I write this post from Spain. I’ve been here already for a few weeks, enjoying my time with family and friends. The weather is warm, the days are still long… I’ve been at the beach, I’ve explored a few new places and I’m having a great time just relaxing at home. But some part of me misses Switzerland and the mountains… So here’s a post about one of the summer hikes we did in August!
My brother and his wife visited us in early August. After taking them to Lauterbrunnen (where I’ve been already 4 times in less than 2 years), we decided that it was time to innovate a bit, so we drove to a location new for all of us: Susten Pass. This mountain pass is located between the cantons of Uri and Bern at 2260m above the sea level. This is one of the newest mountain passes built in Switzerland: it opened in 1945 and its purpose is mainly touristic. This is the reason why this mountain pass is closed for most part of the year and it’s usually one of the last to be cleared of snow. Despite this, Susten pass is a stunning road, with multiple tight curves that take you from the beautiful green meadows of the Meien valley in the Uri side to the impressive views of the Steingletscher and the Gadmen valley in the Bernese side of the pass.
We decided to go to Susten Pass for two reasons. The first and main one, the glacier. Not long after you pass over the mountain pass, you can see the impressive glacier and the first of its glacier lakes from the road. The second reason, is that there’s an Alpine Käserei (where you can buy one of the best alpine cheeses I’ve tried so far, as well as delicious yogurt and ice cream) at the beginning of the hiking trail that takes you to the glacier. We started the hike at the Käserei. An easy route took us to the first glacier lake, a small lake of an incredible light blue. From there, we hiked up to the moraines of the Steingletscher following the Steinwasser: a beautiful green meadow full of tiny lakes, cottongrass flowers and marmots at the foot of the mountains crowned by the Steingletscher. Hiking a bit further, the path ended right at the the edge of the glacier. We could clearly see the trace of the old limit of the glacier, now a sad shadow of what it was a few years ago, and how another small glacier lake has formed above Steinsee. Even if the glacier has melted and shrunken, we could feel the icy glacier air while we admired the ice formations from the end of the trail. After a while, we headed back to the Käserei, where we greeted the cows that were grazing on the summer alpine pastures and bought alpine cheese (made with summer milk) and yogurt before driving back home.
Here are the photos of this beautiful trip to the Alps. A short, beautiful and very pedagogic hike where we could see again the devastating effects of global warming in the Swiss mountains. I hope you like them!