Haute Route 4 - Prafleuri to Zinal
Nov 3, 2010Public
Photo: Here we go again ...
Photo: We encounter some ibex as we leave Prafleuri. Perhaps this is another good omen? Today's route is said to be almost as difficult as yesterday's
Photo: Ibex are called "steinbock in German and "bouqetin" in French. These have short horns, thus are female.
Photo: Soon we arrive within sight of Lac des Dix, part of the Swiss hydroelectric dam system.
Photo: We will descend to the lake, walk to the far end, climb up and over the Col de Riedmatten (9576 ft / 2919 m), and descend again into the village of Arolla, almost 10 miles total.
Photo: Marmots abound along this stretch of trail.
Photo: The lakeside walk is peaceful and easy.
Photo: Gregg Witt and his party overtake us.
Photo: ... then we start our climb to the pass.
Photo: That's Gregg and his group ahead of us.
Photo: As we round the bend, Mt Blanc de Cheilon and its glacier dominate the scene (12,696 ft / 3870 m)
Photo: Then starts the real climb.
Photo: Ugh ...
Photo: It's nothing but boulders from here to the pass.
Photo: This is the Pas de Chevres ("pass of the goats"), a supposedly easier alternative to the Col de Riedmatten (out of sight to the left).
Photo: Its cruel iron ladders do not tempt me. We end up climbing the 200 extra ft. to the actual pass.
Photo: Having crossed Riedmatten pass we will descend 3000 ft ...
Photo: ... past a glacier ...
Photo: ... and ruined stone huts ...
Photo: ... to the scenic village of Arolla!
Photo: Our hotel ...
Photo: ... and the view from our balcony (Mont Collon and the Pigne d'Arolla glacier )
Photo: We take a rest day in Arolla. Though just a village, it has a wonderful sports and outfitters store.
Photo: The girls shop till they drop.