Like I mentioned a couple weeks ago, our days hiking in the high elevation mountains are numbered. Winter is coming! So we are trying to hike as much as possible before we trade our hiking boots for skis 🙂
Friday night we had dinner at an awesome new South Indian style restaurant around the corner from our apartment, Suku’s Restaurant. Saturday morning we did some errands then hit the road right before 3, headed for the village of Evolène, in the valley Val d’Hérens. We picked this spot since it’s a new region that we haven’t seen yet and it was further east. This was important since it was supposed to rain in Lausanne and in the mountains nearer to where we live, but farther east it was looking like a better chance of sun. As storms in our region move west to east (from Lausanne toward Evolène) the mountains block the weather and often prevent weaker storms from moving into the depths of the Alps.
Accommodation & Dinner: We stayed at the Pension d’Evolène right in the center of the village. This is a simple hotel. We got a room with a shared bathroom on the top floor with the balcony pictured, with a view of the mountains and village. It was only CHF 78 for one night, including breakfast, which was a pretty fantastic deal!
The menu included popular items for the region, such as cerf (deer) and chamois, which is a type of mountain goat (see wiki here). We even saw a herd of chamois while hiking on Sunday!
We had been watching the weather closely before our trip to this valley, and on Sunday we woke up to grey skies and clouds. As we drove the 20 minutes to the trailhead in the next village up the valley, it started to rain a bit and were inside the clouds. Nevertheless, we hit the trail with optimism, to hike up the mountains with a destination of the Cabane des Aiguilles Rouges. We chose this hike because we were hoping to have lunch at the Cabane and the view sounded like it would be nice (pending said clouds clearing).
So, after two hours of hiking and getting closer to the top, the clouds started to come and go, clearing in areas and giving us fleeting glimpses to the peaks above and across the valley. We arrived at the Cabane, still in the clouds, and decided to sit down and wait to see what would happen. After not even ten minutes, the clouds completely cleared!
On our hike down. Glaciers everywhere on the peaks. Such an amazing day in the mountains!