1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Gemmi Pass

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[ 573 ]

GEMMI PASS, a pass (7641 ft.) leading from Frutigen in the Swiss canton of Bern to Leukerbad in the Swiss canton of the Valais. It is much frequented by travellers in summer. From Kandersteg (712 m. by road above Frutigen, which is 12 m. by rail from Spiez on the Berne-Interlaken line) a mule path leads to the summit of the pass, passing over the Spitalmatte plain, where in 1782 and again in 1895 a great avalanche fell from the Altels (11,930 ft.) to the S.E., causing on both occasions great loss of life and property. The mule path descends on the south side of the pass by an extraordinary series of zigzags, made accessible for mules (though no rider is now allowed to descend on mule-back) by a band of Tirolese workmen in 1740-1741. They are cut in a very steep wall of rock, about 1800 ft. in height, and lead down to the village of Leukerbad, which is 912 m. by carriage road past Leuk above the Susten station in the Rhône valley and on the Simplon line. (W. A. B. C.)