Grande Dixence Dam – Arolla

Although the route said 16km, my tracker was showing 20km at the arrival at the hotel.

The morning started good with a 30 min steep uphill hike. (Un)fortunately the cable car was not operating at 7:45, so I had to walk uphill on a small trail towards the dam again. I was expecting more problems going up, but it went well.

After that, the walk continued nicely along the lake and it was a nice and easy walk to loosen up the muscles for what was yet to come. While walking along the lake, I could see some marmots playing around the water site. It was so nice to see… and realising you are in nature having vacation, it is a great feeling.

At the end of the lake it went up, and I mean up. It was the steepest part until now. I guess that if you could not walk that part the rest of the route would be out of the question as well.

After a few hours walking I was getting close to the path called pas de chèvre. The goats path.  Well… The goats were smart enough not to take that path. No goat to be seen.

Before I was going to climb the last part I first had a lunch at my own “base camp”. Clearly it was not that bad and we are not talking about going up the Mount Everest but looking at what lay ahead, a proper meal for energy was advised, as well as cooling down while sitting in a scarce piece of shade.

Going up this part toward the ladders would have been madness when wet. I was lucky to have another beautiful day and going up. This was the steepest part ever. Now, looking back, the steepest part of the entire route.  Searching your own way up the huge rocks you sure felt like a mountain goat. It gave a kick to climb up towards the ladders.

If other people can do it so can I. And… I am never alone. Guided from above, step by step and taking all the time needed I got up there. PS. Haste is never a good thing when hiking in the mountains.

I do have to say that today went a lot better than yesterday, energy wise. The route was challenging but wonderful to walk.

I did have a good breakfast (after a lousy night). When you think you are done eating, eat a bit more and more. I made sure that today I started off good and loaded up on plenty of energy. At 10 or so a big hand full of almonds and I carried about two litres of water. Which lasted till about 20 min before I arrived in Arolla.

When descending from the coll the Riedmatten I got hot, too hot. The sun was burning in my neck and not being able to find my scarf in my backpack I took out my towel. In the nearest stream soaked it with cold water and placed it around my neck. The best idea I had the whole day.

Although it was warm and the sun was shining the whole day, a nice wind was keeping my towel fresh and replacing it several times kept me cool on my way down to Arolla.

What a pleasant site it was my hotel. Covered in flowers, one of the best sights of the day. The room was excellent and cosy with a beautiful view on the mountains.

Time for a beer and a visit to the local supermarket where I could get one of the local specialties. Let’s see what they are.

Seems to be a nice plate of various hams and cheeses. Delicious……

After enjoying the plate I returned to the hotel. The bus had brought the luggage, a system that works perfectly and provides you as a traveller lots of extra comfort. I had no problems with luggage whatsoever. It is vacation and the Swiss do what they promise you.