Saturday evening I decided that I would give myself a treat on Sunday given that on Friday evening I had had to call it quits midway during my run in the mountains above Leysin (my objective had been to run to the top of Tour de Mayen) because of the rainI was really excited about the prospect of going to the beautiful region of Aletsch, a UNESCO world  heritage site.

So much so that I was unable to fall asleep until after two in the morning, partly because of the excitement (I am really extremely fond of Aletsch), partly because I wanted to see the reflection of the moonlight on the lake.

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I got up a little over three hours later and I was thus able to catch the 6:17 am train from Lausanne to Brig.

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As a result, I was able to enjoy the lakeside scenery early in the morning with the hills of Lavaux, Alpes Vaudoises and the mountains of the Chablais illuminated by the red-orange hue typical of early sun rays. It is a view that I have cherished ever since I first saw it on my train ride from Lausanne to Zurich via Berne to get to work a couple of years ago. I changed to a mountain train at Brig railway station and then almost failed to get off at Mörel because I tried to open the door on the wrong side of the carriage at first (left not right) … Then it was the short journey by cable car to Riederalp.

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Probably again because of the lack of sleep, I realised that I had boarded the wrong cable car, i.e. the one to Riederalp-Greich instead of Riederalp-Ried. However, this mistake provided me with opportunity to admire the beautiful view of the Alpes Valaisannes whilst I ran quickly to Riederalp-Ried.

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From there, I took the path leading to Riederfurka/Villa Cassel. The view was almost as impressive!

Riederfurka 21 July 2013

At Riederfurka (altitude 2,065m), instead of heading to Villa Cassel as I had done on a previous occasion (see my wife’s entry), I followed the direction for most paths to the glacier of Aletsch (i.e. right) with the intention of seeing the small mountain lake of Märjelen (or Märjelensee in German) and then of reaching Fierscheralp to take a cable car down to Fiesch. My objective was to do this in less than five hours so as to be able to catch the 1:56 pm train back home from Fiesch.

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A few metres from there it was hard to resist taking a panoramic shot of the the ‘beginning’ of the Aletsch region.

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Then I had to go through the upper part of Aletschwald (the famous forest of Aletsch, where my wife and I once got lost) until I reached a nice vantage point for my first unobstructed view of the glacier of Aletsch, this king of European glaciers, less than fifteen minutes after I had taken the previous shot.

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From there, it was a question of trying not to be tempted to stop too often to capture shots of this beautiful scenery!

Panoramic shot of glacier of Aletsch shortly after Alte Stafel_21 July 2013[Click to enlarge]

A little after Alte Stafel (altitude 2,227 m), I was able to take the first of my closer-up panoramic shots. Beautiful scenery is it not?

And now a little cheating as I want this entry to have been published within less than a week since my little excursion in the area took place so as not to have to write ‘last week’, etc. So I shall interrupt here and continue this entry next week with more details on this 25km run down to the foot of these mountains, at Fiesch.

In the meantime, just so as to whet your appetite:

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Aletsch trail_taken near Uf de Sextu_21 July 2013[Click to open up a much wider panorama]

Cairns above glacier of Aletsch_21 July 2013[Click to enlarge photo]

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Detail of ice near Roti Chumme_Aletsch_21 July 2013

Glacier Aletsch[Click to enlarge photo]

Lake Märjelen_Aletsch region_21 July 2013[Click to open up an enlarged version of this panorama]

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Wooden dwarves_on the way down to Fiesch_21 July 2013

Other entries on this region which were published on this blog:

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