We knew this was going to be a big day – we would reach 2457m elevation after hiking 9.5km, which doesn’t sound much but it was the most sustained uphill section of the Haute Route with the notes advising there were few steps that were not uphill!
We left at the same time as Charlie, Gerry and Sooni through the hamlets of Cotterg and past the Chapelle des Vernays (another example of the challenges of going to church).
It was more uphill to the hamlet of Clambin.
It was wonderful having the para gliders swooping overhead and beside us. As Karyn said you felt you could almost reach out and shake their hands.
Our picnic destination was Las Ruinettes (beside the cable car station); it was to be reached via a snow season skiing piste full of hairpins and a final climb through the woods. It was a lovely lunch spot with a view over the huge town of Verbier. It was obvious this was a major winter escape for skiers.
We made our way along the bisse (water irrigation channel), which had been built in 1454, high above the trees with the cable cars buzzing overhead. It was a lovely meander traversing the countryside until of course we thought we were close to the Cabane and were then forced to overshoot it in two different directions before making the climb up to it. It was certainly worth it, the views were fabulous over the Pennine Alps.
Over celebration beers we met a lovely Yorkshireman, Keith, who had taking up hiking again after his wife died six years ago. He didn’t reveal his age but we were hazarding a guess he was around 75. He admitted he took a little longer to get to the destination but that he did get there. He was totally tech savvy with his electronic devices and carried an emergency transmitter he could engage in the event the need should arise – he did have a bit of a heart condition and was yet to kick his pipe smoking habit but thankfully the need to use the transmitter had not yet arisen. I wondered if I would be so fit at that age.
We were chuffed to have made it in the time nominated in our notes and were relieved to not be in too much pain after such a bit day. We had somehow arrived earlier than Charlie’s group who were ahead of us earlier in the day – Gerry commenting that we’d taken a short cut on our brooms!