There are some places where it takes longer for the summer to arrive. You may be thinking about the northern countries like those in Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland… Well, here in Switzerland we have also some of these locations! There are still a few glaciers in the Alps (sadly, they are melting and receding every year…) and peaks with eternal snow… and lakes that are still a bit frozen in late June!
A few weeks ago we visited one of these cold places. The weekend arrived and we didn’t know where to go, so we opened google maps and pointed to the first like blue lake in the mountains close to Zurich. The chosen lake was Glattalpsee, a little alpine lake at 1852m above the sea, located near the little village of Muotathal, in Canton Schwyz. When we made a little research for the hiking possibilities in the area, we discovered that this lake has the honor to be one of the coldest places in Switzerland.
We went there by car, driving through a deep and narrow valley covered by a forest. The place is so isolated that, before arriving there, we had to cross some grazing lands, where cows, goats, sheep and horses (all of them with their cow bells) were roaming freely on the road. Once we were able to make it through, we continued to the end of the road: Sahli, a tiny village with just a restaurant, a farm and a gondola that you can take to arrive effortlessly to Glattalpsee. We discarded the gondola and made the way up hiking. A 2,5 hours route, climbing almost 700m, to reach the lake.
It was a beautiful hike, but also a steep one! We walked on one of the sides of the valley, enjoying the beautiful views as we ascended. In our way, we met more animals grazing: goats, cows and a huge herd of sheep accompanied us while they were grazing and making their bells ring (seriously, it’s like the Swiss mountains have music during summer!!). After an exhausting hike, we arrived to the valley of Glattalp. It was definitely colder up there. Despite being late June, there were several patches of snow and a cold breeze was blowing. We continued walking on the snow until we arrived to Glattalpsee… the lake had still ice floating on its surface! It was quite a contrast, considering the almost 30ºC we had in Zurich! It felt as if summer was still far away… After a little picnic by the lake, we went to the isolated Glattalphütte, a small restaurant and hostel near the lake, where we warmed ourselves with hot chocolate before starting our way back to the car.
Here are some photos I took during this hike. I hope you like them!