Sommet des Diablerets

There’s a heatwave in Europe! It’s really not pleasant. It’s hot and muggy in Lausanne and at work every office has a fan going full blast. Meteosuisse has been putting out daily alerts for the heat, and the best place to be is next to or swimming in the lake. On Sunday Tanya and I headed for some altitude to get to a bit of cooler air. We took the first télécabine of the morning up to Sex Rouge (that’s its name!) on Les Diablerets.

At almost 3000 m it was much cooler, and we set off to walk up to the Sommet des Diablerets, which is the high point of Les Diablerets – and at 3210 m is also the highest point in Canton Vaud. Les Diablerets sits in what I think of as the “bended elbow” of the Rhone Valley, so it offers a particularly good viewpoint of the Alps.

We followed a little rocky ridge up to Le Dôme, which is still pretty much inside the lift-accessible terrain of Les Diablerets ski field in winter. The views from here were stunning. We could see a large portion of the Swiss alpine chain, right from the Bernese Alps (Mönch, Jungfrau) across to the peaks around Saas-Fee (Dom), Zinal (Weisshorn, Zinalrothorn) and Zermatt (Monte Rosa, Matterhorn, Dent Blanche), and then further south towards the Mt Blanc Massif (Grand Combin, Mont Blanc). All those mountains I just named are 4000 m peaks, and it was wonderful to see them all set out like that, even through a bit of heatwave haze.

From Le Dôme there was a fixed rope to get us onto the Glacier de Tsanfleuron, and from then on it was glacier travel – our first for the summer mountain season. We tied in and set off for the very easy push to the summit.

Walking down it took us an hour and a quarter to be back amongst the crowds at the télécabine station – it was a short climb! Still, it was fantastic to get out into the mountains on a weekend when I wasn’t sure we would be able to, to escape the heat, to tie in to a rope to walk on a glacier, and to see all those gorgeous four-thousanders floating on the horizon.

July 6, 2015


  1. Andy on

    ARRRGGHHHHHHH… just looking at these photos make me feel cooler. (I feel like your version of heat wave is my daily reality in Cambodia 🙂

  2. Pretty pictures. I also did this hike once. It’s nice to teach someone how to rope in on a glacier… ahhhh – I miss those mountains. I can’t believe it is warmer in Switzerland than in sunny California.

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