Sunday, September 21, 2014

Start or end of Rhône?

Hidden away at the crossing of the Furka, Gothard, Oberalp, Neufennen, Susten passes is the start of the mighty Rhône River that travels all the way to Marseilles. At the same time it is the end of what was once the begining of the once upon a time mighty Rhône Glacier that travelled all the way to Lyon.

The strength and power of this area is overwhelming, and impossible to ignore. After all, Switzerland & France would not be as we know them had they not existed.
The feeling here is emotional as one wanders around realising how time & geology & evolution proceed.

Definitely a place to visit. I plan to organise some multi day walks starting in the Goms valley through here to Andermatt to Chur in the Grisons. Cannot wait!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Beauty of Zermatt

What a gorgeous walk through the Gorges of the Gornera bach. Nice to do it on a sunny day and take advantage of the freshness.

On a clear day there is just no question why Zermatt is so popular. All the 4000 meter peaks were visible and the glaciers clean & white.

The hills were alive with the sound of wildflowers! And a fabulous lunch accompanied by artists from the music festival were very relaxing.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Dents du Midi Tour

Here is an excellent tour to do in 4 days. There are some summits at around 3000 meters that can be hiked to. Among them, the most popular is the Haute Cime - the highest and Westest summit of the Dents du Midi. There are a few chains on the tour and you need to be able to hike for 6-7 hours a day. But it is worth it. Here are a few fotos:
View on the Cime de l'Est, as you walk from Chindonne to Mex. The flowers were spectacular - as was some of the mud, after all the rain we have had this summer it was not surprising!

This way! Just don't forget your poles when you stop to picnic!!

View of the Massif des Combins from the col du Jorat. This is really a beautiful spot. It can easily be hiked to on a day's outing, coming up from the valon de van. 

Going up the Haute Cime and looking back on the lac de Salanfe. Breathtaking! 

Rocky shale slopes! Yuck! Not my favorite terrain... But down from the col Susanfe it becomes flowery eidelweiss fields and aconite purple bursts of energy! The cabane Susanfe has excellent real coffee & a smiling gardienne!!

Meeting the locals!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Grand Chavalard

The Grand Chavalard is beautiful! At the edge of a turn above the Rhône Valley near Martigny it is fun to walk around or up!

Ovronaz is right around the corner for a thermal bath!

There are also lots of choices for sleeping in a cabane here. The star gazing here is well worth spending the night for.

View on the Dents du Midi
Those brown lumps at the col are a herd of 12 bouquetins (ibex). There were about 40 more just a bit lower down on the slope! Amazing!
The Grand Chavalard summit, a few meters under 2900m. Without the clouds Mont Blanc would have been visible.