From Muotathal

  • 12/10/2019

The Muota valley is a green, drawn-out and mountain-encircled Schwyz mountain valley that has its valley entrance close to the cantonal capital and which borders Uri Canton in the south and Glarus Canton in the east. Extending across 172 square kilometres, the Muota valley ranks among Switzerland’s ten largest communes in respect of area, and is nearly as large as the entire canton of Zug.

The commune region is home to one of the longest caves in the world. According to the latest research, the labyrinth of Höllloch caves which was discovered in 1875 extends across 195 kilometres (!) and lies under the karst terrain of the primeval forest-like Bödmeren forest and the Silberen. In contrast to other caves, the ‘Höllloch’ (hell-hole) has hardly been tamed for visitors with the likes of concreted pathways or electric lighting. Tours into the Höllloch – ranging from 1½-hour short guided tours through to expeditions of several days with bivouac – are therefore conducted by trained guides. In this underground world the stalagmites and stalactites, but also the deep gorges, enchanting rock formations, ‘glacial mills’ and fossilizations are all spectacular to see.

The secluded geographical location has helped the folk in the valley to retain their down-to-earth character and their staid sense of calmness. Also famous far and wide is their dry sense of humour, which forms the theme for an explanatory ‘humour walking trail’. A unique, much-loved style of folk music has also been retained. The Muota valley weathermen, also named “Wetterschmöcker” in Swiss German, are much celebrated. Twice yearly these prophets present annual weather forecasts with much humour; the forecasts are strongly underpinned by outdoor observations.