Resort, Location. The Aletsch Arena consists oft he three ski resorts Riederalp, Bettmeralp and Fiescheralp and is located in the upper part of the Valais, at an altitude of 2000m. High above the Rhone Valley, on the edge of the Aletsch Glacier. With a length of 23 km, the Great Aletsch Glacier is the longest glacier of the Alps.
As the core of the UNESCO World Heritage Aletsch-Jungfrau, the glacier is at the same time the heart of the Aletsch Arena and simbolises the unity of the three resorts which have grown together over the past few years.
UNESCO World Heritage Aletsch-Jungfrau
We get a glimpse of the majestic and pristine ice stream from the view points of Eggishorn, Bettmerhorn and Moosfluh
The three resorts are car-free and can be accessed from the valley only by aerial cableway. The guests can find accommodation in cosy chalets, holiday homes or hotels, which are all directly adjacent to the ski area. From the front door it goes straight to the lift or the ski slopes.
Fascinated by the beauties of nature and the mountains, English scientists and aristocrats aestivated/spent summertime in the region. Thus between 1856-1902 impressive buildings, such as the Hotel Jungfrau at Fiescheralp and the Hotel Riederhof and the Villa Cassel at Riederalp, were built next to the traditional and simple mountain shelters.
Villa Cassel, view to the Matterhorn and the Weisshorn
Thanks to some courageous locals’ visionary ideas, tourism started in 1950 with the construction of the first aerial cableway and the first ski lifts. Through a sustainable tourism the former cow pastures have developed into a well equipped area, that knows how to present both its winter and its summer attractions to the guests.
Brief description of the three ski areas of Aletsch Arena with highlighting the respective advantages
Peter Stucky, who lives at Bettmeralp, knows the region like the back of his hand. For more than 40 years he has been working as a mountain guide and a ski instructor. Almost every day he is hiking or skiing with his guests. Today we join him on the slopes of the Aletsch Arena.
The Aletsch Arena offers 119 km of slopes and 33 lifts. Lying between 1800 and 2869 meters above sea level, its altitude guarantees perfect snow conditions from December to April.
First, we visit Riederalp, which provides a great, varied skiing area.
By taking the chairlift, we get to Riederfurka. From here we are not only able to pay a short visit to the historically important Villa Cassel, but at the same time we can get a glimpse of the Aletsch Forest.
After a descent in the swirling powder snow of the Riederhorn we take the gondola up to the Moosfluh. At the very top, we get offered an incredible view on the glacier and its surrounding summits.
Snowshoing in the Forest of Aletsch
From the village with its idyllic chalets and little Chapel the lifts lead radially up to the various hills. The main axis is the gondola running up to the Bettmerhorn. The mountain restaurant with its glass rotunda not only offers a fascinating panoramic view but also specialities from the region.
On the cusp of Aletsch Arena we can choose between various downhills:
– Skiing down the broad ridge along the Aletsch Glacier in direction of Riederalp or Bettmeralp?
– Should I carve down the 800 m difference in altitude on the wide and perfectly groomed Hohbalm-Slope?
– Or do I head for Fiescheralp, testing my skills on the 40 degree Tunnel-Slope?
Whether skiers or snowboarders, all get their's money's worth.
Funpark and Halfpipe offer young people the necessary kick and challenge.
Beginners can do their first exercises on the slight slopes near the village or in the professionally managed Snow Garden.
Hence it is not surprising that Bettmeralp attracts many families and is rewarded by their long-standing loyalty.
The area around the Eggishorn with its southern steep slopes, is the most sophisticated in the region. Here, the sporty, good driver is going to feel at home.
Main attraction is the Summit of the Eggishorn with its magnificent view on 36 peaks and, once again, the Great Aletsch Glacier. The demanding downhill on the exposed ridge is unforgettable for every skier.
Due to the construction of the new lift Talegga, one of the most beautiful freeride areas of Switzerland was opened three years ago. South-east facing crests and troughs guarantee an ideal powder snow until spring and make the heart of every freerider beat at a faster pace.
sunrise on Mischabel-Range
Snow sports school
At Riederalp, Bettmeralp and Fiescheralp, the local snow sport schools offer lessons for skiers and snowboarders, either privately or in groups.
As a ski instructor, I'm trying to teach my guests not only technically, but guide them through the wide variety of slopes in the whole region.
So it is a pleasure for me to take either good skiers off-piste skiing, or introduce a beginner to an easy slope.
Bettmeralp, 5th April 2014
Peter and Alice Stucky