Sunday, 26 December 2010

Cabane de Moiry to Zinal via Col de Sorebois

The amazing view looking back towards the Moiry Icefall. We had just descended from the Cabane de Moiry. The path continues down almost to the car park (parking du Glacier - buses as far as here from Zinal during the summer season) before beginning to contour round above the Lac de Moiry at about 2,500 metre contour line.

Contouring round the east side of the Val de Moiry is much easier than the long ascent or descent over Col de Tsaté of the previous day, but the morning did have a few short stretches of ups and downs before the final slog up to the Col de Sorebois. The talking point of this stretch was the stunning turquoise hue of the Lac de Moiry - what gives such amazing colours? Is it an algae? Is it the mineral deposits? Surely it isn't the Swiss Government emptying tons of colour dyes?!

By the time we reached the Col de Sorebois just before lunch the weather had lost its sunny demeanour. Grey clouds scudded across the sky and the wind had picked up. So, despite the impressive panorama of the mountains ahead of us contemplating their beauty at the pass was out of the question. We descended down a landscape that has been terribly scarred by the ski industry - wide, meandering ski pistes carved across the slopes, chair lift stations dotting the landscape, drag lifts running in various directions across the slopes. It may be look pretty and pristine under a coating of snow, but in the summer it looks just ghastly.

Fortunately, the slope is too steep and hazardous below the Sorebois cable car station (which brings up skiers/snow boarders from Zinal). This is what we took for the last leg into Zinal. This was one of the easier days of the Haute Route.

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