Oberaaletschgletscher

Oberaletschgletscher

Location: Bernese Alps [show in GoogleMaps]

length (1973): 9.05 km; length (2007): 8.77 km; orientation: southeast; surface area (1973): 22.81 km2. Oberaletschgletscher is easily overlooked due to its proximity to spectacular Grosser Aletschgletscher. However, it is an attractive glacier, and it is somewhat similar, but smaller, than Unteraargletscher. Note: Some of the images are very wide and may require scrolling to the right!

Oberaletschgletscher
View from Oberaletschhütten (Swiss Alpine Club) towards the confluence of Oberaletschgletscher (right foreground) and Beichgletcher (right background); the tallest peak is the Nesthorn (3822m).
Oberaletschgletscher
Well-developed glacier table on one of the medial moraines of Beichgletscher. Most of the debris transported by this glacier is light granite.
Oberaletschgletscher
Beichgletscher carries some massive boulders, some even visible on topographic maps. This one is about 35 metres long! No glacier table is formed as the ice flows under the enormous weight of an estimated 15'000 tons.
Oberaletschgletscher
The moraines of Oberaletschgletscher are particularly colourful as they contain a variety of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Mounds of debris are due to landslides.
Oberaletschgletscher
Blocks with a remarkable reddish weathering crust on a medial moraine of Oberaletschgletscher. In the centre one block of lighter coloured quartz.
Oberaletschgletscher
Perfectly shaped glacier table on a medial moraine of Oberaletschgletscher; behind the granite tower of Distelberg (centre) and the Aletschhorn (4193m, right).
Oberaletschgletscher
Angular blocks of bright granite from the Aaremassiv on Oberaletschgletscher.
Oberaletschgletscher
Beginning of a medial moraine; in the background Sattelhorn (3745m; centre), Kleines Aletschhorn (3750m) and Aletschhorn (4193m, right).
Oberaletschgletscher
A crevasse has formed right under this glacier table, exposing deep blue ice.
Oberaletschgletscher
Medial moraines on Beichgletscher; tele photo from Oberaletschhütten.
Oberaletschgletscher
Variegated blocks of Migmatite on Oberaletschgletscher.
Oberaletschgletscher
Access from Oberaletschhütte to the glacier is via long ladders.
Oberaletschgletscher
The setting sun illuminates the debris-covered tongue, which has thinned a lot in recent years. The new access path to the hut is along the left margin of the image, high above the glacier surface.
Oberaletschgletscher
A meltwater lake below Oberaletschhütten exposes some glacier ice and its structures. On the right is a deeply incised, meandering meltwater channel.
Oberaletschgletscher
Debris-covered snout of Oberaletschgletscher and meltwater stream. On the right is the path, carved into the rock face, which allows animals to reach the alpine meadows of Inner Aletschi.
Oberaletschgletscher
View down through the remarkable meltwater channel below the snout.
Oberaletschgletscher
An evening view from Oberaletschhütten during unstable weather.
Oberaletschgletscher
A steinbock surveying his territory late in the evening.
Photos August 2006, Jürg Alean