Scenic Meidpass features distant, panoramic views of Grand Combin and Mont Blanc rising above the Val Anniviers. The summits towering above the Rhone Valley fill the skyline to the north while the glacier clad summits of the Turtmanntal Valley dominate the view to the east.
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Why Hike St. Luc / Hotel Weisshorn to Gruben via Meidpass
Two scenic options are available to hikers on the Haute Route crossing from the Val Anniviers to the Turtmann Valley; Meidpass or Forcletta Pass. Meidpass is the well-traveled alternative that is lower, less strenuous and easily accessible from the Hotel Weisshorn or St. Luc. The trail over Meidpass is straight forward, ascending and descending through pastures with good views of the surrounding landscape.
The trail to Forcletta, starting in Zinal, is steeper, longer and more challenging. The path travels through more rugged and wild terrain, including the gorgeous Bluomattalli valley. See the information on the Zinal to Gruben via Forcletta Pass hike for a detailed description, along with photos and maps of the trail.
Both trails feature terrific scenery. Hikers crossing Meidpass are treated to expansive, albeit more distant views from the pass. Views along the Forcletta trail, especially of the high peak of the Turtmanntal, are closer with the best views revealed as you descend from the pass to Chalte Berg area.
So which to choose? It really depends on your time and energy and where you are based. Meidpass is the logical alternative if your itinerary includes hiking to the Hotel Weisshorn. If you are based in Zinal and up to a challenging ascent then choose Forcletta. (Otherwise take the bus to St. Luc and funicular to Tignousa and walk to Meidpass.)
If you are tired from the previous days walking or facing questionable weather, Meidpass is the better choice since it is shorter and easier. Opt for Forcletta is you prefer a less traveled route with a longer day through wilder terrain. No matter what pass you choose, you will have an extremely enjoyable and scenic walk between the two valleys.
So why hike Meidpass? The scenic hike to Medipass, starting from either St. Luc or the Hotel Weisshorn, ascends through meadows and then scree covered slopes with fine views of the high peaks rimming the west side of the Val Anniviers and Val de Moiry. As the path nears the pass views expand to include a sea of peaks towering above the Rhone Valley and the high summits, including Grand Combin and Mont Blanc, to the west.
As you crest the pass impressive views open to Brunegghorn, Bishorn and the Weisshorn soaring above craggy peaks in the Turtmanntal Valley. The summit of the Dom and Taschhorn, located in the Mattertal valley, rise above the ridge rimming the east side of the Valley.
The views become partially blocked by intervening low ridges as you descend to the Meidsee, a scenic tarn, and then drop down through meadows to Gruben. Toward the end of the hike beautiful vistas open to the Turtmann Glacier spilling down the slopes between Les Diablons, Tete de Milon and the Bishorn at the head of the valley.
Note: Meidpass marks the boundary between the French-speaking Valais and the German-speaking Wallis. Try to remember to switch your greetings to German when you arrive in Gruben.
There are no places to purchase food or drink along the trail. There is a small shop in the Hotel Schwarzhorn in Gruben but it is not a good option for lunch supplies. My advice is the pack lunch for two days before the Val Anniviers (the day over Meidpass and then next day over Augstbord) and carry plenty of water. Get an early start for the best views. Clouds often obscure the high peaks in the afternoon.
The Hotel Schwarzhorn in Gruben is a busy little place with a nice restaurant and large backyard for relaxing with a cold beer after a long hike. If is best to have advanced reservations if you plan to spend the night here. This is really the only place to stay in the valley except for the hut at the end of the valley, which is really out of the way for anyone walking the Haute Route, and a few chalets available for weekly rental.
This trail can be walked in reverse – from Gruben to St. Luc/Hotel Weisshorn but involves a 3,000-ft. ascent.
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