Val Roseg from PontresinaWalk 8116
Canton - Graubunden/Grisons - Upper Engadine
Author - Peter Smyly
Length - 27.0 km / 16.9 miles
Ascent - nominal or unknown
Descent - nominal or unknown
Grade - moderate/hard
Although no mountain summits are included in this walk, this is a walking route to the south west of Pontresina that spans around seventeen miles and which takes you into the heart of the mountains. With the right weather conditions, you are guaranteed to see some stunning landscape scenery, including glaciers, towering rocky peaks, waterfalls, a rushing glacial river, coniferous forests and a large glacial lake at the head of the valley, the Lej da Vadret, located in the upper Roseg Valley and overlooked by snowy peaks interspersed with glaciers or large ice sheets.
The walk has the advantage that, if you are staying in Pontresina, the start and finish points are right on your doorstep with no need for transport. It is a seven mile walk each way from Pontresina to the lake and back with an extra three miles added with a fairly steep ascent up onto a path that runs along a "balcony" about half way up the mountain before descending to return to the trail back down the valley. There is a hotel and bar serving refreshments a few miles up the valley, the Hotel Restaurant Roseg Gletscher', which can be reached by horse-drawn carriage The route offers no difficulties from a route-finding point of view, though as always, its sensible to take a map and compass and know how to use them in case of any unforeseen difficulties. Some people may be content to do the "there and back" to the lake section, makes for a decent length of walk in itself without the extra leg work involved in the additional ascent.
Start at Pontresina and the walk to the lake involves following a clear path by a fast-flowing milky-turquoise river along the Val Roseg, the Roseg Valley, backed by green coniferous forests and with towering mountains either side. The path does steepen a little on the approach to the lake which is a large expanse of water and milky-turquoise in appearance due to silt brought down from streams above. The valley also widens and the path departs from the river as progress is made along the valley. As the terrain becomes rockier and steeper at one point, wooden planks provide access across a torrent issuing down from the right.
This route suggests doing the extra loop. A clear path borders the lake to the right and then another path part way along the shore leads upwards. A way leads from here to a mountain hut at the head of the valley, but that is not included on this route; instead, the necessary height having been gained, another path heads back towards Pontresina, running more or less parallel to the valley path, out of sight below, but with a view that offers a wider perspective due to being higher up, the lake below now looking a long way down. The backdrop to the lake is dominated by snowy and rocky peaks with glacier. There is one potentially awkward section where it is necessary to cross a fairly wide stream and a certain amount of agility is required in stone-hopping, though fellow walkers with walking poles may be of assistance here too. Once you are back down at the hotel in the main valley, the route back is entirely straightforward as you follow the main path ahead in reversing this particular part of the route back to the starting point.
Landeskarte der Schweiz - 1:50000 - Sheet SW 5013 - Oberengadin - Engiadin'Ota
Landeskarte der Schweiz - 1:25000 - Sheet SW 2521 - Engadin
Oberengadin, Bergell-Puschlav, Wanderkarte - 1:50000
A guide to the 145km Tour of the Matterhorn, described anti-clockwise from Zermatt and visits 6 valleys via Zinal, Arolla and Breuil, offering spectacular views of 25 peaks of over 4000m. The route also links up with the Chamonix to Zermatt walkers' Haute Route and the Tour of Monte Rosa. Includes two glacier crossings and takes 8 to 10 days.
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