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    Two-Day Hike in the Turtmann Valley

    Gruben - Grüobu - Turtmannhütte - Turtmannsee - Schluchtweg - Gruben-Meiden - Oberems

    Route Details | Route Description | Comments about this tour (1)

    Two-Day Hike in the Turtmann Valley

    Gruben - Grüobu - Turtmannhütte - Turtmannsee - Schluchtweg - Gruben-Meiden - Oberems

    Published on 26.10.2016 by GabrielleMerk - Tour Date: 02.08.2016

    This is a very nice hike for people who like to overnight in Swiss Alpine Hostels. For one the hike itself is not very strenuous, and for another it is a wonderful experience to spend a night above a glacier, and then to wonder at the fabulousness of early morning in the mountains.

    There is a small bus from the summit station of the Turtmann-Oberems Cable car which you can ride to about mid-valley, to the town of Gruben. This bus runs only twice per day, so you have to time it properly (although it can be requested at other times for a fee).

    The Turtmann Valley, parallel to and exactly between the Matter Valley and the Val d'Anniviers is definitely not as well-known as the other two, and therefore much more pleasant to hike in. There is a road that goes quite far to the back of the valley, and that makes for a nice outing for people coming by car to walk to the foot of the glacier or to the hostel for lunch.

    Gruben was the starting point of our two-day hike. We chose to hike up to the high trail on the East side of the valley, which takes a little over an hour (500m) along a well-laid forest trail to over the tree line. As you reach the highest elevation of the first portion, you cross an astounding avalanche dam built by the Swiss Military, another indication of how the Swiss people have learned to live in harmony with nature in this difficult terrain.

    All along the high trail (Panoramaweg Turtmanntal) to the back of the valley you can marvel at the views into the valley bottom and all the way out to the Rhone Valley. Before getting the first magnificent glimpse of the Turtmann Glacier you cross a long section of fallen rocks, which makes the going just a little slower than indicated on the trail markers. Once you have reached the trail junction above the two lakes, the final 45-50 minutes to the hostel 250m above can be done either on the steeper but shorter route (careful tread is required) or via the glacier moraine trail lower down (longer, but not so steep).

    Overnighting in a Swiss Hostel is always a chance to swap stories with other hikers over a community meal in the hostel dining room, but sleeping accommodations in this hostel are pretty narrow (rooms of 10, two bunks with 5 narrow mattresses each), but hikers are respectful and it's quiet at 10 pm.

    Next morning after a communal breakfast you start the hike back out the valley by first filling up on Hostel Tea and admiring the morning sun on the beautiful Turtmann Glacier. Below the hostel is a large slope filled with beautiful Edelweiss, otherwise a rarely-seen mountain flower!

    The 5-hour hike back to the Cable Car at Oberems is a steady and light downhill walk past the two dammed lakes at the back, along unpaved roads, through a small ravine, back through Gruben where we started (stop for an icecream sundae!) across meadows and through forests always along the meandering Turmänna River.



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    Published on 26.10.2016 by GabrielleMerk - Tour Date: 02.08.2016

    Route Details 

    Download GPS-File / SwitzerlandMobility Map
    Download GPS-File / SwitzerlandMobility Map
    Time Required
    9 hours 15 minutes
    28 km
    1160 m
    1658 m
    Season Start / Season End
    June - September
    Level of Difficulty (Hiking)
    Points of Interest
    Turtmann Glacier
    Starting Point
    Starting Point with Public Transport
    Return with Public Transport
    Places to Eat
    Turtmann SAC Hostel, Gruben
    Things to Note
    Bus to Gruben runs only from mid June to mid September. There are only 2 official runs up and one down each day. Extra pick-ups can be arranged but cost 40 Fr. Tel: 027 932 15 50. Sleeping accommodations in the Hostel are quite narrow.
    Adresses and Links

    Route Description 

    Day 1

    00:00 Start in Gruben-Meiden at the Hotel Schwarzhorn and head up the hill in the direction of Augsbordpass. (Note the sign says 3 hrs. 45 mins but it does take longer as there is a large field of rocks that have to be navigated carefully).

    01:15 Reach the junction of trails where the one to the left goes to the Augstbordpass. Continue in the direction of Turtmanhütte SAC, over the manmade dam, and continue along this trail (Panoramaweg Turtmanntal).

    03:45 Reach the junction of trails above the two lakes. The upper trail to the Hostel is shorter but steep. The lower trail (which we took next morning) is longer but easier. The time for both is about the same.

    04:20 Reach the Turtmann Hostel

    Day 2

    00:00 Starting at the hostel, take the trail that goes over the glacier Moraine toward the Brunegg Glacier, which then doubles back below the hostel toward the lakes, parallel to the tongue of the Turtmann Glacier.

    00:40 Reach the dam on the upper lake and cross to the other side, then continue along the lake and the unpaved road.

    00:50 Reach a trail marker at the junction of the road and the high trail. Stay on the road nearer to the valley bottom.

    01:10 There is a trail that leaves the road to the right, toward the canyon. Take this trail as it is off the road and more interesting as it passes through the ravine.

    01:30 Ravine trail joins the paved road. This is as far as vehicles are allowed to go and they park here. Turn left, cross the bridge, then go right and follow the trail on the West side of the creek. Continue toward Gruben-Meiden.

    02:15 Reach Gruben-Meiden, back at the starting point from the day before.

    NOTE: The sign here says 2 hrs 20 mins. to Oberems, but it is somewhat longer.

    Continue in the direction of Oberems. The trail crosses to the left of the river shortly after Gruben, and then back to the right. For most of the next hour and a half the trail continues on the right of the river.

    03:30 Cross again to the left side of the river. There is a path here that goes up to the paved road, but the trail continues parallel to the river.

    03:45 Reach the little church on the cliff. Again there is a path to the paved road, but continue parallel to the river. Along the way there are a couple of more paths that go up to the road but stay on this main trail.

    04:00 Reach a curve in a paved road. Continue straight on (not uphill) and a few meters the trail leaves the road again. Continue straight ahead avoiding paths that lead up to the left that might read "Oberems". Stay on the Bärenpfad trail.

    04:35 Here there is another junction of trails, stay on the upper main trail.

    04:50 Reach the main road in Oberems. Turn right and continue straight along the road to the cable car station.





    Trotz schlechtem Wetter am ersten Tag eine tolle Tour.
    Hiked on 03.08.2016 by GabrielleMerk
    Trotz schlechtem Wetter am ersten Tag eine tolle Tour.



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