Tag Archives: valais

Day 28 : Pont de Nant – Cabane du Prarochet 8th July 2013

7am leaving Auberge communal Pont de Nant.

Derborence marked 5h10. La vare marked 1h40.Anzeindaz marked 3h25

8:10am La Vare 1756m. Anzeinde marked 1h25.Col des Essets marked 1h.Derborence marked 3h

9:05am Col des Essets 2029m.Anzeindaz marked 20min.Pas de Cheville marked 1h10.Derborence marked 2h

9:35am 1857m reached alpage Anzeindaz. Le Godet marked 2h25

Going up smoothly to Pas de la Cheville in the alpage by the sound of cow bells with the Diablerets Massif on the left side.

10:10am 2038m Pas de la Cheville.Derborence marked 50min

Leaving Vaud to enter Valais now

11am 1513m Derborence lake in sight…expected something nicer…
Col du Sanetsch marked 4h40

Near Derborence lake, there is one authorized camping spot (see map below).
The GPX file downloaded in June 2013 is following the road (longer).The trail white-red-white take a sharp right turn near the lake and through forest (way nicer)

11:45am 1370m Le Godey.Col du Sanetsch marked 4h05

12:40am Leaving Le godey. It goes up in a valley towards massive rocks.Via alpina here will get very steep then a little climbing vertical is needed.Ropes & a ladder make it safe & helpful.Effort is short

2:15pm 1960m Poteu des Etales.Great panoramic view on Derborence lake,glacier des Diablerets.
Tsanfleuron marked 1h35.Col du Sanetsch marked 2h05.Prarochet cabane 2h

2:40pm Mie decide to go off Via Alpina and do a little detour by Cabane Prarochet.

4pm 2533m reached Cabane du Prarochet. It is open there are people inside…Lots of snow up here. Great day..black clouds all over now.

Distance covered : 25,7km
Walking time : 6h55
Resting time : 2h10
Date : monday 8th July 2013
Altitude : 2555m
Weather : hot & sunny until 3pm when light rain and black clouds showed up

Bed is 29CHF
Been asked 9CHF for 1.5L of water


Vallon de la Vare


Les diablerets massif from Col des Essets


Anzeinde alpage


Near Derborence lake


Authorized Camping place near Derborence & le godey map


Chalet near Le godey. Les diablerets glacier behind

Going up steeply to Scex rouge/col de Sanestch


Going up vertical now


On the way up to cabane du Prarochet



Cabane du Prarochet 2533m

Day 27 : Cabane Scex Carro – Pont de Nant 7th July 2013

Left Cabane Scex Carro 8:30am.Very welcome there by Fabrice.

8:45am Scex Carro great panoramic view on Martigny,Mont Blanc, Sion vallee and Dents du midi all together.

9:30am Portail de Fully 2267m. Great panoramic view. Col du Demecre marked 55mins

10:10am Le Diabley.
highest point 2444m awesome 360 panoramic view. Dent de Morcles in sight. Leman lake in sight.Lacs de Fully also in sight.

10:35am Col du Demecre et Cabane 2361m.Rionda marked 1h50.La Tourche marked 2h15

11am Le Dzeman 2058m.Rionda marked 1h20.La Tourche marked 1h45 up right.Down left L’Au d’Arbignon 55mins.

Refuge de Demecre recommended me to go lower and avoid the potentially dangerous neves on the upper trail to Rionda.

11:25am Chalet neuf 1858m. Nice & talkative owner with his wife. Told me it was ok now to pass by the upper part (no more danger). Dorenaz ski club also own this place only 12CHF for a bed.

12am L’alpage de L’Au d’Arbignon low point 1649m.Selling local cheese called Serac here (10CHF/kg)

Young sheeperd are taking care of this alpage.Jeremy and girlfriend Marion in their early 20s are learning the sheeperd job for there first year from Jean Henri 35 years old.

Videotaped a lot here. The 3 of them explained a lot about the alpage work here in Valais. The Serac and Tomme cheese making. They are making the cheese on site in the alpage.

Jeremy & Marion are young & enthusiastic. Willing to learn and keep the sheeperd tradition here in Valais.

Jean Henri is a kind of mentor for the 2 youngs. He’s been sheeperd for 10years now.He was working for the Swiss post office before.

But as he told me : “Now having less revenu but a stress free life”

Really greatful i took a detour at l’alpage de l’au d’Arbignon. Very interesting encounter.
They sale cheese and also offer accomodation (15CHF for a bed – 10 are available).

Really worth a detour to stay overnight at Alpage L’Au de l’Arbignon if looking for off the beaten track experience on the via alpina.

The alpage here in Valais are own by the town or village who lend it to the sheeperd.

2:05pm leaving l’alpage de l’Au d’Arbignon

3:05pm 2156m Rionda old Swiss army barracks.La Tourche marked 20mins.Pont de Nant marked 3h30

3:25pm 2181m La Tourche.Nice location for this cabane but quite big and ugly (modern style)

Few neves left on both side of Col des Perris Blancs

4:25pm 2514m Col des Perris Blancs.Entering protected area “Reserve naturelle du Vallon de Nant”.

Amazing view from here on the “Tete Noire” peak & Dent Favre

Hiking trail around is Tour des Muverans

Leaving Valais to enter Vaud county.

5:10pm Les Martinets 2087m.Pont de Nant marked 1h45

Sliding down on the snow was fun. After crossing river stream,via alpina goes down smoothly on a wide path.

6:10pm Nant 1500m.Few black cows around in the alpage.Think the sheeperd not here because spot a group of 10 unscared Chamois including a very young one. They came down just right where the cows are.

Pont de Nant marked 45mins

Heard thunder on the way down by the water stream and through forest.
The hot shower I am dreaming of might turned out to be a cold one. Nevermind the soap is ready.

6:50pm few drops of refreshing rain

Got to Pont de Nant alpine botanical garden…nice open air roof there (perfect to pitch a tent) 🙂

Checked the botanical garden huts.One is open and there is electricity & water available

Saw 2 girls outside a nearby chalet.

The 2 girls father is the alpine botanical garden gardener.13years of work for this piece of art

Visiting the alpine garden..just found water. The gardener leaving too close..will probably get mad if pitching..may be will be ok if ask for permission…

Going to ask nearby Auberge communal about price. 25CHF for dorm bed,hot shower,electricity,soap and sattelite wifi…can’t say no to that much comfort 🙂

7:10pm in for a long hot shower at Pont de Nant Auberge communal. One unusual thing here is that there is an open air jaccuzzi available for guests…

Distance walked : 23,8km
Walking time : 6h10
Resting time : 4h35
Altitude : 1288m
Date : sunday 7th july 2013
Weather : hot and sunny most of the day


Fabrice part time refuge keeper at Cabane Scex Carro


Martigny view from Scex Carro


View from Le Diabley


Dents de Morcles from col du demecre


Leman lake just ahead



Valais Serac cheese & Mont blanc view


Jeremy & Jean Henri sheeperd at Swiss Valais l’Au de l’Arbignon alpage


On the way up to les Tourches


Col des perris blancs


Tete noire peak


Vallon de Nant



Nant alpage 1500m


Pont de Nant alpine botanical garden sample

Day 26 : Lac de Salanfe – Cabane Scex Carro 6th July 2013

Leaving the house of god 6:30am. Bright blue sky

7:25am 1421m reached Van d’en Haut camping ground

Hot shower available for 1CHF but could not find out how it worked…

Cute village & chalet in Van d’en Haut

8:10am 1394m Col de la Matze. Via alpina goes down towards Auberge du Vallon de Van.

8:25am going down Gorges du Dailley (quite impressive).
Following Les granges/Salvan direction. View of the Martigny vallee

8:50am 1140m meet woman with patou dog picking up Oxalys flower near wood hut/shelter.taking way down left

9am came back to the hut/shelter.there is a 3rd path going down behind the hut.

9:20am reached a place called Marmittes Glacieres.Nice view on the Martigny vallee from there but wrong way. GPX file downloaded from via alpina website is misleading and shows a trail that no longer exists (or difficult to find)

Asked a day hiker to take a look to his map. Need to go to Les granges first.

9:40am 1071m just before Les granges. Marked Le marcot way on left.Following it

10:10am 919m catched up with wide path called (route des diligences). Vernayaz first mark down steeply in laces

11am 500m touched down Vernayaz.quite a few things to care of before hiking up the opposite side of the mountain right in front.

12:25am leaving Vernayaz. On the way passed by a cherry tree loaded with red delicacies and all i could hear was : “Eat me, Eat me, Pick me up please”

Picked up about a kg…

12:45am Pont de Dorenaz 461m catched up via alpina trail and crossing Rhone river.
Alesse marked 1h20.Dorenaz marked 15mins. A trail going up steep is marked Champex d ‘alesse 2h…may be shorter but want to fill up my stomach before going up…

1:50pm leaving Dorenaz after stopping for lunch. 25CH for piece of frozen meat, frozen vegetables & frozen french fries. Very bad service here in “Le relais” restaurant in Dorenaz.

2:50pm Alesse 937m. Scex Carro marked 3h.Going up steeply all the way in the forest.

3:15pm Champex d’Alesse 1123m.Col du Demecre marked 4h.Portail de Fully marked 3h20.Cabane Scex Carro marked 2h25

Followed T2R (tour des 2 rives) markers from la Giete to reach L’Au de l’Alesse 1958m at 5:05pm.
There is an open wood hut here and also a big wood table with roof.

Cabane Scex Carro marked 5min.Col de Demecre marked 1h35.Lacs de Fully marked 1h30

Arrived cabane Sex Carro 5:30pm 15CHF (very good value for money)

Distance covered : 26,3km
Walking time : 7h10
Resting time : 4h
Date : saturday 6th july 2013
Weather : hot & sunny

Fabrice 31 refuge keeper his here for a 3 days rotation.Owner here are the Dorenaz ski club.Probably the cheapest cabane available in all Valais.

View on the Mont Blanc from here & Dents du midi.

Shared a pasta carbonara dinner with Fabrice and his friends. Nice & quiet here.Great atmosphere in the Scex Carro cabane.


Salanfe chapel


Van d’en Haut chalet


Gorges du Dialley



Panoramic view from Cabane de Scex Carro


Dents du midi morning view

Transition day : going down steeply in forest, crossed vallee and rhone river to go back up steeply through forest

Day 25 : Samoens – Lac de Salanfe 5th July 2013

Going up on the road 6:50am towards Col de Coux today

Bivouac last night nearby Pied du Cret.

3 possibilities from there to reach cabane Susanfe.

One is by Refuge du Folly, Col des chambres 2338m,refuge de la Vogealle and Tete des Ottans to reach cabane Susanfe CH Valais.
Second way following GRP by refuge Bostan. (via alpina GPX file following this way)

Will follow via alpina by Chavonnes, Col & refuge de la Golese and Col de Coux

Parking du Cret 7:15am 997m.Via Alpina goes by Col de la Golese (left by forest trail).Can follow road and GRP to reach refuge du Bostan

7:45am Chavonnes 1245m Col de la Golese marked 1h15

8:45am 1660m Col de la Golese alpage. Refuge de Bostan by GRP marked 40mins (up right). Col de Coux marked 2h20 (up left)

Little historical information posted by refuge de la Golese owner.

Col de la Golese is the passing way between Vallee d’Aulps (Morzine) & vallee du Giffre (Samoens).
Nearby Col de Coux to Swiss Valais. Thoses passes used to be main communications & exchange way in between thoses 3 vallees

9:10am 1525m BonneValette intersection. Refuge chardonniere marked 20mins.Morzine marked 2h30.Col de Coux marked 2h

9:30am 1420m Plan des Heures intersection. Morzine marked 2h20 dowm left. Straight up Col de Coux marked 1h40.Refuge des Barmes marked 3h

9:40am 1500m Torrent des chardonnieres.Fresh water available here.Col de Coux marked 1h25.Refuge de Barme 2h40

10:15am 1800m L’epingli.nice panoramic view Aulps vallee (morzine)

10:30am Col de Coux 1920m. Refuge de Barmes marked 1h50

Few mountain bikers at Col de Coux

10:45am leaving haute savoie & france to enter Swiss Valais. Champery marked 2h10

Great view on Dents Blanches massif. Going down by the sounds of singing birds and Swiss cow bells through light forest

12:05am Barmes/Barmaz 1472m

1:25pm leaving Barmes. Refuge Susanfe marked 3h20

Cantine de Barmaz lunch break 26CHF for big hiker salad + beer

Going up then down to Bonavau.Impressive view on the way. Reached Bonavau 2:40pm 1540m

It goes up very steeply the.little bit of rock climbing necessary (chains to help)

3:30pm Pas D’encel 1798m. Cabane de Susanfe marked 1h

4:40pm 2089m Cabane Susanfe. Fabienne refuge keeper, very nice & welcoming. Been here for 6 years.Gave me advice about after Col Susanfe to follow still winter trail on the right side.

There is a sherperd in this alpage taking care of sheeps. He is young and have his wife and kid up in the alpage. Did not have chance to talk to him (walking faster than me and busy working also)

6:05pm 2494m Col de Susanfe. View on the Salanfe lake.
Refuge de Salanfe marked 1h30

After about 45mins of going down steeply in the snow.cross and follow water stream on flat ground.

7:05pm catched up summer trail

7:30pm approaching refuge de Salanfe.A young girl working at the refuge is there contemplating the mountains. She told me that the chapel that we can see from the distance its open. Think i just find where i am going to end up yet another fantastic day on the via alpina.

Today is in the top 3 of my favorite day since Monaco. Feel like just entered another world here in Swiss Valais…

7:50pm Salanfe 1935m.Van d’en Haut marked 1h10

Distance covered : 33,3km
Walking time : 8h40
Resting time : 4h25
Weather : warm & sunny
Date : Friday 5th July 2013
Altitude : 1950m


Last night bivouac Chalet/warehouse


Alpage near col de le Golese


Panorama at Col de Coux Haute Savoie Vallee d’Aulps side


Panorama Valais side Col de Coux


Swiss Valais awesome panorama



Brames & Dents du Midi massif


Valais style chalet


Free goat




Near Pas D’encel



On the way to cabane de Susanfe


Col de Susanfe


Col de susanfe right in front


Panoramic view lac de salanfe




Day 22 : Champex – Les Montets 2nd July 2013

Bivouac is not allowed from 10pm to 7am in Champex (only saw the sign when i left…)

The wooden picnic tables by the lake with fireplaces made a great campground tho.

Started walking 7am after visiting Champex Alpine garden and its 4000 flowers.

Camping place also available in Champex. Bovine marked 3h10

A group of trail runners overtake me.

Plan de l’Au 1330m 7:50am.Bovine marked 2h20

9:15am 1927m view of Martigny and Sion vallee

Past Bovine alpage and going down Trient on TMB.

Talked to an Australian couple & Canadian couple on the way down in the forest. Told me that about 100people stayed in Trient last night and i was going to probably meet about 50 of them coming up…

TMB, Chamonix area is surely well known world wide…

Been asked quite a few times by the hikers coming up :”Are you running or walking ?”

Answered “I am flying now” 🙂

Meet the world (USA, Australia, Canada, Korea, Israel, etc..) and also know that people hike here not only TMB but also Chamonix to Zermatt hiking trail.

10:45am Col de la Forclaz 1526m
Trient marked 30mins

11:05am Trient 1279m
Stopped by Trient communal office for a stamp. The woman there confirmed that Trient and TMB was a hiking highway…
Every night at least 100 people stays in Trient.

I understood why i did not get well welcomed earlier on at the Bovine alpage..too many tourists/hikers kills the mountain spirit.

On the way down to Trient there was a nice alpage but 20 people were there.Impossible to make a picture without having someone on it…start to see tissues and other plastics things left behind..

1:25pm Col de Balme 2200m

Leaving Switzerland and Valais.Entering Haute Savoie, back in France.

Great panoramic view on the Mont Blanc vallee.going down by the ski slopes

Col des Posettes 1997m at 2pm

Leaving Col des Posettes 3pm after lunch break.

3:05pm. The Telecabine de Vallorcine is operating.
Interviewed the guy working for the Compagnie du Mont Blanc here at the Balme ski domain.He said that the mountain bike trail was close and also train service was not operating (only bus) so the Telecabine was on for almost noone…

Going down steeply.Telecabine lift as visual guide. Realised that i am off the via alpina.too late to turn back..it is ok to go down Vallorcine…

4pm 1330m Les Parts intersection. Vallorcine village marked 15mins down right. Straight marked Le Buet 40mins

Some work was in progress on the trail and had to go down to Vallorcine. Will pick up food there (grocery store available) and try to start looking for a place to camp/sleep

4:15pm Vallorcine village

I feel inflation in the Mont Blanc vallee. So far the most expensive grocery store on the Via Alpina since Monaco…it is in Vallorcine

Find out that there is a camping place 15mins away from Vallorcine and also gite/refuge Le mermoud (19euros with breakfast)

Going for the hot shower and electricity the electronics i carry needs…

6pm 1339m camping les Montets
7,8euros for hot shower, electricity, water and toilet paper.

Distance covered: 31,7km
Walking time : 7h55
Resting time : 3h35
Altitude : 1339m
Date : Tuesday 2nd July 2013

Today really felt like i entered a different world while on TMB from Champex… Initially planned to cut through directly to Martigny…but followed the via alpina here on TMB…supposed to catched up GR5 soon. Hope the upcoming views of Mont Blanc & surronding peaks will worth the detour…


Champex lake morning view


Champex searching for alpine garden


Champex alpine garden




On the way to Bovine alpage TMB



Martigny and Sion vallee view




Glacier Trient


Col de Balme



Panoramic view Haute Savoie side.coming down from Col de Balme


House in Vallorcine

Day 21 : Hospice du Col du Grand Saint-Bernard – Champex 1st July 2013

Shared the dinner last night with 8 other “hikers”. Only people coming on foot can be hosted in the Hospice du Grand St Bernard.
Bob from Australia 68years old hiking the Via Francigena was the only traveller. Others parked their car 5-10km away and came here with backpacks to be hosted. Quite funny

They have more than 100 beds at the Hospice

Left the accomodation and heard barking…

They have Saint Bernard dogs here. Cool…
Went near the chenil and the dogs were barking loudly because i was approaching.

The young girl feeding the dogs came out with the dogs plate and the barking stopped. She told me : “Can you go away because you are disturbing all the Col”

Welcome to Switzerland 🙂

Left le col du grand saint bernard 7:30am

On the way down 8am 2290m there is a open clean hut/shelter (named Le tronchet) with woods,blankets,table,bench and a cooking equipment. Perfect place to save 40CHF

Bourg st pierre marked 2h30

9:20am 1924m intersection. Bourg st bernard marked right. Marked straight : Bourg St Pierre & Liddes. Going straight

10am meet 2 local farmers taking down 2 Herin cows in a truck (videotaped the Herin cow loading)

One of the man explained that this cow was exclusive to the Swiss Valais region. Not only used for their milk & meat.Thoses Herin cows also fights. The Herin fights season goes on during spring and autumn. Now summer all of them are in the alpage.

10:50am 1643m intersection.Liddes marked straight.Going right to Bourg St Pierre grab some Swiss food…

11:05am Bourg St Pierre 1672m.Liddes marked 1h30
While i was looking for food, at a bar in Bourg St Pierre. Bumped into FR hiker

Meet Marc 64 years old on an incredible journey from Vannes to Jerusalem

(videotaped interviewing him)

He left Vannes (France west coast) on may 15th 2013. Followed the river Loire up to Pontarlier and from there on the via Francigena to Rome.

He expect to be in Jerusalem in November 2013 (going all the way down to Napoli then Greece and Turkey)

What a great challenge. We talked & exchanged. Marc bought me coffee here in a Bourg St Pierre bar terrace. Marc is a freshly retired surgeon on his way to heaven. Bon voyage dude.

Leaving Bourg St Pierre 12:45am after lunch at bar/restaurant “les charmettes”

15CHF for local dish “Rosti paysan”

2pm 1349m Liddes. Beautiful all wooden houses

2:15pm Dranse 1255m. Orsieres marked 2h

Shortly after Dranse there are 2 possibilities.Via Alpina GPX file goes by the water stream.Followed trail sign up in the forest.

3pm 1216m Fornex. Orsieres marked 1h10

4pm 912m Orsieres

4:15pm leaving Orsieres. 2 trails available to Champex lake

5pm 1105m Prassurny. Champex marked 1h10.From here very steep way up to Champex.

5:35pm 1425m entering Champex lake. Via alpina joins TMB trail (Tour du Mont Blanc)

5:40pm Champex lake 1464m.

Distance walked : 31,4km
Walking time : 7h
Resting time : 3h45
Altitude : 1472m
Date : monday 1st july 2013
Weather : warm and sunny

Saw many TMB hikers here in Champex lake. Nice setting with the lake to camp out somewhere tonight.


Col du grand saint bernard morning view

Hungry Saint Bernard puppies

Le tronchet open hut/shelter 2290m on the way down from col du grand st bernard towards Bourg st pierre


On the way down to Bourg St Pierre


Swiss Valais Herin cow



Marc 64 leaving Bourg St Pierre on his way to Jerusalem (started may 15th from Vannes FR)


Local dish Rosti Paysan


Valais house in Liddes


Orsieres view on the way up to Champex

On the way up to Champex


Champex lake Valais Switzerland