Aletsch Panorama trail
A short trip that made a lasting impression
Long holidays in one place are not their thing. They prefer spur of the moment trips lasting not more than a few days. Their main thing is variety and fun, far from the rigorous discipline of everyday work – and preferably in the mountains. Susi and Diego are a couple from central Switzerland. One of their most recent getaways took the two 40-somethings to the Aletsch Arena, where they set out on the Aletsch Panorama Trail. Their mountain adventure thrilled them so much that they sent us their personal highlights and are keen to share them with the whole world.
So who's feeling dizzy?
"Just don't look down" they said – and then of course I do, at the very first step. My heart, pulse and knees respond immediately, but my mind tells me I can do it. If only because Diego says with a broad grin that suspension bridges are easy and that he will carry me piggyback if necessary – which my pride won’t allow. And suddenly I’m right in the middle of the suspension-bridge adventure. Blue sky above, the River Massa roaring below and only a grate in between. That may sound like stable ground, but the Aletsch bridge swings as you go. Securely fixed into the mountain slopes, it connects Belalp and Riederalp. Still feeling a little queasy, I nevertheless feel infinitely free – and happy. Speaking of which, why is Diego walking so slowly?
Pure wellness in the midst of nature
The suspension-bridge adventure is not over yet, as the Aspi-Titter awaits. But at this precise moment, the Aletsch Panorama Trail impresses us in a completely different way. What incredible peace and tranquillity, along with an amazing scent. The saying "You can't see the wood for the trees" takes on a whole new meaning. We are on the ascent to Riederfurka through the Aletsch forest. Admittedly, I've been in better shape than I am now, but never mind. Surrounded by ancient stone pines, we are beyond enchanted. Although our pulse was racing on the bridge, it's now beating steadily despite the steep climb. Diego is trying to capture the gnarled trees and this unique atmosphere in pictures. And I breathe as deeply as I can to fill my bronchial tubes with the surrounding fragrance. I can hardly believe it myself, but I find myself actually hugging one of these trees. I just can't help it.
The wow factor!
I could write a novel about this hiking trip, if only to rave about the warm hospitality in the hotels and the fabulous food. Not to mention the Aletsch Glacier. While I have often heard and read about it, it exceeds every expectation in real life. I simply can’t find the words and resort to “Wow!”. Diego's aptly remarks that we should come here more often for that reason alone and I immediately concur, because what we are experiencing right now is love at first sight –with an ice giant. We would never have thought it possible. Full of cracks and fissures, it tells its story as our eyes dart to and fro between the glacier and the view of tens of 4,000-metre peaks. It is abundantly clear why this hike is called the Aletsch Panorama Trail. Thumbs up! We'll be back.
Susi and Diego
A perfect spot to contemplate the Great Aletsch glacier
Suspension bridge Belalp - Riederalp over the Massa Gorge
The Great Aletsch Glacier
Aletsch Forest Nature Reserve