The Alpinists

Tour Val D’Hérens 2023

Day 1: High above Val d’Hérémences

The first stage of our hike started in stunning Thyon, where we arrived after a long but scenic
train, bus, and cable car ride. After the elongated train ride from Zurich, we were excited to finally start hiking. Firstly, we followed the trail up to Lac de Dix, which was the first destination of our four-day tour. The trail spoiled us with incredible views into Val d’Hérens and Val d’Hérémence.
Even the Matterhorn and Dent Blanche showed us their faces! Not only the views, but also the
weather was perfect on the first day of the tour. Much sunshine, some passing clouds, and a
lovely breeze accompanied us throughout the day. Towards the end of the first day, we
approached the dam of Lac de Dix, which slowly grew more prominent as we walked towards it. The dam of Lac de Dix is the highest one in Europe, and standing at the bottom was just breathtaking. We ended our day with a delicious Valaisanne dinner in the well-known Hôtel-Restaurant du Barrage.

Day 2: Up and Over the Mountains

After a good night’s sleep, the second and longest stage awaited us. So we started our day with an abundant breakfast buffet. With filled bellies and heavy backpacks, we began the day with a short gondola ride up to Lac de Dix and then started hiking along Lac de Dix until the very end of the lake. From there, we began ascending towards a plateau right under the Mont Blanc de Cheilon. Making our way up the Col de Riedmatten, which was our lunch spot, we saw the Glacier de Cheilon and even the small glacier lake in front of it. Col de Riedmatten also offered amazing views on one hand to Cabane de Dix and on the other hand to Arolla. We could even get a small glimpse of Cabane des Vignettes! After refueling on Col de Riedmatten, we made our way down to Arolla, past glaciers, distant mountain peaks, and forests. After arriving in Arolla, we checked into Hôtel Aiguille de la Tza and enjoyed another delicious fondue à la tomate. We ended the evening comfortably and went to bed early.

Day 3: Cows, Chapels, and Mountain Ridges

Day 3 started with a bus ride to Evolène where the hike started. 1700 vertical meters and a stunning alpine scenery awaited us. We were again mostly blessed with sunny weather, even though it felt very humid as it had rained the night before. Through quiet woodlands and rich floral alpine meadows, we eventually reached our lunch spot, a small chapel, from which we could see Aiguilles Rouges d’Arolla. We enjoyed our generously filled lunch package and continued our way with the regained energy towards our beds for the night at Cabane des Becs de Bosson. Right below the hut, we were surprised by the most abundant edelweiss field, so the well-deserved beer had to be postponed a bit as we could not stop wondering and taking pictures. After finally reaching the hut, we were blown away by the breathtaking panorama. We were welcomed by a panorama with various 4000-meter peaks, including Weisshorn, Zinalrothorn, Ober Gabelhorn, and Dent Blanche, just to name a few. Additionally, the two hut cats invited us in to spend the evening with them. This evening was a little busier than the last as we had to catch the picturesque sunset. We almost could not (or didn’t want to) pack our camera gear as it was just too spectacular. At 10 pm, we eventually went to bed and got some well-deserved sleep.

Day 4: Down We Go

With the alarm set for 5:30 am, we got out of bed and photographed a marvelous sunrise. The air felt so crisp and fresh, and the light was gloriously golden. After breakfast, which always tastes twice as good at almost 3000 masl, we packed our things for the last stage and slowly descended back to the valley in the direction of Nax, our final destination of this amazing tour. After more than 1700 vertical meters, passing Lac de Louché, a stunning place to simply dwell and enjoy, and many beautiful forest hiking trails, we arrived in Nax, where we finished our 4-day hike. Happy and a little bit exhausted, we jumped onto the bus towards Sion and ultimately headed home. Four days of hiking in Val d’Hérens were a blast. Spectacular views, amazing hiking trails, and delicious food – everything was available in abundance. And for us three friends, we had an amazing time hiking, photographing, and sharing many laughs and good talks along the way.

If you’re interested to get more information about the hike, visit the hiking description of Valais Tourism here: Val D’Hérens

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