Map

Thumbnail for the map of the Gletscherweg Morteratsch trail, opens link to interactive web map.
Source: Bundesamt für Landestopografie; Drawn with schweizmobilplus.ch

Elevation Profile

Source: Bundesamt für Landestopografie; Drawn with schweizmobilplus.ch

Useful Links

Original Route
Train Stop
Paid Parking
Weather

Short Description

“Gletscherweg Morteratsch” (“Morteratsch Glacier Trail”) leads you up to, but not onto the Morteratsch Glacier in Grisons, Switzerland, the largest glacier in the Bernina mountain range.

Along the way, sixteen info boards inform the hiker about cause and effect of the melting of our alpine glaciers, as well as how far the glacier used to reach in different decades.

Children may get a booklet with small quizzes and the like and a surprise gift at the tourist information center if they solve them all correctly.

Notes

  • For some reason the route suggested by Schweizmobil doesn’t follow the trail with info signs for the first kilometer or so.

Impressions

Entrance to the trail, but not if you took the Schweizmobil route.

I don’t usually modify routes to make them shorter or easier, but in this case we simply followed the official glacier trail with the info signs and didn’t even notice until I checked later that Schweizmobil had a different route in mind, taking the hill on the right after the train station.

Anyway, our summer was still uncharacteristically cold and to make matters worse, Jenny’s knee was still hurt, so we needed something easy, short, and flat. That means the maybe section of my to-hike list got some attention, and this interesting, but very short hike was selected.

We’re glad we went, as seeing a glacier up close is an experience worth having, and one that comes with some time pressure, unfortunately.

View of the Morteratsch glacier from a vantage point slightly off our route
View of the Morteratsch glacier from a vantage point slightly off our route

Seeing the Morteratsch glacier was both awesome (in the original sense of the word) and depressing.

The glacier is already a shadow of its former self, and the thought hit me that if we were ever to have children, then by the time they’re old enough to understand what a glacier is (and to remember seeing it), it might already be gone completely.

Everyone should have the experience of seeing a once great glacier up close, because every one of us should do whatever we can to keep our CO2 footprints as low as possible, and shifting blame does not solve the issue.

Seeing the effects of climate change in person, and on such an impressive example is just different from theoretically knowing that it’s happening but not feeling it in your everyday life.

Would you like to share your own experiences with this hike? Do you have any questions? Something to add? Feel free to leave a comment below 🙂


Route Report / Gallery

This is one of my first hikes with my new camera, so obviously any good pictures are a matter of pure luck. Nonetheless, full size images without watermarks are available for licensing to interested parties. Check romans.pictures, or contact me for details.

  • View of the Morteratsch glacier from a vantage point slightly off our route
  • View of the Morteratsch glacier from a vantage point slightly off our route

Basic Data

Date of Hike:2021-08-12
Participants:Roman, Jenny
Technical Difficulty:T1: Easy

Stats

Roman’s Version

Km7
Net Hours (Est.)1.75
Net Hours (Act.)1.5
Ascent (m)173
Descent (m)173
Max. Alt. (m)2029
Loop?Yes
Cable Car?No

“Official” Version

Km7
Net Hours (Est.)2.2
Ascent (m)340
Descent (m)340
Max. Alt. (m)2093
Loop?Yes
Cable Car?No
Share this on Social Media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.