The Haute Route – Day 5, August 26

La Châble (821m) – Les Ruinettes (2195m) – Cabane du Mont Fort (2457m) – Col des Vaux (2705m)

Another sunny day!

La Châble is situated just at the bottom of Verbier. In other words, from where we were the mountain stands almost vertical (or it looked like that). 1600m uphill it will be : (

Walking to the Cabane du Mont Fort

Fortunately there is a way around this: take a cableway to Les Ruinettes (2195m). Sano proposed this to gain altitude and hike from there, and I did not need much convincing…

So early in the morning we were already up above 2000m without any sweat.  From the cableway end station we started walking to the Cabane du Mont Fort. Verbier is a famous ski resort (apparently popular with British tourists) so many ski lifts are here and there. This in general disturbs the scenery, nevertheless the view from there is outstanding. 

At the terrace of the Cabane du Mont Fort

Arriving at the Cabane du Mont Fort (2457m) around 10 am, of course, we saw Haute Route hikers nowhere yet. On the sunny terrace of the hut, four local elderly Swiss men were enjoying the scenery over coffee. A great place to get together with friends!  Some of them seem to be around my father’s age – I always admire these fit Swiss people.

The view from the Cabane – priceless! A panoramic view from the snow-covered expansive Combin Massif to the Mont Blanc range with the Trient Glacier, and even the Dents du Midi. All these mountains at one go!

After checking into a small cute attic room with only two beds (no need to suffer from other snoring mates!), we went to explore the area and walked up to Col des Vaux (2705m). The terrain is barren like Mars, but with an amazing view. We stopped at the ridge overlooking the Lac des Vaux (Lake Vaux) for our lunch break. A solo German hiker came by and we started chatting about the German politics. A hot topic: Germany/EU saving Greece…

A view of the Combin Massif

On the way back in the middle of beautiful moor-like meadows we found a great spot, a large rock in the sun. We sat on it, basking in the warmth of the sun and talking. It was still early in the afternoon and we did not need to go back to the hut yet. Nothing to hurry to. Just enjoy the moment, the scenery and the company. Great life!

By the time we were back at the hut the terrace was brimming with many Haute Route hikers. Jean and Robert, a couple from Scotland, whom we met earlier on the trail, joined us at the table. They walked 1600m all the way up here! They are older than we are, but they said,”we made many stops for drinks and no problem it was.”…. Ummm

With Daniel of Cabane du Mont Fort; shy but a very competent guardien

I have not been to a mountain hut for a long time (Philippe finds it a horror to stay there) and did not expect much about food at the hut. However, the dinner at the Cabane du Mont Fort was fantastic: salad, pasta with accompanying vegetable and dessert. Plenty of food for hungry hikers and very delicious. It seems that only two men were cooking and serving over 40 people flawlessly! 

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