In the end, I decided to rest on one of the benches near the start point … while the hubby made the trek alone up the slope to Villa Cassel to collect our bags. Seriously, it was really hard to get my bum off the bench once the hubby was back … to make our way down to the cable car station in Riederalp (which is still another 15-20 minutes of walk down the slope) … to catch the cable car down to Mörel where we would take the train back to Lausanne.

Of all the walking and trekking trips that the hubby and I have done (including snowshoe walking), the walking along the glacier of Aletsch that we did on that day was the most tiring that I have ever made … but also one of the most interesting, exciting … and … most beautiful trips, too. And … I look forward to be able to do it, again … yes!!! 🙂

But before I end the sharing on Aletsch, here is a close-up shot of the glacier of Aletsch that the hubby took …

Looking at the picture on the left, and seeing how the ice seems to create a ripple-like effect of a sea wave, it is no wonder that the French called their famous glacier near Mont Blanc ‘Mer de Glace’, which means ‘sea of ice’. On the right … you can actually spot some tinge of blue underneath the ice, if you look very closely. Interesting, no?

Hopefully next year, we will visit the area again … but this time … to go down to the glacier so that we can have a close look at the glacier of Aletsch itself and walk on it!

Related entries on Aletsch…

Entries on glaciers…

4 thoughts on “Back in Aletsch… to Riederfurka via the mountain top path…

  1. Pingback: My running is to take a new direction … upwards! | à la mode de chez nous

  2. Pingback: Outline of my trail on the Panoramaweg, from Belalp to Oberaletschhütte and back to Belalp « à la mode de chez nous

  3. Yes, it is indeed a wonderful place and one not too far from our home in Lausanne. The staff at Villa Cassel told us that the villa is closed from mid-October until mid-June because it is too cold in winter and early spring! I can tell you that it was certainly cold in the early morning we went out on our deer-spotting excursion (we wrote an entry on this trip). Villa Cassel is more of a hostel than a hotel (no rooms with private toilets/showers). But you can stay there for serveral days. More info at http://www.pronatura.ch/aletsch/index.php?lang=2&mz=2&t=2_195
    I hope this helps and that you will get to visit this beautiful region. You could fly to Zurich or Geneva as the region is about midway from both airports. There will probably be more flights to Zurich as this is Switzerland’s main hub.
    The hubby

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  4. Ive seen pictures of the villa cassel and te hiking trails from an app called I spy (which has over 3000 web cams) on my iPhone. Ive seen it in the winter as well as the summer. I did a google search and found your blog about your hiking trip. One day I would love to go there. Is the villa cassel now a hotel where one could stay a few days? It sounds so beautiful. You are so lucky to live close enough to visit there often. It would be a few week vacation for me. I’m from Massachusetts, USA.

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