The Gemsweg from Plattjen to Hannig

We took the bus to Saas Fee for an early start on the gondola cable car to Plattjen before walking the Gemsweg to Hannig. This is definitely the best way round to walk the route for several reasons:

1)       The Mischabel peaks are always facing you and on the climb to Hannig you can see the peaks above Saas Grund. Walking the route the opposite way the views are much inferior.

2)       The descent from Plattjen is greater (but easy) at 666m whilst the descent from Hannig is only 446m but is much steeper.  


The view from near Plattjen .The  picture shows the Mischabel range above Saas Fee.

 The Saastal with Saas Fee to the left and Saas Grund down in the valley,.

  The route descends from Plattjen (2570m) to Berghaus Plattjen (closed in summer 2003) and then diverges at about 2430m from the Saas Fee path. The Gemsweg heads west on an easy and almost level path before descending gently through woods. Here we saw a herd of Gemser (chamois), which seemed completely unperturbed by our presence. 

Between Plattjen and Gletschergrotto

After passing under the Felskinn cable car the path descends more steeply, crossing several streams from the west arm of the Feegletscher. The ice at the end of the glacier can be seen towering above the path. About the half way point of the walk lies the Gletschergrotto restaurant.

  The path then drops quite steeply among boulders and passes across the northeast end of a flat area of glacial debris, which has a small lake in it. Crossing two footbridges the snout of the east arm of the Feegletscher can be seen. This is the low point of the walk at 1904m.


Crossing the glacial debris and moraines of the east arm of the Feegletscher.

From here the path heads up the side of the lateral moraine before doubling back along the crest of the moraine. The second half of the Gemsweg is also called the Ecology Trail and features notices boards about different aspects of the geology, flora and fauna and economic life of the area.

  The path now climbs steadily around the lower slopes of the Lenspitze, before climbing steeply in zigzags uphill to a junction with the path that goes up to the Mischabelhütte (which can be seen far above at 3329m). 

In the Triftbach valley with the Hohalmgletscher  and Gemshorn

The Gemsweg now climbs more gently up the Triftbach valley. The Hohalmgletscher comes into view with the slopes of the Gemshorn rising to the northwest.  Crossing the Triftbach the path contours around a spur, to cross the Torrenbach, before the final climb to the Hannig gondola cable car station at 2350m.  

Climbing out of the Torrenbach valley towards Hannig

This is an absolutely superb walk and probably the most enjoyable around the Saastal.

The climb to Hannig cable-car station which can be seen on the right of the ridge.