Liddes to Val Ferret

Tanya and I were the only passengers on the bus from Orsières to Liddes; it’s the end of the season and we were and are pushing to get as much time in the mountains as possible before the snow gets too low. This was a couple of weeks ago, when we walked from Liddes to La Fouly via les Lacs de Fenêtre – our biggest walk in Switzerland to date, comprising more than 25 km and a climb of about 1500 m.

High in the Combe de l’A.

It being autumn, it’s prime time to see animals in the wild in Switzerland. We therefore set out determined to at least hear a deer calling for the rut, which we ticked off early in the day as we approached the entrance to the magnificent Combe de l’A. Later on and higher up in the Combe we were lucky to see a group of deer sitting on the other side of the valley. We also saw a roe deer running through the forest, a chamois looking down curiously at us from a rocky outcrop, and many bouquetin (ibex) hanging out on a grassy ridgeline!

Col du Névé da la Rousse.

Midway through our walk we had to cross the Col du Névé de la Rousse, our highest point at 2752 m. Although this isn’t particularly high, there was already a good amount of snow on the north side of the col.

Crossing into Val Ferret was incredible. Suddenly we could see the whole western side of the Mont Blanc massif, with Mont Dolent and the Grands Jorasses taking pride of place on the skyline. Clouds came and went and the golden autumn colours of the grass contrasted beautifully with the snowy peaks.

First glimpses into Val Ferret.
We imagined these were wolf tracks.
Mont Dolent.

We decided to push on and see the Lacs de Fenêtre before heading down to La Fouly. These lakes are part of one of the most stunningly beautiful places I’ve seen in Switzerland or indeed anywhere. This is a very special place.

Les Lacs de Fenêtre.

We arrived in La Fouly late in the afternoon but still in time to take one of the ever-reliable Postcars back into the Vallée du Rhone. This was a wonderful hike to send off the summer season, and with the snow and the temperatures both getting rapidly lower, I suspect that the next time I get to Val Ferret it will be with skis on my feet.

November 9, 2015

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