Point of interest 

View Point: Martin’s hole

In the Alps, strange forms arise due to the effect of water, heat and cold: scouring by glacier water and fine debris, excavations in differently hard rock layers, and even holes through the compact rock. Two fine examples of this "sculptural" activity of natural processes can be observed at the Lower Grindelwald glacier: the Martin’s hole, also called bright hole (Heiterloch) high up on the eastern end of the Eiger, called Ostegg, as well as the buttock shaped glacial scouring near the Stieregg, the Martin’s imprint. The sun is shining annually between 24th November and 22nd January at noon through the Martin’s hole. The legend is telling the following: "Times before, there were no glaciers in the valley. Eiger and Mettenberg clung to each other, and there was no five hundred meter wide canyon between Bäregg and Bonerren which let the ice flow in between. Only a small gap, a hole in the rock, let temporarily pass the melt water mixed with ice blocks, dammed behind the rock barrier. Then the glacier creek roared in high falls down the rocky steps into the forest. But the pressure of the water and ice could get even powerful. Then the dam broke here and there, and a devastating flood, carrying away and destroying all what got in the way, houses and barns, humans and animals. Martin, a man large in stature and strength lived in a cave at the foot of the rock wall. He risked himself mortal danger in these outbreaks of water and ice, but even more he took pity for the inhabitants of the valley. Remedy had to be done. He climbed up into the narrow gap, leaned back against the Mettenberg side, the feet and the cane he stemmed against the Eiger. Then a powerful pounding and pressing, and a crash went through the mountains, which drew apart. It was done: the hole gaped so far now, that the water had sufficiently large, regular drain, but then also the glacier pushed through, but slowly and without endangering the people living beneath. But Martin had bumped, in his tremendous effort, with the cane a hole through the Eiger and his powerful bottom had deeply dug into the rock of Mettenberg, today "called Martin’s hole and Martin’s imprint" visible signs of the mountain mover, a monument for all times." (from: Rudolf Rubi, Challigrosi and Muggestutz - Grindelwald Say, 1981)