An out and back walk to the summit of the Bettmerhorn starting at Ried-Morel (or alternatively, Riederalp, Bettmeralp or Morel)
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
It is not possible to drive up to Riederalp, you must walk up or take a cable car. This walk starts from the parking at Ried-Morel, alternatively, you could start at Morel in the valley bottom and take the cable car from there. There is also a further cable car to the bottom of the Bettmerhorn but this misses out on the panoramic scenery as you walk above the Aletsch glacier.
(D) From the parking walk to the cable car station and take the cable car to Riederalp. Leave the cable car station and take the road through the town passing the supermarket with it on your right. Walk along the road passing hotels until the road takes a bend past 'Berghaus Toni' and you come to a signposted path.
(1) Turn right and follow the path contouring above the resort until you start to head uphill passing a barn on your left. There are many paths here but it is easy to navigate following the yellow signposts that mark the way. You are heading towards Blausee lake and the Bettmerhorn Bergstation. As a general rule follow the paths that head gradually uphill to the Blausee lake. (If you arrive on the ridge too early don't worry, just turn right and follow the path heading towards the Bettmerhorn)
(2) From Blausee pass the cable car and keep heading gradually uphill to arrive on the crest of the ridge with the Aletsch Glacier below you. This will be on your left as the follow the good path (Panorama Weg) towards the Bettmerhorn. You will arrive at a good viewing platform near to the Bettmerhorn Bergstation (cable car station.)
(3) At the viewing platform, enjoy the scenery and then take the path to the Bergstation.
You could eat your sandwiches here or there is a cafe in the Bergstation. There is also a free museum here which is worth visiting as it provides a lot of information about the Aletsch Glacier and how water was piped from here in wooden troughs and pipes to irrigate the farmland and pastures. The Massa Weg trail now follows the route taken by the wooden channels and is part of another walk I have described. (Hangebrucke, Belalp, Stausee Gibidum and the Massaweg)
Then, follow the path towards the Bettmerhorn. You will notice that the yellow signs are now blue and white. This indicates that you are leaving a good hiking trail and entering steep and rocky terrain. The path is well marked with blue and white flashes. (See the info below that I have provided re-grading of Swiss mountain trails and also what you can expect on the ascent of the Bettmerhorn. This is important as you are entering steep alpine terrain)
Make the ascent of the Bettmerhorn to the metal cross. There is a box with a summit book so you can add your name. Continue up and along the ridge to the summit. (4) Enjoy the views before turning around and returning to the Bergstation.
(3) From the Bergstation, follow head back towards Riederalp, the tracklog on the map shows that we took a slightly different way back following a piste before rejoining the Panorama Weg. There are many well-marked trails you could follow to get back to Reideralp. At Riederalp, there are cafes for refreshments and good facilities. Catch the cable car back down to your starting point.
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 3907ft
1 : mi 1.38 - alt. 6371ft
2 : mi 2.93 - alt. 7247ft
3 : mi 5.16 - alt. 8629ft - Aletsch Viewing Platform
4 : mi 5.91 - alt. 9304ft - Summit
D/A : mi 11.65 - alt. 3907ft
Swiss mountain trails are well marked and a grading system was introduced to coincide with the markings and signposts. The following translation of the grading system is from http://www.hikr.org/post2984.html further information on Swiss trails can be found at https://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/hiking-in...
T1 – Valley Hikes
Paths are well cleared. In case they are marked according to SAW standards: marking is yellow. Flat or slightly sloped, no danger of falling. Requirements: None, tennis shoes are fine. No problem to get oriented, even without a map. Tour examples: Männlichen – Kleine Scheidegg, Hut path to Jura Hut, Cabane Mont Raimeux, Strada Alta Leventina, Vermigel Hut.
T2 – Mountain Hikes
Paths with continuous marked-out route. In case it is marked according to SAW standards: white-red-white. Sometimes steep, the danger of falling possible. Requirements: Sure footedness sometimes needed. Trekking shoes are recommended. Basic orientation skills. Tour examples: Wildhorn Hut, Bergsee Hut, Täsch Hut from Täschalp, Passo Campolungo, Capanna Cristallina from Ossasco.
T3 – Challenging Mountain Hikes
Paths are not always visible. Exposed sections can be safeguarded with ropes or chains. The hands might be needed for balance. In case the path is marked: white-red-white. Can have exposed sections with the danger of falling, scree slopes, pathless craggy ground. Requirements: sure footedness, good trekking shoes. Average orientation skills. Basic alpine experience required. Tour examples: Hohtürli, Sefinenfurgge, Fründen Hut, Grosser Mythen, Pizzo Centrale from Gotthrab pass.
T4 – Alpine Hikes
Path traces are not always present. Some sections require the use of hands. In case paths are marked: white-blue-white. Grounds are relatively exposed, tricky grass slopes, craggy ground, simple firn fields and snow-free glacier sections. Requirements: Stable trekking shoes. Basic ability to judge grounds and good orientation skills. Alpine experience required. A sudden change in the weather can make a retreat/fallback difficult. Tour examples: Forno Hut, Schreckhorn Hut Dossen Hut, Mischabel Hut, section Voralp Hut – Bergsee Hut, Vorder Glärnisch, Steghorn (ladder), Piz Teri, Pass Casnile Sud.
T5 – Challenging Alpine Hikes
Often without paths. Some easy climbing sections. In case it is marked: white-blue-white. Exposed, demanding grounds, steep craggy ground. The danger of slipping on glaciers and firn fields. Requirements: Climbing boots. Experienced to judge grounds and very good orientation skills. Good alpine experience also in high alpine areas. Basic knowledge in the use of pick and rope. Tour examples: Cabane Dent Blanche, Büttlasse, Salbitbiwak, Sustenjoch North flank, Bristen, Pas Cacciabella.
T6 – Difficult Alpine Hikes
Mostly without a path. Climbing sections up to II. Paths are not marked most of the time. Often very exposed. Tricky craggy ground. Glaciers with an increased danger of slipping. Requirements: Excellent orientation skills. Advanced alpine experience and well acquainted with the use of technical alpine appliances. Tour examples: Niesen ridge (Fromberghorn North), Glärnisch Guppen ridge, Via alta della Verzasca.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
On this walk, you are following mainly T2 trails (yellow signs with red/white paint flashes) and joining a blue/white T4 trail for the ascent of the Bettmerhorn. Signposts may describe it as via ferrata. There is a short section with a cable as a handrail and wooden steps. There are also a few metal staples to help as footholds. You will not need via ferrata equipment as such but be aware that you are entering high alpine terrain, that it can snow here even in the summer and that you must have the ability to make good judgments and turn around should the weather change. Whilst you will not require via ferrata equipment I have seen children in harnesses being roped up the steeper sections to ensure their safety.
Make sure you are wearing appropriate footwear. Good approach shoes as a minimum but better with walking boots.
The views of the Aletsch Glacier are superb, it is no wonder that this is a World Heritage Site. The scenery is amazing and the ascent of the Bettmerhorn provides a little challenge.
A Circular walk from Ried Morel (alternatively Morel or Riederalp) taking in an easy descent through woodland to glaciated rock scenery and the hanging bridge over the Massa which is the water flowing from the Aletsch Glacier. Then crossing peaceful alpine pastures to make the ascent up the steps to Hotel Belalp before dropping again on paths and roads to the dam at the end of Stausee Gibidum. The final section follows the scenic Massweg trail back to Reid Morel.
A circular walk from a small parking area on the road named Fure (Marked Fure on Swiss map 3324T) which is above Ried-Morel. It takes a higher path above the Massaweg towards Stausee Gibidum, climbs to the Villa Cassel and then the top of the Riederhorn. The descent is through the forest. A pleasant and interesting excursion.
So here's the last stage of this itinarary and what a stage! A delightful climb reaching Hannigalp to find the well-known balcony trail overlooking the valley leading to Saas Fee.
Beautiful mountain stage going through a pass by the name of Augstbordpass.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.