|The Grand Combin from the Sentier de Chamois|
DAY 1 COL DE BALME
So far the summer in the Alps has been pretty good, too hot really. Unfortunately there was a wee blip in the beautiful weather for the start of our trek. The Col de Balme is one of the easiest days on the tour. The team soon made short work of getting to the Swiss border in time for lunch. We took the more scenic route down to Trient, just before the rain. Well timed.
|The team at the Fenetre Arppette|
DAY 2 FENETRE ARPPETTE
The first big day of the trek, the Spectacilar Fenetre Arppette. This 2000m climb to the narrow col goes up close to the Trient Glacier and some wonderful rock, meadow and glacial scenery. There is also a 2000m decent down the other side to Champex. One of the many days you can expect to see the animal of the Alps, The Ibex.
|Ibex taking it easy on the rocks below the col|
|The decent through the boulder field on the other side|
The weather gods were kind to us yesterday. We had a mainly dry day and managed to get some lovely sunny spells. Shortly after getting into Champex a massive downpour hit the streets of this wee town coupled with a few claps of thunder and lightening. That was really the only rain we saw, from now on the weather was sun and warmth and fine views!
|Evening light at Mont Fort Refuge|
|Sunsetting over the Val de Bagnes|
|Sunrise on Mont Blanc range|
|Magnificent views from the Sentier de Chamois|
|Lac Louvie and Grand Combin on the traverse|
|Rosa Blanche from Col de Prafleuri|
|Descending from Col de Prafleuri|
DAY 5, PRAFLEURI - AROLLA
|Early morning on the Col de Choux, Lac Dix|
|Mont Blanc de Cheillon|
|Meadows above Arolla|
|Mount Cenus Bellflower|
The easiest day on the tour. Mostly downhill with just a short 600m ascent. A welcome 'rest' day after two big efforts on the previous sections. Today is a nice stroll down to Lac Bleu then into the Val d' Herens before we finish the day up at La Sage.
|The peaceful hamlet of La Sage above the Val d'Herens|
No rest up as we have another big day with 2000m of sacent over two cols. The Col de Torrent and the Col de Sorebois. Most of the cols on the WHR are just a smidgen below 3000m. By now the group were quite used to the big ascents and descents. All the rough sections are now behind us. Today's route is all on excellent trails.
|Les Hauderes in the Val d'Herens with the Pigne d'Arolla above|
|Lunch time spot, Weisshorn to the left, Dent Blanche to the right|
|Col de Torrent|
|Wonderful cloud formations|
We cross over into the Germanic speaking valleys today as we nudge ever closer to Zermatt. Gruben in the Turtmantal is a tint community that only live here in the summer months. One of the few valleys in The Swiss Alps that has no public transport and no skiing paraphernalia. Lovely and peaceful with just one place of accommodation at the Scwarzhorn Hotel. The days getting easier and shorter now, only an 8 hour effort required.
|Leaving the Val d'Annivers|
|The Bishorn in view on our descent into the Turtmental|
|Alpine Rock Jasmin|
Another stunning day, just the one col of the Augsbord Pass. Today's highlights are the first views of the Mattertal -The 'Matterhrn Valley'. For me this day is also special as it is one of the few places in The Alps that the very rare King of the Alps grows. This beautiful cushion plant flowers for just a few weeks in the height of summer, just below today's col.
|King of the Alps|
|Grand views from the Europaweg|
|The Weisshorn from Taschalp|
|Tasch and the Mattertal|
|The Matterhorn, of course|