Sander Vancanneyt

From Zinal to Cabane d'Arpitettaz over Col de Milon and back

CH | | 19.5 km


Author: Sander Vancanneyt

1981 views | Public

Route description

It was a fabulous day and it was going to get very hot so we left our apartment early so that we could start the hike when it was still 'cold'. We parked our car at the furthest parking lot at the end of the village where many of the hikes start. The "Roc de la Vache" kept us in de shadow for a short time. Once crossed the Navisence the climb started. Nice path, still in the shadow and later, once above the tree level, in the sun.
The Cabane is pretty far but the views along the path where magnificent. It takes a while before you see the cabane too. But on this beautiful day we could enjoy the views.
We reached the cabane around noon, ideal to stop and have a quick meal with a splendid view. At that time we would return along the same path back to Zinal but i knew that an alpine trail went from the Cabane d'Arpitettaz to Cabane de Tracuit so we asked it in the cabane if the passage was safe for us over Col du Milon. It wouldn't be a problem to do it, they said, cause we had good shoes (C-type) and where already bit more experienced on this kind of trail.
So off we went in the direction of Col du Milon along the Alpine trail (blue marked). First part was great along some small rivers, this combined with the view was splendid. The second part, to the col itself was a steady climb along a very small ridge, just big enough for one person to walk on. Just a small climb after that to reach the col itself and there the chains await you.
At the Col du Milon a trickier part starts where you have to descent along a chain cause it's too steep (first meters 90degrees or so! after that it gets less steeper but watch out for the loose rocks). The chains where cold and still a little wet, made it a bit more special. I really loved this part.
Once survived the descent along the morene awaits with many loose rocks, we sled a bit over it and caused some minor avalanches. Once down over the rocky part you may start climbing again in the direction of Cabane de Tracuit. The path joins the main route to the Cabane de Tracuit around the 3000m height (Tracuit is 3250m). Because we fit this cabane the year before we decided to return to the Zinal village. Our water already run out in this heat so we descended quickly.
After almost 7h we finally reached a bar for a good cold drink (or two...).

Really loved this hike, bit challenging but definitely worth it!

- Part of the hike is an Alpine trail! Not for inexperienced hikers and persons afraid of heights.
- Ask in the cabane if the path along Col du Milon is good
- If your still in good condition after Col du Milon, try visiting Cabane de Tracuit too. But this is an additional 40 minutes or so!

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