A traverse across valleys

It’s certainly not hard to find a good walk in Switzerland, but to up “good” to “great” you need a few carefully chosen ingredients. You want views of mountains, of course. You need the right effort-to-reward ratio, and you might throw in the possibility of seeing wildlife. A summit adds a nice bit of flair to a walk. If you’re climbing high, you’ll need to know what level the snow is at, if there’s any avalanche risk, and whether afternoon thunderstorms are a possibility. Tanya has been honing her craft, and while studying a topo map she came up with an absolute cracker of a walk that fitted all these criteria and more. We put this plan into action recently, and walked from Evolène, across the Col de Torrent to the Barrage de Moiry, cruising up a 3000 m peak on the way.

On the way to the mountains.

Part of what was great about this particular walk was that it was a traverse across valleys. We started in Val d’Hérens, and ended in Val de Moiry. The climb from Evolène to the Col de Torrents started through forest and scattered villages that we soon left behind for more open country. The wildflowers were out in force and the clanging of cow-bells floated on the breeze. A few morning rain showers gave way to atmospheric clouds as we moved up to the Col de Torrent.

At the col we stopped for lunch, and watched the clouds go past. Here’s a timelapse I took while we ate our cheese and crackers.

After lunch we launched off on a little side trip to get to the top of La Sasseneire (3254 m). It was a nice walk up a ridge, with patches of snow lying around in interesting patterns, and icicles amongst the spring flowers. From the top we had amazing views down to the melting lakes in the Val de Moiry.

The view back the way we walked up.
Looking down into Val de Moiry.
Summit selfie at 3254 m.

We went back down to the col and then continued on our walk into the next valley, the Val de Moiry. On our way to the giant dam that dominates the lower part of this valley, we took in the view from the Lac des Autannes, from where we could see the Pigne de la Lè, the Glacier de Moiry, and the Pointes de Mourti – all scenes of a trip we made last summer.

Lac des Autannes.
Reflections in a mountain lake.
Looking up to the Glacier de Moiry. Pigne de la Lè on the left, Pointes de Mourti on the right.
Barrage de Moiry.

We arrived at the Barrage de Moiry with a bit of time to spare before our bus home. So, as at the end of all such adventures, we took time to have a beer and a look at the topo. We did the maths, and this walk was 1860 m vertical up and 1000 m down, so not a bad day out. All the ingredients were right, and so this was not a good walk but a great one.

June 28, 2015


  1. Andy on

    SOOOO jealous! Stunning photos. Keep up your amazing blogs Tim:)

  2. Stunning! Really beautiful, and I love the time lapse!

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