Point of interest
Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch

Oberriederi in the Aletsch Forest

Near the Silbersand and along the lower path from the Silbersand to the Riederfurka dry stone walls and trenches of the long-abandoned water channels of the "Oberriederi" can be discovered. A few years ago hollowed  tree trunk, a so-called “Kännel” was laid over two dry stone walls to illustrate, how it looked like at the time when the "Oberriederi" still transported water. Most likely water from the Great Gufer, the rock glacier between Eggishorn and Bettmerhorn, flowed through this water channels to Oberried above Ried-Mörel to irrigate the meadows. 

Long ago, around 500 years, the water flowed through the “Kännel” and trenches of the "Oberriederi". It was operative already in the 12th century. An advance of the Great Aletsch glacier destroyed in the late 15th century large parts of this water channel. But people from Oberried did not give up and built a second channel section beneath, leading around the rock walls of the Stockflüe and discharged shortly before Oberried into the old route. The water catchment („Schöpfe“) was now situated in the gully leading to the Grünsee. Only a few decades later, in the late 16th century, the Great Aletsch glacier was advancing again and destroyed the reservoir of this new water channel. The "Oberriederi" had to be completely abandoned and Oberried was until 1988 without water supply. Since then Oberried has a new water supply, coming from the Vordersee, an artificial lake on the Märjela.