Glarus Alps

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Glarus Alps
Glarner Alpen
Braunwald Alps.jpg
Glarus Alps from Braunwald
Highest point
Peak Tödi
Elevation 3,614 m (11,857 ft)
Coordinates 46°48′40″N 8°54′53″E / 46.81111°N 8.91472°E / 46.81111; 8.91472
Glarner Alpen Map.png
Country Switzerland
Cantons Glarus, Uri, Graubünden and St Gallen
Range coordinates 46°56′N 8°55′E / 46.93°N 8.92°E / 46.93; 8.92Coordinates: 46°56′N 8°55′E / 46.93°N 8.92°E / 46.93; 8.92
Parent range Western Alps
Borders on
Topo map Swiss Federal Office of Topography swisstopo
Orogeny Alpine orogeny

The Glarus Alps (German: Glarner Alpen) are a mountain range in central Switzerland. They are bordered by the Uri Alps and the Schwyz Alps to the west, the Lepontine Alps to the south, the Appenzell Alps to the northeast. The eastern part of the Glarus Alps contains a major thrust fault which was declared a geologic UNESCO world heritage site (the Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona).

The Glarus Alps extend well beyond the canton of Glarus, including parts of the cantons of Uri, Graubünden, and St Gallen. Conversely, not all the mountains in the canton of Glarus are part of the Glarus Alps, with those to the north of the Urner Boden and to the west of the valley of the river Linth considered to be part of the Schwyz Alps.


The Bifertenstock above Lake Limmernsee
Calfeisen valley

The main chain of the Glarus Alps can be divided into six minor groups, separated from each other by passes, the lowest of which exceeds 7,500 ft. The westernmost of these is the Crispalt, a rugged range including many peaks of nearly equal height. The highest of these are the Piz Giuv (3,096 m) and Piz Nair. The name Crispalt is given to a southern, but secondary, peak of Piz Giuv, measuring 3,070 m. West of the main group is the Rienzenstock, while a northern outlyer culminates in the Bristen. East of the Crispalt, the Kreuzli or Chrüxli Pass separates this from the rather higher mass of the Oberalpstock (3,328 m).[1]

Here occurs a partial break in the continuity of the chain. The crest of the snowy range connecting the Oberalpstock with the Tödi nowhere sinks to 9,000 feet, but makes a sweep convex to the north, forming a semicircular recess, whose numerous torrents are all poured into the Rhine through the Val Russein below Disentis. Two glacier passes lead over this part of the chain — one to west, over the Brunnigletscher to the Maderanertal; the other to the north-east, over the Sand Glacier, to the Linthal.[1]

The massif of the Hausstock

The Tödi, the highest of the range and of north-eastern Switzerland (3,614 m), is attended by numerous secondary peaks that arise from the extensive snow-fields surrounding the central mountain. A very considerable outlyer, whose chief summits are the Schärhorn and the Gross Windgällen, belonging to the canton of Uri, is connected with the Tödi by the range of the Clariden Grat, north to the Hüfi Glacier. A less important branch encloses the Biferten Glacier, and terminates in the Selbsanft, south of Tierfehd. Towards the valley of the Vorderrhein a high promontory stretches nearly due south from the central peaks of the Tödi, and is crowned by the summit of the Piz Posta Biala. Another considerable ramification of the same mass terminates farther to the east in the peak of the Cavistrau.[1]

The Kisten Pass separates the Tödi group from the Hausstock, whose summit attains 3,158 m; a branch of this latter group forms the range of the Kärpf in the canton of Glarus. The Hausstock is cut off from the rather lower but more extended mass of the Vorab by the Panixer Pass (7,907 ft). Numerous summits, of which the Vorab proper and Piz Grisch are the most important, approach very near, but do not quite attain to 10,000 feet.[1]

The eastern limit of the latter group is marked by the Segnas Pass — the most frequented of those connecting the Canton Glarus with the Vorderrhein — beyond which arises a wide-stretching mass of rock and glacier, which is part of the Glarus thrust and culminates at Piz Sardona. This mass is cleft by a deep valley — the Calfeisental: one branch, culminating in the Pizol (2,844 m), extends east over Pfäfers, while another, including the highest peak of the canton of St. Gallen, the Ringelspitz (3,247 m), runs due east to the low Kunkels Pass (1,357 m), separating this range from the Calanda.[1]

Principal summits[edit]

Selbsanft and Tödi
View from the summit of Fronalpstock
Name Metres Feet
Tödi 3614 11,857
Bifertenstock 3426 11,241
Piz Urlaun 3371 11,060
Oberalpstock 3330 10,926
Gross Schärhorn 3296 10,814
Claridenstock 3270 10,729
Düssi 3256 10,703
Ringelspitz 3251 10,667
Cavistrau 3250 10,663
Gross Windgällen 3192 10,473
Hausstock 3152 10,342
Gross Ruchen 3136 10,289
Ruchi 3107 10,194
Piz Segnas 3102 10,178
Piz Giuv 3098 10,165
Schiben 3084 10,118
Crispalt 3080 10,105
Bristen 3074 10,086
Selbsanft 3029 9,938
Bündner Vorab 3025 9,925
Tschingelhörner 2850 9,351
Piz Sol Grauehorner 2849 9,348
Calanda 2808 9,213
Kärpf 2797 9,177
Piz Alpetta 2764 9,068
Piz Dado 2699 8,855
Magerrain 2528 8,294
Mürtschenstock 2442 8,012


Main glaciers :


Oberalppass, eastern rise

The chief passes of the Tödi Range, from the Oberalp Pass to the Klausen Pass, are:

Note: road status as of 1911.
Mountain pass Location Type (as of 1911) Elevation
Clariden Pass Amsteg to Linthal snow 2969 meters 9741 feet
Planura Pass Amsteg to Linthal snow 2940 meters 9646 feet
Kammlilucke or Scheerjoch Maderanertal to Unterschächen snow 2848 meters 9344 feet
Sardona Pass Flims to Bad Ragaz snow 2840 meters 9318 feet
Sand Alp Pass Disentis to Linthal snow 2780 meters 9121 feet
Brunni Pass Disentis to Amsteg snow 2736 meters 8977 feet
Segnes Pass Elm to Flims foot path 2625 meters 8613 feet
Kisten Pass Linthal to Ilanz bad bridle path 2500 meters 8203 feet
Panixer Pass Elm to Ilanz bad bridle path 2407 meters 7897 feet
Chrüzli Pass Amsteg to Sedrun foot path 2350 meters 7710 feet
Foo or Ramin Pass Elm to Weisstannen bridle path 2222 meters 7290 feet
Oberalp Pass Andermatt to Disentis carriage road 2048 meters 6719 feet
Klausen Pass Altdorf to Linthal carriage road 1952 meters 6404 feet

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e John Ball, The Alpine Guide, Central Alps, 1866, London


External links[edit]