TOPO Hiking

Chamois trail, Val de Bagnes, Martigny

Topo published on |

0 Comments

Switzerland is no legend! Everything is impeccable, and the mountains are just like on the postcards: superb! The Chamois Trail is an aerial route above the Val de Bagnes, offering exceptional panoramic views of the Mont Blanc massif and the Grand Combin glaciers. Although not particularly difficult, well-marked and well-frequented, the route can be impressive in its more aerial passages, which are a little exposed in places. A great way to start out, and the weather has been good so far.

Technical summary

Type ✦ Hiking
Location ✦ Verbier
Region ✦ Valais
Country ✦ Switzerland
Length ✦ 17kms
Vertical rise ✦ 530m
Negative difference in altitude ✦ 1250m
Difficulty ✦ MD
Max altitude ✦ 2648m
Duration ✦ 5h to 6h
Interest ✦ ★★

Access to the place

From the town of Martigny in Valais, take the Val de Bagne road and park at Le Châble, at the foot of the cable car departure point below the village.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start Téléphérique

Take the cable car from Le Châble (826m) to Verbier (1522m), then another cable car to Les Ruinettes (2195m). On the way out, you'll find the starting path.

Course

The trek starts at altitude and descends into the valley, so there's a lot of negative altitude difference. The trails are very well marked and signposted throughout, so there's no difficulty in finding your way around, except when you leave the Mont Fort hut to catch the chamois trail. There are no technical difficulties, but the trail is airy and there are a few exposed passages, in some places equipped with chains as lifelines.

Part 1: Mont Fort hut (2457m, 1h15)

Take the wide track towards La Chaux. Further on, a narrow path climbs to the left towards the Montfort hut. Follow it and you'll soon reach the Cabane de Montfort hut, a splendid Swiss chalet! The view over the Mont-Blanc range and the glaciers of the Grand Combin.
Part 2: Col du Termin (2648m, 1h45)

Descend from the refuge to take the winding track down into the valley. At the 3rd hairpin bend, the chamois trail starts with a tiny blue sign. You can see it clearly as it crosses the opposite side of the refuge. After crossing a scree, the trail climbs steeper to gain height and eventually reach an angle on a ridge (30′ from the hut).

From here, the trail crosses more or less level terrain to climb back up into the Val de Bagnes, with occasional rocky ascents and descents. The view is splendid, the panorama permanent. Be careful, however, as the passages are aerial and in places exposed, although not technically difficult. Some passages are equipped with chains to protect those less at ease with vertigo. At the end of this long traverse, it climbs slightly to reach the small Termin pass. On the other side, you can see Lac Louvie, far below.
Section 3: Lac Louvie (2215m, 1h15)

Beware of the vertiginous descent. The path passes under Col Termin and winds steeply down the valley side. We skirt a ridge with magnificent views over the valley and the opposite massif before, much lower down, we hook back inland and soon reach the shores of Lac Louvie. Typical local vaulted stables to discover as you walk around the lake before returning below the Louvie hut to tackle the final descent.
Part 4: Fionnay (1490m, 1h)

A small plateau to cross along the torrent that flows down from Lac Louvie. Once across, the trail descends steeply, though not as steeply as above, with large switchbacks down the slopes above the Val de Bagnes. Further down, we switch to the Fionnay side through a small forest. A few more twists and turns and we reach the ground, the village, the day's final destination.

Back

Opposite the Tourist Office is the bus stop for the post buses down to Le Châble. Check the timetable beforehand to avoid missing the last bus (currently 5.30pm).

Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

Discover more from Climbing7

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading