Friday 11 July 2014

Zinal to Cabane Petit Mountet - the 'high' way

Stunning mountain views
Lowering yourself on a chain through an ice cold waterfall is not everyones idea of a good walk, but if you can cope, you're rewarded with some of the most spectacular views the valley has to offer. This high route is a 'mountain fest' of snow, ice and peaks. In front of you is the whole Imperial Crown -  the collective name for the five 4000m+ peaks (Bishorn, Weisshorn, Zinal Rothorn, Obergabelhorn, and Dent Blanche) that sit at the head of the valley, plus the other 'little' mountains that fill your horizon - oh and lets not forget glimpses of the Matterhorn right at the back.
Not for the nervous walker
Taking the cable car up to Sorebois saves the 800m climb up from Zinal village and puts you near the start of the 2400m contour that you follow south. The route winds and climbs around the mountain on flower lined paths, crossing streams, waterfalls, rock shoots and in early summer the possible snow patch before opening out in a meadow - the perfect picnic spot to sit and soak up the view.
Picnic spot with wonderful mountain views
Descend through meadows of Alpenrose to the Cabane
After this point the route descends through meadows of Alpenrose to Cabane Petit Mountet (2142m) where you can relax with a beer and look out onto the Zinal Glacier before heading north and down to Zinal through meadows and across La Pla.
Heading back to Zinal through meadows and across La Pla
Total distance: 14.5 km
Time: about 5 hrs to include stops
Ascent: 250 m
Descent: 1015 m