Walk 23: Cabane de la Tsa from Arolla (Distance: 9.25 km and 810m ascent)
Like most huts, the Cabane de la Tsa is situated in a magnificent position. It’s quite a tough climb, but well worth the effort for the views of the mountains and over the valley, not to mention the prospect of some refreshments at the hut itself (in summer).
This circular walk starts and ends at the car park on the U bend just below Arolla. Note that the old bridge below the car park is no longer there and crossing the river can be difficult if not dangerous. So please follow the instructions below to get to the other side.
- From the car park, take the track at the far end, which heads towards the end of the valley (on the right hand side of the river). After around 400 metres there is a wooden bridge on the left. Cross the bridge and follow the track upwards until you see a signpost (after about 150 metres) on the left hand side. Drop down here and follow the path into a small clearing, where you will see a sign at the far side. turn right here and follow the path around to the right.
- Ignore the path on the left (which goes along the valley floor by the side of the river) and continue upwards, passing a big boulder on your right). The path to the cabane is now clear (since it’s the only one). Follow it up through the woods until it eventually emerges above the trees. Don’t forget to stop for a breather and take in the magnificent views behind.
- The path will head to the left before zig-zagging again upwards to the right and finally skirting around to the left to the cabane. There is a wooden helipad which makes a good viewpoint both across and down into the valley.
- Cabane de la Tsa return
Leave the cabane via the far side, nearest to the mountains (i.e. the opposite side to the helipad). After dropping down slightly, the path crosses a jumble of fallen rocks which are waymarked by some red paint. After a short while and a little scrambling, you will cross a wooden plank (with a safety rope to asssist on the right – see picture above) and then reach a very clear path which zig-zags down towards the valley floor. After several turns the path eventually straightens out and drops into the woods.
- As you emerge from the trees, the path goes around to the right of a large rock and then left along the left hand side of a fence to a signpost, just before the river. Turn left here and follow the path up the left hand side of the river. After some wooden duck-boards, the path rises to a suspension bridge. Cross the bridge and then turn half left and pass between the chalets at La Monta before reaching the Hotel de ls Tsa. A good place to stop for refreshments.
- Hotel de la Tsa
From the hotel, take the track which runs up to the road and then follow the road back to the car park at Arolla.
Alternatively, you can take the level track which runs away from the hotel, to the right hand side of the river. It soon meets a bridge near the Arolla camp site. Turn right here and follow the path up the left hand side of the river, until it eventually meets up with the one taken earlier, near the large boulder. Retrace your steps from there, back over the wooden bridge and turn right to the car park.