Pas de Lona Walk, Val d’Hérens, Valais, Switzerland

My last few walks have involved a drive down into the Rhone valley, so yesterday I decided to do a walk from home. But, to make this post a little more interesting (I hope), I’ve split it into 3 sections, describing each section of the walk as I go. Please let me know if you like, or indeed prefer, this type of format.

Part 1: After crossing the field to the side of our chalet, I picked up a recognised path which soon joins a wide track. This track has restricted vehicle access and ends after around 2.5kms (1.5 miles) at the small hamlet of Volovron, though there are some steep and narrow footpaths which allow you to cut off the corners.

From Volovron, the path ascends steeply into a wood where it continues to climb, though more gradually, until it exits at a cross path to a small group of chalets (and normally, in the summer, an open buvette/café) at La Vielle. This cross path is pretty much in the shade most of the day and there was a little snow and ice on the path, (pics 11 & 14), but this was safely negotiated. 😊

Part 2: Leaving La Vielle, the path is quite open, across the alpage (alpine meadow), before it turns left up to the Pas de Lona. The path becomes very steep just before the col and getting a good grip underfoot can be quite tricky. I wasn’t sure how much snow I would encounter and, before I’d turned the corner, I’d seen another walker about 300m (yds) ahead of me. I followed the recognised route, but as I crested the brow of a small hill, I saw that he had gone left and was walking up the grass and rocks, thereby avoiding much of the snow. (You can see him, in blue, towards the left of picture 20).

However, by now, I was committed to ‘my’ route, which initially involved hopping from one clear patch to another, before ultimately having to kick good foot holds into the snow to stop me sliding down the hill. It was slow, but safe, progress.

I eventually reached the col and was rewarded with a magnificent view over the Grimentz valley (pic 24). The other hiker was already there and he’s again visible in pic 22. I walked a little further across, through varying depths of snow (maybe 15cm to 40cm or 6″ to 16″) due to the drifts and was pleased to take a few pictures of the cross at the top with just my footsteps. (See pic 23). It was rather strange to see the ground completely covered in snow in one direction, but almost free of snow in another.

I had designs on walking up to the Becs de Bosson mountain hut and taking the path over the Pte de Tsevalire from there, but there was too much snow, so I took the ‘easy’ option and descended the way the other hiker had gone up.

Part 3: I stopped for lunch at Vielle, (a ham and tomato sandwich made with Jude’s wonderful sourdough bread. 😋), where I pondered my next move. I generally don’t like doing out and back routes, so, to make it into a sort of circular walk, I took the path down towards the village of Eison. I was surprised how much I had to descend before I turned left along a different path, again through the woods, to Volovron and then, from there, it was the same path back to Evolène.

19 thoughts on “Pas de Lona Walk, Val d’Hérens, Valais, Switzerland

  1. Stunning views again. Lovely light in that last picture of pte-de-genevois. And the circular effect in that first one of the path you set off on – kind of sucked you in. Re dividing the walk into different sections: it works for me, but then so did your previous all in one approach. Sorry not to be more helpful! Sheesh those Swiss guys know how to stack firewood neatly (pic 32). A work of art!

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    • Many thanks for your feedback David. I took a picture looking the other way of the ‘tunnel’, but the one looking back seemed better with the sunshine coming through. I guess I had a lot to say, so it seemed a good idea to break it up, but we’ll see if I get any more feedback. And, you are right, stacking wood seems to be a particular skill of the Swiss. (In the UK it would be locked in a woodshed of course!)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Uphill is good! I could have done another 200m or so, but decided it was ‘easier’ (and safer) to turn around and go back the way I came. However, I’d forgotten about the ‘undulations’ in that last path, which really wear you out at the end of a long walk. Good exercise though! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So beautiful (as usual with your experiences and posts)! I’ve had so little time this school year for my WP reading and connecting. I very much hope to fully catch up soon, especially with you, Mike! 🙂 Your shared world takes me away every time… Sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

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