The Finsteraarhorn is the highest mountain in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland and the most prominent peak of Switzerland. The Finsteraarhorn is the ninth-highest mountain and third-most prominent peak in the Alps, in 2001 the whole massif and surrounding glaciers were designated as part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage Site. Despite being the most elevated and isolated mountain of both the Bernese Alps and the canton of Berne, the Finsteraarhorn is less known and frequented than the nearby Jungfrau and Eiger. This is due to its location in one of the most remote areas in the Alps, to its west lies the Fiescher Glacier, the second longest in the Alps, and to the east lie the Great Aar Glaciers. The smaller Lower Grindelwald Glacier lies north of the massif, the Finsteraarhorn is surrounded by the summits of the Schreckhorn and Lauteraarhorn to the north, the Gross Fiescherhorn, Grünhorn and Gross Wannenhorn to the west and the Oberaarhorn to the east. The summit lies on the border between the cantons of Valais and Berne, politically, it is split between the municipalities of Fieschertal and Guttannen.
The Valais–Berne border is the watershed between the Rhône and Rhine rivers, the Finsteraarhorn is the culminating point of the Rhine drainage basin. The Finsteraarhorn was dethroned by Monte Rosa as the highest summit of Switzerland when Valais joined the Swiss Confederation in 1815, the Finsteraarhorn is the culminating point of the Aarmassif, a geologic crystalline massif which crops out in the eastern Bernese Alps and Urner Alps. The massif belongs to the Helvetic zone and consists of rocks from the European continent, the summit itself is composed of amphibolites. The tectonic uplift of the massif occurred late in the alpine orogeny, the inelastic deformation of rocks led to many fractures and formation of hydrothermal crystals by the deposition of the saturated water flowing inside. The first ascent was long a controversial matter, the first attempt was made on 16 August 1812 by the Aargau merchant Rudolph Meyer, guided by the locals Kaspar Huber, Arnold Abbühl, Joseph Bortes and Aloys Volker.
Bortes and Volker, guiding Meyers father and uncle, had been the first to climb the Jungfrau the previous year. They approached the mountain via the Oberaarjoch, Studer glacier, and south-east ridge, Meyer became exhausted and remained behind after reaching the ridge, perhaps near P.3883. Huber kept him company, while the three other guides went on and purportedly reached the summit after three hours, on 19 August 1828, Franz Joseph Hugi, a geologist from Solothurn, made another attempt with seven local climbers. 4, 080-metre saddle on the north-west ridge, but had to retreat because of bad weather after Hugi, the next year Hugi organized another expedition via the same route. Hugi stayed behind somewhat above the saddle not daring to cross a steep slope, on the way back Hugis ankle played up and Leuthold, Währen and Joseph Zemt took turns carrying him down the glacier. Hugis account makes no mention of evidence of an earlier ascent, in articles of 1881 and 1908, the mountaineers and leading historians of Alpine exploration Gottlieb Studer and W. A. B.
Coolidge, declared to be convinced that the Meyer expedition had been successful, the fifth ascent took place on August 13,1857
The Jungfrau at 4,158 metres is one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps, located between the northern canton of Berne and the southern canton of Valais, halfway between Interlaken and Fiesch. Together with the Eiger and Mönch, the Jungfrau forms a wall overlooking the Bernese Oberland. The summit was first reached on August 3,1811 by the Meyer brothers of Aarau, the ascent followed a long expedition over the glaciers and high passes of the Bernese Alps. It was not until 1865 that a direct route on the northern side was opened. Along with the Aletsch Glacier to the south, the Jungfrau is part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch area, the Jungfrau is split between the municipalities of Lauterbrunnen and Fieschertal. It is the third-highest mountain of the Bernese Alps after the nearby Finsteraarhorn and Aletschhorn and this, and the extreme steepness of the north face, secured for it an early reputation for inaccessibility. The Jungfrau is the westernmost and highest point of a gigantic 10 km wall dominating the valleys of Lauterbrunnen, the Jungfrau is approximately 6 km from the Eiger, with the summit of the Mönch between the two mountains,3.5 km from the Jungfrau.
The wall is extended to the east by the Fiescherwand and to the west by the Lauterbrunnen Wall, the difference of altitude between the deep valley of Lauterbrunnen and the summit is particularly visible from the area of Mürren. From the valley floor, west of the massif, the gain is more than 3 km for a horizontal distance of 4 km. The landscapes around the Jungfrau are extremely contrasted, instead of the vertiginous precipices of the north-west, the south-east side emerges from the upper snows of the Aletsch Glacier at around 3,500 metres. The 20 km long valley of Aletsch on the south-east is completely uninhabited, the whole area constitutes the largest glaciated area in the Alps as well as in Europe. After the Guttannen porter was sent back alone over the Lötschenlücke and they recrossed the two passes named to their point of departure in Valais, and went home again over the Grimsel. The journey was a most extraordinary one for the time, to settle these another expedition was undertaken in 1812.
In this the two sons and Gottlieb, of Johann Rudolf Meyer, played the chief parts. Next day the party attempted the ascent of the Finsteraarhorn from the Studer névé on the east by way of the southeast ridge. The following day the party crossed the Grünhornlücke to the Aletsch Glacier, at a bivouac, probably just opposite the present Konkordia Hut, the rest of the party, having come over the Oberaarjoch and the Grünhornlücke, joined the Finsteraarhorn party. Gottlieb, Rudolfs younger brother, had more patience than the rest and remained longer at the huts near the Märjelensee, where the adventurers had taken refuge. He could make the ascent of the Jungfrau, the Rottalsattel being reached from the east side as is now usual
W. A. B. Coolidge
William Augustus Brevoort Coolidge was an American historian and mountaineer. Coolidge was born in New York City as the son of Frederic William Skinner Coolidge, a Boston merchant and he studied history and law at St. Pauls School in Concord, New Hampshire, at Elizabeth College, and at Exeter College, Oxford. In 1875 he became a Fellow of Magdalen College, from 1880 to 1881 he was professor of British history at Saint Davids College in Lampeter and in 1883 he became a priest of the Anglican church. In 1870 at the age of twenty he was made a member of the Alpine Club, on many of these climbs he was accompanied by his aunt, Meta Brevoort, and a pet dog, given to him by one of his guides, Christian Almer. In 1885 he moved to Grindelwald, where he died in 1926, scherbadung,1886 Chüebodenhorn,1892 Swiss travel and Swiss guide-books. The central Alps of the Dauphiny and excursions in the valley of Grindelwald. The Alps in nature and history, ronald W. Clark, An Eccentric in the Alps, The story of W. A. B.
Museum Press, London 1959 Works by or about W. A. B. Coolidge at Internet Archive Works by or about W. A. B. Coolidge in libraries
Christian Almer was a Swiss mountain guide and the first ascentionist of many prominent mountains in the western Alps during the golden and silver ages of alpinism. Almer was born in Grindelwald, Canton of Bern, where he died, in 1846 he married Margaritha Kaufmann, and their son Ulrich Almer was a well-known guide in his own right. Almer gave his dog Tschingel to the 17-year-old W. A. B. Coolidge after an attempt on the Eiger. I do not clearly recollect hearing of Tschingel till July 11,1868 and that month Almer had for the first time become guide to my aunt, the late Miss Brevoort, and myself. On July 8 we all three made our first high climb together and on July 11 started from Little Scheidegg for the ascent of the Eiger, but the rocks were glazed, and we had to retreat. He died at Grindelwald in 1898
The Gross Wannenhorn is a 3906-metre mountain in the Bernese Alps, in the Swiss canton of Valais near the village of Fiesch. The mountain separates the Aletsch Glacier to the west from the Fiescher Glacier to the east, the mountain consists of twin peaks, the northern peak is rocky and the southern peak is somewhat flatter. The mountains east side is glaciated, while the west sideis a steep slope intermittently broken by ice fields. The mountain was first successfully climbed by Gottlieb Stuber and team in 1864, list of mountains of Switzerland Gross Wannenhorn on Hikr
Jungfrau-Aletsch protected area
The Jungfrau-Aletsch protected area is located in south-western Switzerland between the cantons of Berne and Valais. The Jungfrau-Aletsch protected area is the first World Natural Heritage site in the Alps, the Jungfrau-Aletsch protected area is located in the Swiss Alps between the Bernese Oberland and north-eastern Valais, about 25 km south of Interlaken and 20 km north of Brig. The site covers the whole Aar massif from the Oeschinensee in the west to the Grimselsee in the east, including the basins of the Aletsch, Fiescher and Grindelwald glaciers. The culminating point is the Finsteraarhorn which, with its 4,270 metres, is the highest mountain in the Bernese Alps. 8 other summits above 4,000 metres are located in the area, Jungfrau, Mönch, Gross Fiescherhorn, the summit ridge separating the cantons of Valais and Berne is the main watersheds of Europe. The southern valleys drain into the southwest running valley of the Rhone which flows into the Mediterranean sea, the climate of the region is strongly influenced by the height of the mountains.
They form a barrier between the wet climate of the north and the dryer climate of the south-facing Valais slopes. On the north side the rainfall exceeds 2,200 mm, most falling in summer, the Valais experiences a subcontinental climate at low and medium altitudes and is markedly semi-arid. Mean annual temperatures range from -8.5 °C at Jungfraujoch to 9.1 °C at Brig, the Jungfrau-Aletsch site is almost untouched, except for trails and mountain huts. About half of the area is higher than 2,600 metres, the total area covered by glacier is 35,000 ha, it constitutes the largest continuous area of ice in the Alps. The largest and longest glacier in the Alps, the Aletsch Glacier is 23 km long and has a thickness of 900 metres at Konkordiaplatz. Glaciers and barren rock constitute 80% of the area, 6% is forested,5. 2% is alpine meadow, altitude is the strongest factor influencing the distribution and diversity of the vegetation. Within the nominated area there are 1,800 species of plants and 700 mosses.
The growing period decreases with altitude, but there are 529 species of phanerogams, broadleaf montane forest extends from 900 m to 1,300 m on north- facing slopes. On south-facing slopes the same zone is approximately 200 m higher, the subalpine zone lies between 1,300 m to 2,000 m, between the broadleaf and alpine zone. Characteristic species are the Swiss Pine and the Norway Spruce on the north and south side respectively, an example of Pinus cembra forest is the Aletsch Forest above the Aletsch Glacier and near the tree line. It developed on the moraine of the glacier after its extension in 1850. The zone directly above the line forms a girdle of moorland vegetation
The Swiss Alps extend over both the Western Alps and the Eastern Alps, encompassing an area sometimes called Central Alps. The Swiss Alps comprise almost all the highest mountains of the Alps, such as Dufourspitze, the Dom, the Liskamm, the Weisshorn, the other following major summits can be found in this list of mountains of Switzerland. Since the Middle Ages, transit across the Alps played an important role in history, the region north of St Gotthard Pass became the nucleus of the Swiss Confederacy in the early 14th century. The Alps cover 65% of Switzerlands total 41,285 square kilometres surface area, making it one of the most alpine countries. The glaciers of the Swiss Alps cover an area of 1,220 square kilometres — 3% of the Swiss territory, the Swiss Alps are situated south of the Swiss Plateau and north of the national border. The limit between the Alps and the runs from Vevey on the shores of Lake Geneva to Rorschach on the shores of Lake Constance, passing close to the cities of Thun.
The not well defined regions in Switzerland that lie on the margin of the Alps, the Swiss Prealps are mainly made of limestone and they generally do not exceed 2,500 metres. The Alpine cantons are Valais, Graubünden, Glarus, Ticino, St. Gallen, Obwalden, Schwyz, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Fribourg and Zug. The countries with which Switzerland shares mountain ranges of the Alps are, Italy, the Alps are usually divided into two main parts, the Western Alps and Eastern Alps, whose division is along the Rhine from Lake Constance to the Splügen Pass. The western ranges occupy the greatest part of Switzerland while the more numerous eastern ranges are smaller and are all situated in the canton of Graubünden. The latter are part of the Central Eastern Alps, except the Ortler Alps which belong to the Southern Limestone Alps, the Pennine and Bernina Range are the highest ranges of the country, they contain respectively 38,9 and 1 summit over 4000 metres. The lowest range is the Appenzell Alps culminating at 2,500 metres, Western Alps Eastern Alps The north side of the Swiss Alps is drained by the Rhône, Rhine and Inn while the south side is mainly drained by the Ticino.
The rivers on the empty into the Mediterranean and Black Sea. The major triple watersheds in the Alps are located within the country, they are, Piz Lunghin, Witenwasserenstock, between the Witenwasserenstock and Piz Lunghin runs the European Watershed separating the basin of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. The European watershed lies in fact only partially on the main chain, Switzerland possesses 6% of Europes fresh water, and is sometimes referred to as the water tower of Europe. Since the highest dams are located in Alpine regions, many mountain lakes are artificial and are used as hydroelectric reservoirs. Some large artificial lakes can be found above 2,300 m, the melting of low-altitude glaciers can generate new lakes, such as the 0.25 km² large Triftsee which formed between 2002–2003. The following table gives the area above 2000 m and 3000 m
The Finsteraarhorn Hut is a mountain hut of the Swiss Alpine Club, located north of Fieschertal in the canton of Valais. It lies at a height of 3,048 metres above sea level at the foot of the Finsteraarhorn. The hut overlooks the upper basin of the Fiescher Glacier, which is among the largest of the range and it is located a few kilometres east of the Grünhornlücke. The hut is set in a remote area and is accessible only to mountaineers as all accesses involve glacier crossing. The shortest access is from the Jungfraujoch train station, the Finsteraarhorn Hut is the base of the normal route to the summit of Finsteraarhorn, it is used to climb other high summits in the area. List of buildings and structures above 3000 m in Switzerland Swisstopo topographic maps Official website Finsteraarhorn Hut on SummitPost. org Finsteraarhorn Hut on Mountwiki
The Fiescher Glacier is a valley glacier on the south side of the Bernese Alps in the canton of Valais, Switzerland. 16 km in length, it is the second longest glacier in the Alps, the glacier covers an area of 33 km2. In the lower section, the Fiescher Glacier flows south through a valley between the Gross Wannenhorn and the Wasenhorn. In summer, when the snow melts, it has a grey colour as it is covered with rocks coming from the steep slopes of the mountains around. The end of glacier tongue is at around 1,700 m above sea level and this glacier is not to be confused with the like-named Grindelwald-Fieschergletscher on the north of the Fiescherhörner located near Grindelwald