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Here you will find the most important information on geology, topography and climate in Bellwald

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Geology and Topography

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Bellwald is on the right bank of the Rhone in the Goms region. The municipal area stretches from the riverbed of the Rhone to the Oberaarjoch and includes the wedge of land between the main valley and the Fieschertal. Geologically, the area belongs to the southern slope of the crystalline Aare massif, with the fine-grained Aare granite north of the Setzehorn-Jennenalp line and gneiss and shale south of this line.

The surface has been shaped mainly by the Rhone and Fiescher glaciers. As the glaciers advanced at various times, terraces and hollows were cut out and moraine debris remained. The plateau, which stretches from Ritti-Gassen to Wilera and Schlettern, and the Alp Läger at the top of the Alp Richinen bear witness to this glacial activity. The small tarns between Richinen and Setzehorn are also the result of the earliest advances of the glacier. The village of Bellwald itself sits on a ledge, where once the Rhone Glacier and the Fiescher Glacier met, and so, from this position, it dominates both valleys. Bodmen and Eggen are situated on, or on the edge of, a relatively young lateral moraine of the Fiescher glacier, which continues over the Gibelegga to the edge of the village of Fiesch. The whole of the Bellwald municipality is riddled with granite erratics - blocks from the area covered by the two glaciers, transported by the ice and deposited as moraine debris.

Erosion caused by the small tributaries has not significantly changed the topography. However, the small breaks form a channel for the avalanches that begin on the steep slopes. The area between Breitleuena and Nesselbach, at least below the forest line, is safe from avalanches thanks to its topographical location and forests;


Climate

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Like the whole of Valais, Untergoms is part of the inner-Alpine dry zone. However, precipitation gradually increases from Brig in the direction of Furka. The average annual rainfall from 1901 to 1940 was 728 mm for Brig and 945 mm for Fiesch, and probably a little over 1000 mm in Bellwald.

The period with the most rainfall is usually late autumn. Snow usually falls in November and December and remains until the end of March / beginning of April. However, the length of the winter and the amount of snow can vary greatly from year to year. In snowy winters, up to two metres of snow have been measured in the villages, and the depth increases the further above seal level you go. The summer months are usually the driest time of the year - three to four weeks without significant precipitation is not uncommon.

The climate is relatively mild thanks to good exposure to the sun. The settlements and most of the usable land have a south-southwest-west orientation. In the villages, there are easily seven hours of sunshine, even on the shortest day. In the winter months of December and January, the temperatures are often higher than in the valley bottom due to the accumulation of cold air there. In summer, on the other hand, it is much cooler up on the slopes of Bellwald than in the valley. Bellwald has almost no foggy days. Fog does not affect the lower parts of Valais very much either, but, on occasion, the Rhone valley can be wreathed in fog while Bellwald is basking in the most beautiful sunshine above the level of the fog.

The village is exposed to strong winds because of its exposed location. This means that, in winter, the Guxa is a familiar but unpopular guest - especially for farmers who in the past had to graze their cattle out on the slopes.

Contact
3997 Bellwald
+41 27 971 16 84
info@bellwald.ch