Three Bisses walk from Mâche, Val d’Hérens, Switzerland

After our 4 day, Saas valley trek, which finished with a steep descent into Saas Grund, Pete’s knees and body were just about shot. But it’s amazing what a few beers, a fabulous meal and a good night’s sleep can do. 😊 So, for Pete’s last day, we decided to do one of the many bisse walks in the Valais.

After a quick search of the Bisse website, I discovered a circular walk quite nearby, which I’ve never done before. It actually took in three bisses and started in the village of Mâche. Two of them were dry, but the third did have quite a bit of water running along the channel. Along the route also, we discovered several wooden carvings and a number of items which must have been left by some school children. Perhaps the most surprising was a beautiful glass pendant which (as this is Switzerland) I would imagine has been there and will remain there for some time. There are quite a few good cycling routes around that area too, so I may have to get on my bike and check to see if it’s still there in a few weeks time.

Footnote (for anyone new to this site and, as the Bisse website explains):
“Bisses are historic irrigation channels of the Valais. A bisse is an open ditch delivering priceless water from mountain streams – often by daring routes – to arid pastures and fields, vineyards and orchards. Many bisses are still in use today and so are carefully maintained. Numerous trails accompany these historic watercourses, inviting visitors to varied hikes on historic trails.”

11 thoughts on “Three Bisses walk from Mâche, Val d’Hérens, Switzerland

    • Yes, I think his knees are OK (now anyway). He strapped them up with some supports (which you might spot in some photos) and he used walking poles, which he said helped. (I think they get in the way personally and you’re more likely to trip over them, but…) It was a great week. 😊

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    • You’re too kind Donny! I called it a warm down, simply because the main adventure was sandwiched between that walk and the ‘warm up’ before we set off. (It seemed a good way to introduce the posts). The first one was more important as it helped Pete to acclimatise a little to the altitude. He lives in York, UK, which is VERY flat and almost sea level, whereas we live at 1400m (4,600ft), which I always take great joy in telling people is higher than anywhere in the UK (including Ben Nevis, the highest point). It does make a difference if you are used to the (relative) lack of oxygen. I think it would be our knees which we ‘felt’ after the walk. Some of the descents were quite long and very steep. (I’m in the UK currently but have a few pics to post in due course… 😊)

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      • I noted your altitudes through the posts. Me being used to flat, I know it’s not easy to go to 10,000 ft if you’re not used to it, we visited our Rocky Mountain NP a few years ago. When I got out of the car, I quickly lost my breath!

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        • You have to be careful with quick ascents… We took Jude’s mum (then in her late 70’s) up to the Aiguille du Midi, near Chamonix. You take 2 cable cars up to about 3,800m or 12,500ft and she all but fainted just stepping out of the cable car! Luckily there was a doctor close by, who said that she would be ok in a few minutes and, thankfully, she was.

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