The Mattmark dam was constructed between 1960 and 1965 and is Europe’s largest earthen dam. The dam was officially inaugurated in 1969 by the bishop Nestor Adam. On 30 August 1965, 88 construction workers lost their lives when an avalanche crashed down from the Allalin glacier, burying their cabins under 500,000 m³ of ice. No other dam in Switzerland caused as many fatalities during its construction.
The reservoir’s waters claimed the Hotel Mattmark and Distelalp, which at that time were on the same level. The Hotel Mattmark was built and run by Father Johann Josef Imseng, a pioneer of tourism in the Saas Valley and a mountain guide who found fame as Switzerland’s first-ever skier. One day, the father of Saas Valley tourism was mysteriously found dead in the Mattmark, which at that time was a natural lake. To honour his achievements, today a statue of Father Imseng stands in Saas-Fee’s village square. More information about him can be found on a DVD in the tourist offices.
This trail sets off in a southerly direction from the dam until it reaches the end of the reservoir. From Distelalp the path leads up to the Monte Moro Pass. From here, hikers catch a glimpse of the shimmering Golden Madonna statue that is located on the pass. After Tälliboden, the trail continues up over the recently expanded Walser Trail and reaches the pass, where hikers are greeted with a breathtaking view of the majestic east face of the Monte Rosa. The G. Oberto hut lies just below the pass.
Alternative A: From the pass, hikers can continue on a steep ascent either on foot or via cableway to Macugnaga – a small, pretty Italian village. (6km; 1490Hm; 3h).
Pay attention to the Postauto bus timetable.
Pay attention to the cableway timetable.
Make sure you plan enough time for the hike and be sure to wear sturdy walking shoes and good outdoor clothing.
Don’t forget to take your passport or ID card.
Key figures for the last 12 months (since September 2015)
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Compared with all other Hiking tours in the Wallis region
Tour history (B02035)
First published: Dienstag, 14. Mai 2013
Last updated: Freitag, 23. Januar 2015
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