Sunday 23 June 2013


This weekend saw the 'inalpe' in most of the Val d'Anniviers villages. Locals would call it the official start of summer - the day when the cows go up to the high alpine meadows and milking huts. Traditionally the animals would have been herded up from Sierre on foot to their summer pastures - these days it's quicker, with most arriving by truck but the celebrations remain the same.

A benediction of the alpine meadows and cows followed by the journey up and fights between the beasts to see who's top-cow or Queen for the summer.  Here they stay, bells clanging as they chomp through the lush grasses and flowers, producing gallons of rich milk which duly gets made into tonnes of cheese. In September the process is repeated in reverse - the des alpes...