The Glacier walk

Our last hike in South Tyrol took us high up into the Alps and near the Langtaufer Ferner glacier.

Trollblume or globe flower

At the end of the Langtaufer valley, which starts near the border to Austria at the Reschensee, there is a big parking waiting for hikers. (46.836791, 10.655129) From there, it is an easy walk to the Melag Alm, but the path leads further into the valley and up to the Lantaufer Ferner glacier. Along the path you can find information on the glacier.

The first information is about the end moraine of the glacier, which was deposited here around 1850, when the glacier had its biggest expansion. (A moraine consists of a ridgelike accumulation of glacial debris pushed forward by the leading glacial snout and dumped at the outermost edge of any given ice advance. It may appear as a belt of hilly ground with knobs and kettles.) This was a good demonstration of the global warming, as from this point the glacier is nowadays far, far away.

Glacier at the end of the valley

We didn’t do the whole circular route which would have led us past the glacier and up to the Weißkugelhütte as we both didn’t feel fit enough that day, but we will have to return to do this hike another time. We stopped at this beautiful spot and returned to the Melag Alm and to the parking on the same route.

Always great to see cattle grazing freely
The old church tower of Graun, submerged in the Reschen reservoir

The submerged bell tower is now a famous landmark at the Reschen reservoir and the lake is used for many sport activities in winter and summer, but the story is quite sad: the historic village of Graun had been destroyed to build the reservoir and as also most of their pastures were submerged, there was no livelihood for the farmers any more. About 100 families had to move away, and only 35 families moved to the side of the lake and built new houses there. The others had to leave the area completely. To be forced to leave your village where your family has lived for generations and to start somewhere new must have been a tragedy for most of them.

Flower of the Day: Enzian or Gentian

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