The Haute Route – Day 7, Part 1, August 28

Cabane de Prafleuri (2624m) – Col des Roux (2804m) – Refuge de Barma (2458m) – Lac des Dix (2364m) – Tête Noir (2981m) Cabane des Dix (2928m)

We decided to take an alternative route and stay at the Cabane des Dix instead of going all the way to Arolla today. That would make today’s hike shorter than originally planned. Sano wanted to stay up in the mountains instead of going down to the valley. It turned out to be a great decision….

The first col to overcome today was 200 m above our hut. As our route was shorter than others, we took it easy and waited for others to go up first. We could see our co-hikers braving up the steep slope early in the morning. 

Chatting with a Swiss hiker at the Col des Roux

The moment we were up, the Lac des Dix opened up in front of us. The sunlight had not yet reached the surface of the water. The lake was dark-blue and still like a mirror. There was no one except a man in his 70s who sat alone on a rock, overlooking the lake. 

I started talking to him as usual (it is easy to talk to people in the mountains) and he turned out to be from Lausanne where I used to live for almost 10 years. He is a passionate hiker, and he said he comes to the mountains roughly 90 times a year!
IMG_1939“The mountains are like a drug for me,”, he laughed. Instantly I got to like him, and we chatted for a while, admiring the splendid view together.  As he was waiting for the sun to illuminate the lake, and we still had a long way to go, we said good-bye and moved on. 

When we came down to the lake, we heard him calling out, looked back and waved at him. We could clearly see him against the blue sky waiving back. What a beautiful encounter I had with a stranger, and what a beautiful moment I shared with him!

Refuge de Barma

The trail was on the grassy land. While enjoying the view of the lake and pointy peaks across the water, we arrived at the beautiful Refuge de Barma, as the Swiss hiker mentioned. This refuge was unmanned but it was clean and spacious, well-equipped for cooking. The hut had nice tables and a lake-view bench for a picnic.  A great spot to enjoy snacks and the warmth of the sun. 

A short break at the Lac des Dix

We continued on the wide, easy path to the pretty much at the end of this lake. From there a steep climb started on the moraine. Soon the trail forked into two: one to Arolla and the other to Lac des Dix, written in red paint on the rock. We scrambled on the tiring trail, stopped many times to regain forces. 

At Tête de Noir, Cabane des Dix perching left

On the top of the moraine called Tête Noir (“Black Head”), Dent Blanche (=”White Tooth”) and Matterhorn were far away but clearly seen. It was three valleys away from here. Still, a long way to go to our last destination, Zermatt.

Finally, we arrived at the Cabane des Dix


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