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W. Valais II - MB de Cheilon, Pignes D'Arolla & L'Eveque

W. Valais II - MB de Cheilon, Pignes D'Arolla & L'Eveque

Postby past my sell by date » Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:37 pm

Date walked: 16/08/2006

Time taken: 144

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Information on Swiss Alpine Club huts is available at http://www.sac-cas.ch/en.html. To save buying too many maps, after selecting the hut, click on "online map and literature and then on XL topo to bring up a map of the area . You can move around it using arrows, and also by scrolling transfer from the 1:50,000 to the more detailed 1:25000. You can't print directly but I use "printscreen"and then Photoshop. Be aware though that the lines are Ski routes not Walking ones! Also a lot of the glaciers shown are now sadly gone

Day 1
We started at Arolla - a good place to start as it's 2000m high and there is free parking in the grounds of the Kurhaus hotel. We walked up easy paths and then over moraines to the Cabin des Aiguille Rouges (2810m).
Map of days 1- 3
The valley above Arolla is dominated by Mont Collon 3637m - the Snowy peak to its R is L'Eveque
On the path to the Aiguilles Rouge hut

Day 2
The Pte De Vouasson(3490m) is a very easy walking peak ideal for altitude acclimatisation and my partner Donna struggles with that. The weather was foul - warm and drizzly - the snow soft and wet - and we were accompanied by a large party of local schoolchildren on a trip out - I hate to imagine what they thought of it. I took no photos.
Day 3
Better weather: we retraced our route towards Arolla and then turned R on the path to the Pas de Chevres (2855m)leading over into the Dix valley
i]Looking back on the way to the Pas de Chevres[/i]
The final slopes to the Pas
Looking back from the Pas de Chevres
Looking across to the Dix hut - on the little knoll
From the Pas de Chevres you can descend a series of ladders, but instead we climbed a short scramble to the higher Col de Riedmatten (2916m) from which one can walk down.
From the Col de Riedmatten looking back across the Arolla valley: the Dent Blanche and the Matterhorn appear in the distance - while the peaks on the R are Les Bouquetins
The North face of Mont Blanc de Cheilon from the pass
We descended the scree path and traversed the mainly stone covered glacier to the Dix hut - newly refurbished with indoor loos :)
We could also have traversed from the Aiguille Rouges hut by the higher Col des Ignes (3183m) but pictures of it don't look inviting
Looking back across the Cheilon glacier to the Pas de Chevres
Another view also including the Aiguille Rouges, the Col des Ignes (centre L) and Col de Riedmatten

Day 4.
Map of days 4 -6

Mont Blanc De Cheilon.
Leaving the hut at about 5.00am we followed a rough path and then climbed leftwards to the Col de Cheilon at the edge of the Glacier de Gietro. Then it was up snow slopes by a a zig- zag route to avoid crevasses and to reach a broad col about 50m below the summit. Donna decided this was far enough fo her so Steve and I went on alone.
early morning - climbing up to the Col de Cheilon
The Grand Combin (4364m) across the glacier de Gietro
From the start of the snow slopes - Le Pleurer 3704m and La Luette 3548 with La Sale 3646 at the back
The summit from the col
The ridge leading to La Ruinette - Mont Gele" in the gap"
Resting at the col
La Ruinette, The Grand Combin and Mont Blanc
The summit
Summit photo
Looking down the Glacier de la Serpentine to the Glacier du Brenay
Down to the Dix reservoir - Pas de Chevres lower R centre
We returned to the Dix hut the same way.

Day 5
Traverse of the PIgne d'Arolla
We left the hut about the same time, but crossed the glacier and headed up the LH branch keeping L of the Rognon at Pte 3257. Around Pte 3422 we climbed quite steeply round a nose with a big drop on our L, but there was a good track and we had no difficulty: we circled round to the Col du Brenay.
Early morning sun on the N face of MB de Cheilon
The N face of the Pigne D'Arolla from above Pte 3422
From here it was an easy plod to the summit.
Above the Col du Brenay
Across the col to La Serpentine - just a snowy lump from this side
the Glacier d'Otemma : Petit Mont Colon 3538 and La Singla 3708m
From nearer the summit the view includes L'Eveque (the Bishop) 3716
A closer look at L'Eveque: On it's left is the "Mitre": the ordinary way is between them
Looking down to Arolla from the summit
Looking further W, Mont Collon is L and in front of the Mitre and the Matterhorn and Dent d'Herens further L still
From the Pigne it was an easy snow plod down to Vignettes hut 3160m - perched on the Col de Vignette at the head of the glacier de Piece - our route back to Arolla.

Day 6.
In the morning Donna decided to opt out, but Steve and I headed for L'Eveque: the route descends easy glacier slopes to the Col de Chermontane and then heads L and climbs the slopes between L'Eveque and the Mitre. There was a short icy section and then we were on to the rocky summit cone - as mass of quite large and unbelievably loose flat blocks. If You've ever played "Jenga" You'll know exactly what I mean :lol: thankfullyl it was only about 50m.
Steve on the summit
Looking E over the Mitre to Les Bouqetins, with Dent Blanche, Matterhorn and Dent d'Herens behind
Looking S down the Comba d'Oren into Italy
We returned the same way to the hut collected Donna and after something to eat descended to Arolla
Last edited by past my sell by date on Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
past my sell by date
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Re: W. Valais II - MB de Cheilon, Pignes D'Arolla & L'Eveque

Postby ChrisW » Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:43 am

Absolutely stunning, what a wonderful trip but too much work for me :lol: Fantastic photos of incredible scenery, as for that username, I'm pretty sure you're not past your sell by date yet :wink:
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Re: W. Valais II - MB de Cheilon, Pignes D'Arolla & L'Eveque

Postby gaffr » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:09 am

What the images do show up is the amount of retreat of snow and ice from the alpine areas. The North face of Mont Blanc de Cheilon was, a while back, a sought after N face and all within part of a lifetime! The retreating glaciers show up very pointedly on the Aletsch glacier in the Oberland group....additional ladders are often needed to reach the Konkordia hutte from the glacier.
My first alpine trip was from Arolla, up through the skiing area and down some ladders, to reach the Dix hutte. To reach the top of MB Cheilon we approached by an eastern ridge and down a NW? ridge to return to Dix. We then went over Pigne d'Arolla to the Vignettes refuge before heading out to L'Eveque. Later, from the same valley, we traversed the Grand Cornier to reach the Moiry hutte. A very fine area to explore.
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Re: W. Valais II - MB de Cheilon, Pignes D'Arolla & L'Eveque

Postby mgmt! » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:59 pm

looks like a very enjoyable tour, hoping to get back to the alps again this year, its a magical place
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