The Aare Gorge | Aareschlucht | Gorges de l'Aar
In Espace Mittelland (BE/SO), Switzerland
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Over thousands of years, the Aare River eroded a path through this rock formation resulting in a gorge which is 1,400 meters long and up to 180 meters deep.
The Haslital, one of the large valleys in the central alps, stretches from the Grimsel Pass to the Lake of Brienz. The flat valley floor of the lower Haslital is separated from the upper valley by a transverse rock formation. This rock formation called the "Kirchet" lies between Meiringen and Innertkirchen. Over thousands of years, the Aare River eroded a path through this rock formation. Length: 1,400 meters. Max. highth: 180 meters. Narrowest site: 1m large. Speed of water: 4 to 13km/h.
This gorge has been accessible for over 100 years by a system of safe paths and tunnels. The walk through the gorge is a very special way to experience nature. One can reach the west entrance of the gorge (N 46 43.200 E 8 12.280) just outside the village of Meiringen. The east entrance (N 46 42.730 E 8 12.980) is on the road from the Grimsel and Susten passes, 1km west of Innertkirchen. Free parking at both entrances. From Meiringen, you may also take the MIB railway that brings you to both of the entrances. You can hop off on either the east of west entrance.
Admission fees: Adult CHF 7.50*, child 7-16 years CHF 4.00*, student CHF 6.00
* Combine tickets railway and gorge: CHF 9.00 or CHF 5.00.
See above web link for more information like opening times etc.
Until the Aare gorge was opened for tourists, only two side gorges were passable, by which one could reach the Aare River at approximately the middle of the gorge as it stands today. Otherwise, the gorge was only able to be reached by the dangerous option of the river, which was only very seldomly used. It was no wonder that fables began about this unknown gorge and its inhabitants. Once it was reported: "People believe that a type of snake with an almost round head and short feet can be seen at present." Many tales tell that this snake, known as a "Tatzelwurm", lives in the Aare Gorge.
The famous writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited the Aare gorge in autumn 1779 during his travels in the Bernese Oberland. He climbed down through the “Finsteren Schlüüchen” at Lammi to the Aare river. His impressions of this journey are vividly described in the story “Indescribable Days”.
In 1887 the county of Bern gave permission to build a path through the "Aarlamm" from Sandey to the Finsteren Schlauche and up to the Hof-Meiringen road at Lammi. A handful of local citizens founded and financed a company which immediately began construction of the path. Within one year, the dangerous job was completed between both "Engen" and 12,000 people visited the gorge in that summer alone. In the following year, further galleries and pathes were completed. Ten years later, the wooden gallery path to the east entrance was built.
The rock formation between Meiringen and Innertkirchet is called the "Kirchet" and consists mainly of very hard limestone. This formation was created in the Cretaceous Period approx. 130 to 160 million years ago as ocean sediment which hardened to limestone over the years (sediment in the Thetis, the Geosynklinal ocean of the alps).
When the Alps were formed approx. 15 million years ago, these sediment deposits were vaulted into the sediment casing of the crystalline mountains, but the rock in the area of the Kirchet is autochthon, which means that it was barely moved.
As a result, the limestone here is very solid and resistant to water and ice. The glaciers of the ice age, which began about 1 to 2 million years ago, were able to erode the cliffs of the Kirchet, but not to carry them away.
In the first warm periods, as the glaciers receded, the water eroded a gorge through the cliffs. In the cold period which followed, the glacier once again covered the Kirchet which filled the gorge with moraine. During the next warm period, the melting water did not wash out the moraine, but instead cut out a new gorge between the cliffs and many new Aare Gorges were created during the ice ages.
A flyer about the most important spots is available in German, English, French, Italian, Dutch, and Japanese.
Take pictures in the gorge and upload three or more of them (as per January 2011, this is optional):
– one with yourself (your team) or your GPSR
– one that shows your favourite spot in the gorge
– one (or more) great one of your choice.
Do write decent captions to all of them.
Answer these three questions and send the answer to the owner (send along your e-mail address):
What happenes at Schräybach (near stop #6):
Water contains (a) which erode the (b).
c) What is this process called?
Last task: At the west end of the gorge (approx. N 46° 43.241 E 008° 12.380) there is a board where you can learn something about erosion (unfortunately only in German): compare the different types of water and find out if you are right.
You don’t need to wait for the owner’s confirmation. He will get back to you in case you answer is wrong or not complete.
Note: These requirement are easy enough to comply with, so don't act minimalistic! The owner of this cache can delete (without prior notice) any logs which do not appear appropriate or with wrong/insufficient pictures or logs without acompanying mail with the correct answers.
Enjoy the gorge! It is worth your visit.
Mache Bilder und lade drei oder mehr hoch (gemäß Richtlinien vom Januar 2011 optional):
– eines mit dir/euch oder mindestens dem GPS-Gerät
– eines mit euerem Lieblingsplatz in der Schlucht
– ein weiteres gutes Bild.
Schreibe zu allen eine Legende.
Beantworte folgende Fragen und schick sie dem Owner – unbedingt Mailadresse mitsenden. Die Antwort kann ein paar Tage dauern.
Was passiert bei Schräybach (Station 6):
Wasser enthält (a), welche (b) zerfressen.
c) Wie nennt sich dieser Prozess?
Letzte Aufgabe: Beim Westende (etwa N 46° 43.241 E 008° 12.380) gibts eine Tafel, wo du etwas über Erosion lernen kannst (leider nur auf Deutsch): Vergleiche die verschiedenen Wassertypen und kontrolliere, ob deine Antworten stimmen.
Du darfst hier gleich nach deinem Besuch loggen und deine Bilder raufladen. Der Owner wird sich auf jeden Fall bei dir melden, v.a. auch wenn etwas nicht stimmen sollte.
Achtung: Die Anforderungen sind nicht zu schwierig, also bitte nicht den Minimalismus raushängen! Der Owner behält sich vor, unzutreffende, unvollständige Logs jederzeit ohne Rücksprache zu löschen, dasselbe gilt für Einträge, die ohne E-Mail mit den korrekten Antworten gemacht wurden oder die sonstwie nicht den hier publizierten Bedingungen entsprechen.
Viel Spaß in der Schlucht. Der Besuch lohnt sich!
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Last Updated: on 5/21/2013 3:41:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time (10:41 AM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum