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Published/updated on 26.10.2016 by GabrielleMerk | 24310 points | Date of Tour: 02.08.2016 | Favourite Entries (3)
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...
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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.
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.
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Detailed map with traced route on SwissMobility map, including elevation profile
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