The Morteratsch Glacier has a special place in my heart because this is the place where I first realized that I love hiking and being in the mountains when we went here on a field trip with our school class quite a few years ago. On that day, we hiked down almost the entirety of the Morteratsch Glacier, starting at almost 3’000 meters of elevations. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life and I recommend doing something like this at least once in your life.
Anyways, this July I decided to return. On the way there, we went over the Albula Pass, which is beautiful. When we got to Morteratsch, we hiked up towards the terminus of the glacier. Along the path, there are signs that show you where the glacier ended in a certain year. And when you have to hike for over an hour to get from 1860 to 2017, you realize just how much this glacier has retreated. And I was in for a shocking discovery when we got closer to the glacier and there wasn’t any ice left in the spot we had made our final descend from the glacier just a few years ago. All that was left there was a big rock face that didn’t match up at all with the mental image that was left in my head from my last trip here. It was a really harsh reminder that climate change is very much real and happening right in front of our eyes.
After this hike, we took the cable car up to the Diavolezza Hut to spend the night there. We were greeted with an incredible view over the top end of the glacier and tried to go to bed early to get some sleep. At 4 am the next morning, we got up and put on some warm clothes because it was time for a sunrise hike. It was -3°C (14°F) and the wind felt even colder. It was a great hike though, because you’re constantly directly above the glacier which you could faintly see through the darkness. As we got further up the mountain, the sky started getting brighter and we made it just in time for sunrise. The view from the top of Munt Pers at 3’200m (10’500ft) is incredible in all directions. We didn’t end up getting a full sunrise and soon got swallowed by a cloud that brought some snow which pierced our faces on the way back down. But we didn’t even care, this had been the highlight of my year so far.