Author: Sander Vancanneyt
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Difficult hike for the more experienced hiker (not suitable for tourists :D).
This hike takes you from the village Zinal to Cabane du Grand Mountet after a 4h climb. After resting there we climb down to the Glacier de Zinal to follow the "nouveau chemin" to Cabane du Petit Mountet. To do this part we have to cross over the Zinal Glacier (Glacier de Zinal). From Cabane du Petit Mountet we head back to Zinal.
This hike offers tremendeous view over the Imperial Crown with the big mountain tops like Ober Gabelhorn (4063m), ZinalRothorn (4221m), Dent Blanche (4357m), Grand Cornier (3961m), ...
First, do not do this hike if the weather conditions are not good or when there is fog and/or snow. Also keep in mind that it's a 9h hike, you can split it into two days but book the cabane of your stay.
We leave the parking space in Zinal and cross over the navisence, we follow the big path and the guides "Cabane du Grand Mountet". When you reach the naviscence again cross it over and take the path to the right, it's indicated with the guide Cabane du Grand Mountet. From now it's a long climb to the Cabane with some more diffucult passings. The path goes here from good-to-walk to find-the-path. This climb will take about 3-4h until you see the Cabane. Along the trail you have tremendeous views over the Glaciers and surrounding mountain tops.
When you reach the cabin near lunchtime it's still good to head back to Zinal along the Glacier. But keep in mind you ask in the Cabane if it is safe to cross the Glacier.
Now the second and hardest part of the hike, we head down to the glacier pit and we keep on following the red dots. The trail is sometimes barely visible and you just have to look for a way between the red dots. Further we meet a very difficult passage with ropes, due to the loose rocks be carefull for falling rocks and keep some distance so no one gets hurt. After this difficult passage we finaly get on the glacier, the path is indicated with big red markers, between these markers you'll just have to find your way.
You do not need extra materials to cross over the glacier, the first part is ice with rocks, then it's a verry rocky part with some bits of ice. To cross over the glacier it takes about 2h. When you reach the other side climb again and follow the red bits again. The path gets a bit better now but there are still some difficult parts. Again after a bit more then an hour the Cabane du Petit Mountet is verry near, once there it's still an hour walk to ZInal.
9h without counting the pauzes.
You can sleep in the Cabane du Grand Mountet and head back the next day if it got to late.
Start (Zinal): 1675m
Cabane du Grand Mountet: 2886m
Glacier de Zinal: 2553m
Cabane du Petit Mountet: 2142m
Summer, but please ask in Cabane du Grand Mountet if it is safe to cross over the glacier (for example when there is snow it can become very tricky!). Do not take risks when it is a rainy day or fog or when there is snow on the glacier.
T4+ Demanding Alpine Hike
Most paths T3, except the whole glacier part with most challenging the part with ropes. Paths are not always visible. On the glacier there are red markers to find the way. Rest is indicated in red dots that are not always good visible ("find the path"-game).
How to reach:
Bus to the centre of Zinal.
By car, there is a parking lot at the end of Zinal near the Navisence river
I underestimated this one a bit. In the Cabane they said it was good to cross over, the weather was excellent but it was more challenging than i thought. And on top of that when standing in the middle of the Glacier i saw a nice avalanche coming down, at that moment i got somewhat frightened. But when i look at the hike now, it was defenitly worthwhile with tremendeous views. A hike that i will not forget!
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