Since its inception, a glacial watercourse has laboriously opened its path in the Central Alps of Switzerland, digging a bed so narrow in the rock, between walls 50 meters high, that in some places it could be bypassed even by a person with short legs .
Where the Aare Gorges are located
In the most impervious part of its mountain route, the Aare river, born from the Finsteraarhorn glaciers at 4275 meters above sea level, has excavated the gorges that represent one of the major tourist attractions in the Bernese Oberland region.
Coming out of the granite of the Aare massif, the water course makes a jump of about ten meters along the wild Oberhasli valley.
Continuing, he abandoned the crystalline formations to head towards the sedimentary Prealps, temporarily calming down in the large Innertkirchen basin, carved out of soft rocks.
Before reaching Lake Brienz, the river must pass the last obstacle, consisting of the Kirchet Jurassic limestone bar, a very resistant natural formation located between Innertkirchen and Meiringen.
The tributaries, converging on the Quaternary glacier prior to the watercourse, have dented this threshold, outlining the paths whose furrows can still be seen in the smooth rocks.
The post-glacial erosion of the Aare deepened one of these incisions, digging the Lamm Canyon for 1400 meters which, between two vertical walls with a height varying between 40 and 50 meters, narrows in certain points even up to about 81 centimeters wide.
How to visit the gorges
Only through steep paths and tunnels carved into the rock can the Aare Gorges be visited, since the road that connects Meringen to Innertkirchen reaches the Kirchet ridge without deviating towards the Gorges.