Friday, 2 April 2010

Day Hike: Vallorbe - Le Pont (the long route)

Just did this walk today. Really enjoyed it. For the first long hike of the season it was strenuous - an 800+ metre height gain and a distance of almost 13kms. Don't believe the sign boards - it takes a good 4.5 hours if you go via Dent de Vaulion.

The start from Vallorbe railway station was not promising, the town must be one of the less pretty and more run down ones in Switzerland. But once we had crossed the stream and begun the uphill slog it was all peace and tranquility. Snow still lay in patches on the ground with a light covering on the pine tress, but spring was definitely in the air with bird songs filling in the air, and the tinkling sound of melting snow. We were also really fortunate to see half a dozen chamoix - one of the beauties of hiking so early in the season is that we have the whole route to ourselves (we only met 1 other hiker on the whole route!)

The views from Dent de Vaulion were spectacular - the jagged white massif of the Alps are arrayed in front of you, the Bernese Oberland to the left, sweeping round to the Grand Muveran, the Dents du Midi and finally onto the Mt. Blanc massif. When you can finally take your eyes of that feast you have the limpid waters of the Lac de Joux to your right.

This is one of the sections of the Chemin des CrĂȘtes du Jura, a 310km long distance footpath which starts just north of Zurich and ends in Nyon on the shores of Lake Geneva. Further details of the route can be found at here.

View Chemin des CrĂȘtes du Jura: Vallorbe - Le Pont in a larger map

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