Although the initial climb of this walk is quite strenuous, the effort is well worth it, as the views from this ridge are exceptional. A panoramic indicator board near La Tsermetta shows all of the peaks that are visible. This includes the Mont Blanc massif, the Jungfrau and the Matterhorn.
A very nice walk, direct from our chalet, runs diagonally up through the woods opposite and then traverses across at around 1700m before descending along a good track to meet the road to Arolla. After crossing the road, the path then descends to the riverside, near Les Haudères, before returning to Evolène. The walk gives fabulous views of the Dent Blanche and Veisivis, as well as the alpage villages of Villaz, La Sage and La Forclaz.
Due to erosion and the possibility of rock-falls along the original path, the authorities have erected a huge (133m long) suspension bridge to by-pass the danger area. This has re-opened a wonderful walk from La Luette along the far side of the valley from the main road, where any number of plants and butterflies can be observed, including the quite rare Apollo butterfly. It’s also meant to be a mountain biking route, but with many undulations and some very narrow ledges, one with chains (see pic), it’s a very fit and brave biker who tackles it !
There are many places in the alps where you can get ‘up close and personal’ with a glacier. But none can be as easy to walk to as the Glacier du Mont Miné in the Ferpècle valley. After parking your car at the end of the valley, it’s an almost flat walk to the base of the glacier. On a warm day you can observe the huge forces of nature at work, as chunks of ice fall or, more likely, are pushed off the edge of the cliff by the ever moving glacier behind. A further scramble and climb up some rock slabs to the left also reveals a fine view of the Ferpècle glacier. This glacier is often used as a training ground for would-be mountaineers to hone their crampon and ice axe skills (as I did a few years ago) under the watchful eye of a professional mountain guide. Indeed, today we have 2 guests, Clive and his son Elliot, doing exactly that with Frost Guiding.
On Thursday Jude and I decided to go for lunch in Les Haudères. (The Hotel Veisivi does a wonderful Rösti géant !) To work up an appetite, we took the path along the river Borgne, stopping frequently to take some photos. As ever, Jude spotted something that I would never have seen, which was a Dipper hopping between the rocks in the river. Not only that, but she captured a beautiful photograph, as you can see below. (I’ve also decided to add a watermark, so I hope it doesn’t interfere with the images too much).
Let’s be honest, a chalet is not really a chalet in the summer unless there’s some flowers around it. Although we bought some hanging baskets last week, we had some spare troughs. So my morning has been spent potting plants and putting them in the brackets on the balcony. All we need now is the sun to shine to show them off at their best…
Almost every year for the past 20 years, some friends and I have done a long distance walk. Usually we do it in a sort of relay, but this year we did it all together. The challenge for 2015 was the first 50 (or so) miles of Britain’s longest National Trail, the South West Coast path, which runs all the way around the south west coast of England to Poole, 360 miles later. We started at Minehead and finished at Croyde, 3 days later. Despite the changeable weather a great time was had by all. Thanks guys – I’m looking forward to next year already !