Super Alpine

Grimsel Pass

Valais

One of the shorter passes, the Grimsel was fought over for years and finally lost the battle to an unexpected victor - hydroelectricity.

The Grimsel pass is the only road crossing between the cantons of Valais and Bern and was used as far back as the 14th century. Often used by warring parties before Switzerland’s cantons united into the confederation it is today, the Grimsel pass's original route was diverted by the installation of the hydroelectric power stations and dams that give it a unique pylon covered look. The original route and hospice succumbed to progress in 1932 when the Grimsel lake and valley were expanded to create the first dam and hydroelectric plant. The original Grimsel lake now flooded the route and the pass had to be re-routed.

Grimsel Pass
Grimsel pass
Location
46°33’43.2”N, 8°20’20.4”E
Gletsch > Innertkirchen
Distance (km) 32
Altitude (m) 2165
Start Altitude (m) 1757
End Altitude (m) 625

If you enjoyed this story

The full version is available in Issue 04 of the Super Alpine magazine.

Learn More

Other Passes