Far away from the hustle and bustle of ski tourism, it is a delight to enjoy the peacefulness of the Alpine Saas region on the Mattmark winter hiking trail. It leads up to the impressive Mattmark dam, a memorial to modern history.
The winter walk begins at the village centre of Saas-Almagell. The southernmost village of the sun-drenched Saas Valley is the perfect place to start discovering the impressive glacier landscape far away from the hubbub of the popular resorts of the Saas region. The route follows the road leading into the valley. Shortly after Waldegg you cross the icy Saaser-Vispa and then reach the chapel of Zermeiggern. The latter was built in 1707 and because of the construction of the regulating reservoir of the Mattmark dam in 1962, it was relocated and rebuilt. A plaque on the chapel lists the names of the 88 victims of the Mattmark disaster. On 30 August 1965, this is where one of the worst natural disasters in the Alps occurred. A gigantic piece of the Allalin glacier broke off and engulfed the Mattmark dam building site below. Eighty-eight people, including 56 migrant workers from Italy, lost their lives, buried under an avalanche of ice and debris. From Zermeiggern the groomed winter hiking trail follows the cross-country ski trail across snow-covered meadows and through open larch forests, accompanied by the quiet burbling of the Saaser Vispa. During the easy ascent, you have a fantastic view of the majestic mountain backdrop of the glacier valley. The cross-country ski trail ends at Eyensand. The winter hiking path continues to meander in the direction of the north moraine. On top of the glacier moraine the trail climbs up the impressive earth dam. At its end, an amazing view across the wintry Mattmark reservoir opens up. The lake is used to generate electricity. Its technical details as well as the picturesque location surrounded by magnificent peaks are fascinating. Take the same route to return to Saas-Almagell.