Point of interest
Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch

View Point: Fingerprint of the Ice Age on the Belalp

The last Ice Age (Würm) peaked between 25.000 to 20.000 years ago. The average annual temperature was about 15 °C lower than today. Large parts of Switzerland were buried under a powerful layer of ice. Above Belalp was an approximately 600 m thick firn and ice shell and only the uppermost summits of the surrounding mountains towered above, such as the peaks of the Hohstock and the Sparrhorn. The maximum altitude of this ice age glaciation is clearly visible at the upper limit (so-called grinding limit) of the vertical rock walls between the Hohstock and the Sparrhorn. The soft and rounded landforms on Belalp are as well results of the landscape-shaping power of the ice. On the opposite side of the valley the ice modelled the rounded ridge between the Bettmerhorn and the Riederfurka.