Hiking route Sander Vancanneyt

Cabane Des Vignettes (3160m)

CH | | 12.3 km


Author: Sander Vancanneyt

482 views | Public

Route description


Length: 13,5km
Height difference: 1193m
Duration: 5-6h
Difficulty: Up to the glacier T3, on glacier T5 - Sophisticated alpine hiking (Alpine F)
Gear: crampons, ice axe/hiking poles, optional mountain guide
Starting point: Center of Arolla or from Hotel Kurhaus


Untill the glacier, the trail is rated T3 with some exposed sections secured with steps and steel cable.
From the glacier it’s Alpine territory, do NOT do this without knowledge of high Alpine terrain and glacier experience. Alpine F trail with several open crevasses!
Do not perform this during bad weather, paths could get flooded near the glacier!


The route itself is indicated on the sign poles towards the Cabane and the glacier. From Arolla center we ascend first to Hotel Kurhaus along the forest and from the Hotel the white red white marks and sign poles toward Glacier de Pièce lead you further trough the forest and climbs further above the tree line, the trail gets steeper and you’ll climb the moraine up towards a water collection point of the barrage des Dix. Do not follow the trail at the right side of the flow because that's the winter trail towards the cabane (it's indicated in that way too). At this point keep left and follow the trail further where you’ll go bit around the mountain and then climb further towards the glacier. Where the sign “Glacier de Pièce” is situated, the trail is marked with white blue white indicating alpine territory; but the glacier itself is still further away and each year it shrinks further. These white blue white alpine trail marks soon vanish and where not at the glacier yet, so it gets trickier from now on. Look out for yellow/red old paint and stone men. The stone men lead the way to the glacier through the rocks. Time to put those crampons on and step up the glacier for the most difficult part. When there is no snow covering the glacier, there are no trails visible, nothing is marked on the glacier too and the open street map trail is incorrect. As the glacier retreats, the paths change year over year. Good knowledge of alpine terrain is advised. The first part of the glacier is relatively flat but then gets steeper and steeper towards the cabane. You'll need to find a safe way over the glacier, don't go in a straight line towards the hut as the glacier is not that easy. Look out for several open crevasses in the mid section and near the end, they can be covered with snow so watch out! From the glacier, you'll get amazing views over the Pigne d'Arolla. You'll always have the hut in sight, but it's a demanding climb to the hut, take your time. Once you get below the hut, a few steps remain before you’ll get an amazing view that you’ll definatly not forget! In the Cabane you can rest out a bit, eat and drink or stay over the night. The descent is along the same “trail” back to Arolla.

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